A couple of weeks ago I visited a new care home and I have thought about my visit often over these few weeks, so thought I'd share my experience and feelings. It's always slightly awkward visiting a new home, not only meeting the staff and residents, but making sure we are all on the same page.
"I'm not an entertainer, so please don't worry about getting residents into the lounge. I will take my time to wander about the home, making musical offerings to people who would like them."
I went along with one of the members of staff to a residents room. "He's not been feeling too great," she said, " he hasn't come out of his room for a few days now." Without being intrusive I began to play in the doorway of his room as he lay in bed. His whole body relaxed and he began to cry. It has taken me a while to judge this type of response, but I felt his tears were a release so I continued playing and entered his room. When I finished he sat up and said, "Well isn't she beautiful and what wonderful music."
He then went onto tell me that he plays the piano, and he was soon up and out of bed taking me down to the lounge area to the piano for a Motown performance. For the rest of my visit this gentleman came round with me singing and whistling along with all I played. The staff were really quite amazed at the change in him.
This magical moment is just one example of how my music effected people on this visit. I left the home feeling I had made a real difference to this gentleman's day when he needed it most. It is a real privilege to be able to share my gift in such a rewarding way. Music can be so uplifting and really quite remarkable.