One of the joys of my time touring the United States was the ability to entertain the residents of nursing homes and retirement communities in many states. I am hoping to continue to do this in Australia.
WHAT I DO
My performances aim to connect with my audience by playing music they know; creating a link to the time when they first heard that song or piece of music. I have read a bit on music therapy lately and try to develop a repertoire tailored to the people I play for. At the moment, the program is an hour, an eclectic mix of swing tunes from the 40’s and 50’s; Celtic; classical; classic country; and a few of my own story songs. Of course I also do tailored programs for special times like Christmas and recently even did a beach party theme…
WHY I DO IT
It’s a very powerful feeling when you play a song that someone remembers from way back when, and you can see them reliving the joy or memory of that moment.
I started playing regularly in nursing homes when my mother got sick. I would make a point of going as often as I could to play for her and the other residents during their dinner hour. The staff always let me know how grateful they were for the entertainment, as it made the dinner hour more pleasant for all concerned.
Over the four years or so, I have had all manner of positive reactions to my performances in nursing homes. I have seen eyes light up with an old inner fire. I have seen some visiting adult children break into tears, as some song brings back a shared moment. I have seen folks get up and dance, laugh out loud, sing along or just sit and smile quietly at the song and a memory. The reactions make these performances very rich, shared experiences and I admit that this does me a great deal of good, as well .
I am happy to provide references from homes and centres I have played and can be contacted on 0417 841 978 or by email at ManyHatsMusic@gmail.com.
– Leavin’ On A Jet Plane
– Grandma’s Feather Bed
– King of the Road
– All of Me
– You Are My Sunshine
– Take Me Out To The Ballgame
– I’m My Own Grandpa
– Take Me Home, Country Roads
– Stand By Me
– When A Man Loves A Woman
– The Gambler
– Star of the County Down
– Somewhere Over The Rainbow
– Ain’t Misbehavin’
– The Tennessee Waltz
– This Land Is Your Land
EXAMPLES OF THE MUSIC
I don’t have recordings of anything close to the range of songs I cover in my hour visit but the following are a few examples of things I play:
Land of Remembering When – Singer/Songwriter
Shibeg Shimor – Celtic
Etude in D Major, Opus 35, no. 17 – Classical
Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Instrumental
and you can find more by hunting through HERE