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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
jiva nursing home concert (24) RE: nursing home concert 06 May 07

We've been giving monthly performances at residential care homes for over 3 years now - it is humbling and rewarding to share a little of the lives of our elderly citizens. We do this in conjunction with MIND Active, a UK charity which provides activities for care homes in North East England.

The regular musical activities that MIND Active provide include singalongs, karaoke, accordion tunes, old-time classics, war-time songs, country & western, etc. So we try to add something different with a mixture of gentle, or foot-tapping contemporary songs with choruses (some self-penned), some with local connections/relevance.

We don't do the full hour non-stop - we divide it into 2 sets with a 5 minute break in the middle. This allows us to chat with the residents while recovering our voices a bit (some of the day lounges can be large, so we work harder with vocal projection in such venues).

It is heartwarming when some make a point of coming over to thank us as we pack the guitars away. Many will tell us that what we do is a refreshing change, as they get lots of the "Roll Out The Barrel" and "White Cliffs Of Dover" stuff which reminds them of their age and frailty and some sad or distressing memories.

Be prepared for some to doze off, for visitors to arrive and depart, and for some residents to shuffle in or out, for staff to fuss about being alert to the needs of their residents, occasionally bringing biscuits or tea or helping them to the toilet etc.

But most of all, give them your best, be genuine and warm. Smile and be approachable. You will be appreciated for it.

Best of luck - good on yer!
Jimmy & Val

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