We had a photo session last Monday, and our thanks to the D Note (in Arvada) for graciously letting us do the photo shoot at their place. There was a little bit of miscommunication with our photographer; consequently, he had not brought along his lighting rig. We started the photo shoot at about 6pm, and (thanks to Daylight Savings time) the sun was still setting to the west. The photographer and I got the idea to use one of the mirrors we’d brought to reflect the sunlight through the D Note’s window and use it to light me for the shoot. As it turns out, a slightly drunk biker happened to be passing by at the moment, and cheerily offered to hold the mirror at the desired height and angle to get maximum effect from the reflected sunlight. It was an interesting bit of improvisation, but we believe we got something useful out of the whole experience.
The next day, I played for an hour at Holly Heights Nursing Home for a thoroughly appreciative audience. I have to admit that my nursing home shows are proving to be some of my most satisfying gigs. The residents are very much in the mood for some entertainment, and I regale them with a mix of songs and stories. I include more songs that are older and more likely to invite singing along, and it often becomes rather like a party.
I admit that I don’t have any formal training in music therapy. At best, I have read a few articles, here and there. But one article in particular (by Oliver Sachs) describes how music can be used to trigger old memories, or open neural pathways in the brain that step around some of the injured parts of a brain. Music has helped Alzheimer’s patients to re-enter the present through cherished memories, and has helped Parkinson’s patients to move through dance. I have seen all of this in some of my performances at Nursing homes, and it has made for some wondrous moments.
We begin the next leg of our tour in a few days: to Phoenix (for a start), then on to the west coast. The adventure continues….