Music and Singing
Music and singing recitals are always well received by clients, nurses and carers. Music can be stimulating or calming; it can trigger distant memories, and offers an alternative route of communication.
We have found that some people who are profoundly affected by dementia are still capable of responding to music. Residents who cannot usually sit still for more than a minute often stay seated for over half an hour when volunteers sing/play instruments.
What Do Volunteers Do?
No matter what you play or how good you are, you will go down a treat. Volunteers visit the community units as a group and can perform either together or alone. Popular classical music, pieces from musicals, and songs from the 20s-60s are good choices. The more familiar the clients are with the music the better, as they are more likely to join in and to reminisce about memories the music evokes. Favourites include We’ll Meet Again, Que Sera Sera, We All Live in a Yellow Submarine, and anything from The Sound of Music! Ideally we like one or two non musical volunteers at recitals, as it’s nice to have a couple of people sitting with the group to encourage them to clap or sing along etc… We have put together some song books, have a collection of popular music for the piano and guitar, and have a keyboard, guitar and percussion instruments that you can use on visits or borrow to practice. We also have money to buy music books that are appropriate for other instruments on request.
Here is a quote from Natasha Wilson, a music student involved in MIM: The good thing about Minds in Motion is that there is something everyone can do with the skills they have to help - you don’t have to be a professional artist or musician to get involved! Volunteering with Minds in Motion can sometimes be challenging and may require some patience, but the smiles of appreciation from patients and carers always make it worthwhile.