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nursing home gigs, info please-neat article added

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Memphis Mud 15 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM
Memphis Mud 15 Sep 02 - 11:34 AM
khandu 15 Sep 02 - 09:59 PM
Genie 15 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM
Mudlark 15 Sep 02 - 11:06 PM
Genie 16 Sep 02 - 02:50 AM
GUEST 14 Oct 02 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 14 Oct 02 - 11:51 PM
Kaleea 15 Oct 02 - 01:46 AM
Genie 15 Oct 02 - 03:02 AM
Love Light Singer 01 May 09 - 04:38 PM
Desert Dancer 01 May 09 - 09:03 PM
nager 02 May 09 - 06:17 PM
Rafflesbear 02 May 09 - 09:38 PM
Michael Harrison 03 May 09 - 01:40 AM
katlaughing 19 Mar 10 - 10:21 PM
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Subject: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Memphis Mud
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM

I'm kind of new here. I remember seeing a thread on nursing home gigs. I haven't figured out exactly how to find old threads yet. I need some info on the business end of gigging this way and what kind of $$ are available this way.

I've got 2 girls in scouts. They play piano. I play guitar. I think we could, with the other girls in our troops, put together an interesting little variety show. Singing, Playing, Dancing, skits, magic. We would give the ladies silk flowers and the gents boutoneers (sp) that we make. We are trying to raise $$ for trips (we have very active troops).

Any info is appreciated.


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Memphis Mud
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:34 AM

Never mind. Found some stuff.


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: khandu
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 09:59 PM

I played a nursing home once in 1978. Just me and my guitar. Did some folkie stuff, some gospel, a few originals, and some sing-alongs (to which no one sang along.)

After doing my thing for 30-40 minutes, one old geezer stood up and asked, to my complete astonishment, "Can you play Polk Salad Annie?" (At least he didn't ask for "Wipe Out"!)

I did it for free. It was the hardest audience I ever had. I guess I just didn't have that "pizzazz". I have never played a nursing home again.

khandu


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Genie
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 10:06 PM

Threads re Nursing/Retirement Home Gigs

Mud, the kind of program you describe would go over extremely well at nursing homes, convalescent/rehabilitation centers, and some assisted living residences. I imagine the activity directors would pay you what they normally pay their entertainers -- maybe more, since you are a group, it's children, and it's "for a good cause."

Most nursing homes (where many residents' memory and decision-making skills are not what they once were) do not allow tipping. But in many assisted and independent living facilities, the residents have complete control over their own finances, and they sometimes insist on tipping, make charitable donations, etc. (Naturally, collecting tips and donations needs to be run by the AD first, and needs to be handled in a way that doesn't embarrass the ones who can't or don't want to donate.) If you tell the folks what you are raising money for, you might get quite a few donations from the group. (At some senior centers and independent retirement homes, you might, in fact, make more at some facilities by doing it on a pass-the-hat basis or by staging it as a benefit, with a small donation asked at the door, than by charging a fee.

Don't hesitate to discuss these options with the AD.

Whatever the talent level of your music and skits, the fact that the performers are children will earn you a lot of extra appreciation from folks who are great-grandparent age.

Genie


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Mudlark
Date: 15 Sep 02 - 11:06 PM

I've always volunteered my time, but I agree with Khandu...it can be a very tough audience. The staff assures me that both they and the residents enjoy my 45 min. set, but I do wonder. Tho I've made friends with several of the residents most of them really are beyond music appreciation. I count it a real thrill when I see a foot tapping, or can get ANYbody to sing along on You Are My Sunshine.


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Genie
Date: 16 Sep 02 - 02:50 AM

Mud, Mudlark, without elaborating (since the topic has been addressed in other threads), let me just say that there are nursing homes and there are nursing homes. Some groups of residents are very responsive, dancing, tapping, and singing along. (Sometimes the Alzheimer's patients are more animated and less inhibited than anyone else.)

Genie


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 11:51 PM


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 11:51 PM

Do them for the rich experience and charge NO FEE.



You will leave enriched in spirit far more than your pocket-book could ever carry.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Kaleea
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:46 AM

I used to be an activity director at nursing homes. It is important to meet the needs of the residents. Consider what would be the music which the people of their age would enjoy--usually the music of their youth. Take into account the region where most of the residents are from. Old time music (traditional American folk music as well as popular songs which are old) is what makes the residents the most happy & comfortable! The residents are more likely to be women than men, so they enjoy the romantic songs, and songs made popular by the old-time crooners (Bing Crosby, Perry Como, etc.). Usually, the songs which were popular during WWII (big band & swing) are very popular with the residents, as are the songs of the Western Swing bands in certain parts of the country where they would have been listening to the Grand Old Opry & The Lousianna Hayride. If you go to a VA hospital or retirement center, there are bound to be residents from most any "war" time! Most likely, WWII & Korea. Often, there are many who enjoy old fashioned hymns. ALL seniors are likely to be very patriotic, and very much enjoy patriotic songs! In these times, it is especially appropriate!    While the residents usually enjoy any good music, they appreciate hearing the songs of their time the most!


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Genie
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 03:02 AM

Couldn't've said it better myself, Kaleea.

Genie


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Love Light Singer
Date: 01 May 09 - 04:38 PM

My wife & I are considering singing full time. Wanting to make it a full occupation entertaining at senior centers, health care institutions, nursing homes & orphanages. We have an unusually mix of inspirational and spiritually songs, sang with no accompanyment. What we have done has been enjoyed, by the audiences, very much. Any guidance in getting started & making a living income would be appreciated.
Knt Ola


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 01 May 09 - 09:03 PM

There has been a lot of very good info posted here in the past -- a number of those threads are linked here.


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: nager
Date: 02 May 09 - 06:17 PM

I perform at nursing homes at least twice a month and do it for free. The thought of charging these elderly people for entertainment does not sit well with me I am afraid and I will leave that aspect of it at that. As for material, I do a mixture. Singalong with songs they know, lots of jokes and funny stories in between and some of the beautiful ballads from the 30s, 40s,50s and 60s right through to modern material. Many have Scottish or Irish backgrounds and love to hear "their" folk songs. A few simple comedy songs go over well too. As long as it is good music presented in a cheerful, friendly way they will enjoy it. Oh, and I have never found them to be a "tough" audience - quite the opposite.


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Rafflesbear
Date: 02 May 09 - 09:38 PM

If people charge Old Folks for food I can't see any objection to the institution they are living in spending money on entertainment


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: Michael Harrison
Date: 03 May 09 - 01:40 AM

Since I don't do any "original" material, coffeehouse gigs and house concerts are generally not venues I can perform at; further, it is getting harder and harder to book a solo artist into Celtic festivals what with the number of folks living in America and Canada who come from "the auld country" readily available to perform. I'm not complaining here, it's just a statement of fact.

In that light, I earn a substantial portion of my income from playing retirement centers including independent, assisted and memory units. I also book into nursing and rehab centers; and yes, I do pubs and corporate gigs as well.

To be brief, every one of the facilities I perform at is different from the one before or after. Also, you are not doing the residents a favor by not charging the facility - the corporation has funds earmarked for entertainment how ever small or large the budget may be and I can assure you that the corporations run the gamet from cheap to generous. Finally, sadly, in many cases I have found the residents to be a reflection of the management and the staff. I usually have no problem getting folks to sing along if the staff is happy and joins in with the festivities too. Cheers,........mwh


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Subject: RE: nursing home gigs, info pleas
From: katlaughing
Date: 19 Mar 10 - 10:21 PM

Fascinating and heart-warming article by a woman who sings in nursing homes. Well worth reading HERE.

Here's the beginning:

By Patricia Hammond
Published: 6:19PM GMT 19 Mar 2010

Mezzo-soprano Patricia Hammond sings to the residents at Byron Lodge, south Yorkshire.

There is a way of singing so that tears won't interfere with your technique. You learn how to isolate those muscles that send the air from your lungs to your lips, and use the music to hypnotise your throat into staying open. The sound becomes an almost independent entity, and all you have to do is keep its path clear. When I was growing up in a small town in western Canada, music and drama teachers would often send students to the local care home to have a sort of dry run before going in front of a 'real' audience.

The first time I did it there had just been a scandal. An amateur dramatics society had put on a test production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jesus had run away. He had looked out at all the pale, gaunt faces attached by tubes to various life-supporting machines, smelt that unmistakable odour of decay and antiseptic, and screamed, 'I can't take it! Get me out of here!' With that he had raced back to his VW Beetle, Jesus-robes and sandals flapping, and driven off into the night.

I didn't have that problem. I would focus on the most outwardly healthy residents and pretend the others were just making faces. Then, as I grew older I slowly let the denial recede. Technique took over. Now, no matter how choked up I get, I can still sing. I have sung for a man as he lay dying, and the voice flowed out calm and clear.


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