The beautiful music creates a sense of happiness and joy, to see the resident's join in is so rewarding for me
'You are their favourite activity, they all love you - you get the biggest turn out every week.' (Brampton Lodge - been going there 10 years!)
'Aren't we lucky to be doing this?' (Dementia daycare centre)
'That's where you're different, you always change - always doing something different. They love your sessions.' ( Cornerways)
I was introduced the other day to a visitor who had been asked by staff to visit her mother whilst we were having a workshop so that she could observe how happy and animated her mother was when I was there.
Afterwards she spoke to me and said how much she had liked seeing her mother enjoying herself.She said she could see how much I enjoyed my job.
My background is in mental health nursing and I firmly believe that there is nothing like the extraordinary power of music to lift the mood.
Mindfulness is currently extensively used to promote mental wellbeing and what could be more mindful than to lose oneself in a beautiful piece of music, even for those with limited cognitive ability due to a stroke or dementia?
Music for Health has been a ground breaking venture and continues to be the best in the field.
Many people say to me that it must be wonderful to know that you are helping to make so many people so much happier, and of course that’s true. But what’s also true is how the workshops, and the residents, are able to uplift us as leaders, and if I wake up feeling a bit grumpy, I can guarantee a workshop will make me feel so much better! When a resident holds your hand, beams a beautiful smile at you and thanks you for giving them a wonderful hour, how can you not feel that you’ve got the best job in the world!
I have never felt so happy and relaxed going to work as I have since I started doing Music for Health workshops. The workshops are so active and stimulating; it is such a rewarding experience to see the happiness and pleasure that they bring to the residents of the homes I visit.
All of us have benefited enormously from our involvement with Music for Health, you can almost say that it has been 'life changing'. Ted, Sharon and I have had some amazing experiences. Even after a really busy day, as I flop on to the sofa gasping for a cup of tea, I think about the smiles on the residents’ faces and the thanks that I receive and I am grateful for the day that I became part of the Music for Health family. Sharon completely agrees with my feelings.
Each workshop is a real journey of discovery-in terms of the sharing of individual experiences and emotional engagement.
We always say in the workshops that we all young, but some of us have been around a bit longer than others.
We all learn from each others' musical experiences and knowledge. Just wonderful!
I love how every workshop is different:-Our lovely residents and service users are such individuals, with differing skills and needs. The music we use too is very wide ranging and covers all tastes, with something for everybody, engendering individual connections to any one activity/piece during a workshop.
As I said above, every workshop is a fabulous journey of discovery for all of us!'
As Louis Armstrong once sang--- 'What a Wonderful World....Oh Yeah!'
I find this a very satisfying and rewarding job seeing the enjoyment the residents get out of it.
- The sessions are full of fun and laughter but include quieter more contemplative moments too.
- Residents are encouraged to participate and activities are inclusive and absorbing but if someone prefers to just watch or dip in and out of the session then that is beneficial for them too.
- They have been designed to improve wellbeing, stimulate the brain, thoughts, emotions and improve bilateral symmetry, but they are just great fun too!
- It’s something we do ‘sitting down’ but dance and movement is very much encouraged for those that would like to.
- The selection of music in each session includes something for all tastes. It can be uplifting, joyful, singalong and nostalgic but it is often moving and poignant
- Residents enjoy the camaraderie, fun and a little bit of banter with me but others, particularly those living with dementia, often benefit in subtle ways. They sing with me although they don’t usually speak, they laugh when they might otherwise be distressed, they relax when they are usually anxious.
- Whatever someone’s ‘abilities’ or preferences I have an instrument or a prop or a piece of music that will engage them
- Some residents look forward to my arrival and are ready and waiting keen to share their news with me and discuss music they may have heard or remembered since I saw them last. Others just enjoy the time we have together – in the moment.
I feel I really make a difference and that is special!
I would like to thank you for being such a positive activity in our residents’ lives.” “The Activities Team, the Care Team and more importantly The Residents love every one of your sessions and are full of nothing but praise.” “I personally benefit from the peace of mind I get, knowing that our residents are engaged and happy when you visit.” The residents themselves remember me and are full of joy to see me. Is it any wonder that my life is now so enriched? This is the best job I have ever had.