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Hello everyone! As a musician, I am always looking for ways to improve my performances for folks living in assisted living facilities etc. And also, I would like to learn how various ADs and facilities utilize musical entertainers as part of their activities and programs. I was hoping I could start a conversation about this and to get some responses from people across the country.

 

Best way to respond to this is probably to cut and paste and then enter your responses:

So, here goes:

 

1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs? Yes we would bring in live music at least 3 times a month.

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both? My budget would only allow for one paid - the rest where volunteers

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy? I felt like they liked it all - but they always love hymns- they remember all the words.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repertoire? Elvis

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility? I have had a entertainer try to preach his religious beliefs to the residents - which is not what I asked him there for, and found really unprofessional. I don't like it when the performer brings family members that just lounge around, unless they are part of the program.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

 

Karen

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yes. our facility uses live entertainment

 

we use volunteers and paid musicians

 

my clients especially like VERY lively music

 

it really depends on the clientelle we have a large spanish population-i feel it is important to have some spanish singers

 

I would like to see more interaction between our musicians and our residents.

 

My favorite entertainers are the ones that really put time and effort into their program and adapt it to the audience

which they research before hand-i like the entertainedrs that DRESS for the part i have one singer that comes in

a tuxedo and sings braodway tunes etc....

Edited by march08
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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs? Yes. Depending on the status of my budget, the number of times per year varies.

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason.

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both? Both

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy? Country, 50's - 60's and some Hymns but for parties definately Country.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repertoire? Tennesee Waltz

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility? All musicians that have visited our facility have been very attentive to our needs, very professional and welcome back any time!

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Live Entertainment is the best! Just as a thought, for those paid entertainers that visit facilities regularly, think of maybe giving a discount to the third or fourth or fifth etc visit (one of these). We are on limited budgets and word of mouth goes far when we brag to all of our family members of what you did for us! It could boost your business! Bless all of you!

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Hello everyone! As a musician, I am always looking for ways to improve my performances for folks living in assisted living facilities etc. And also, I would like to learn how various ADs and facilities utilize musical entertainers as part of their activities and programs. I was hoping I could start a conversation about this and to get some responses from people across the country.

 

Best way to respond to this is probably to cut and paste and then enter your responses:

So, here goes:

 

1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

We have live entertainment at least 6 times per month including singers, dancers, poetry readings and music therapy

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

I would prefer more volunteers, but we use both.

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

Our residents enjoy lively music that involve a singer or group of singers and/or dancers. Musical entertainment (piano, guitar, etc.) are not well received and the residents generally leave or fall asleep during the performance no matter how talented the musician.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

Songs they recognize top the list, followed by songs that are lively and promote movement.

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

High marks for entertainters who have a well put together show, even if it's just karaoke style singing. Those that can't find the next song or select songs on the fly appear unprofessional and are disrespectful to my audience. Entertainers who try to impart their religious beliefs onto my residents will not be invited back, nor will entertainers who make off-color jokes or embarrass a resident by calling attention to them unnecessarily. (Example: we had a performer who found out a resident was Jewish and tried to talk to her with a poorly done NY accent, then tried to get her to sing into the microphone. The resident ran out of the room, humiliated.) Entertainers who spend an inordinate time telling the residents their life story, past history or accomplishments, or bring an entourage are not well received either.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

I will hire a marginally talented performer who arrives with a well put together show over someone who has a great voice but can't manage their own equipment. I also have an issue with performers who want me to pay for their travel expenses across town to my community. That should really be part of their cost of doing business.

 

Many times I am hiring entertainers as part of a party or program, and I appreciate when a performer can stop by for a few minutes to see the area he/she will be using and we can talk about the theme of the event. I have inadvertently blind-sided a performer with my choice of venue (the dining room, living room, etc.) and try to make sure he/she knows how much space there is to work with.

 

I don't have time to go out and see a performer before I hire him/her for the first time, so references are a must. Some performers have even come by and auditioned for us, which I really appreciated. Some have sent me links to websites or CD's of music clips which are also appreciated.

 

Thanks for asking!

 

Debbie White, Director of Activities, The Stratford

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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

yes we regularly have a happy hour on fridays during which we serve fresh fruit and cheese along with drinks. We will also work entertainment into our larger parties such as a valentines dance, St pattys day party, or cinco de mayo

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

we work with both volunteers, volunteers who ask for a donation, and also paid

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

anything older and upbeat they also really do enjoy watching us do the chicken dance

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

cheesey as it sounds they do love the chicken dance

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

interaction with the residents is always encouraged and the more the better, don't try to sell residents or their family members (yes it's happened)

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

nope

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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

once a month

 

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

mostly volunteers, but some are paid-- less than $150.

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

My residents are unusual-- they love classical music and very fast dance music. Waltzes do not do well here. Jewish Hora's are the best-- even the Asian residents dance to these.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

Party type music! Great dance songs!

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

definitley anything religious. Talking too much. We are paying (or not paying) you to sing. So sing. Besides, most of my residents don't speak English and although most of my entertainers speak either Russian or Chinese, it will still leave out half of the population. No one speaks all three languages.

 

Also, not standing in one spot while you sing. Walk around the room. Dance a little. Give us something to watch.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Being prepared like the others have said is key. We don't need the best singers and performers out there. But we do need someone who is respectful== and being professional and on time is part of respect. If the performer is respectful to the AD, the AD will appreciate it. If the performer is wonderful and the residents love him/her, but they are rude to the AD, they may never be invited back. I know I won't invite the person back. I tell my residents that they have moved.

Also, if the performer attempts to ask the AD beforehand about the population and make an effort to make everyone feel welcome, that helps too and goes a long way in our eyes.

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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs? We use live musical entertainers 2-3x a week.

 

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both? Most of our entertainers are volunteers...we live in a small rural community and are very blessed by the talent that is share with us. However, we do have some very wonderful entertainers that we pay as well Depends on the type of performance and the occasion.

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy? Ours love it all...they enjoys singing along with gospel and country music...however, to my surprise they also like some of the newer music

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire? Anything upbeat and lively

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility? Talk down to the residents. I have had to ask some of my entertainers not to return because they spoke to the residents as though they were children.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments? Music is a wonderful way to reach so many residents at so many levels.

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. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

yes

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

na

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

we use all if they are free to us money is tight

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

country ( old)

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

Down on the river

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

no we have had really good ones that know what they are doing

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

na

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Hello I work for a assisted and retirement facility and we find music very enjoyable to all , I find that after many times a entertainer comes back into the facility that the residents feel as if they know them and welcome them with open arms , its a strange thing, but a Know they love all kinds of music Good Luck Lori DiTucci

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I am taking note of some of the comments here for myself, for a while I have thought about multi-cultural music, Houston is such a huge city; I joined the United Nations Choir last year to learn more about performing it!

 

I am a musician who also visits nursing home facilities, I have been developing a successful program for alzheimer patients in Houston which I am now writing up as a book, I can answer some questions which relate to my work, this is what works for me:

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

 

any music is therepeutic but people respond strongly to things they know well from the past, songs with an association, or a point- something uplifting or fun for example.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

 

depends on your client group. For people with memory loss I currently find a cut-off date of about 1965...things which are strong in the long-term memory.

But look around the room- if there are younger people include something they will know too.

Monitor people's responses and see when things are getting too lively, or if people are agitated. Learn to read the room and know when to switch pace.

 

Songs which are always enjoyed where I go: My Blue Heaven; Sentimental Journey; Que Sera Sera; Side by Side; New York New York; Crazy; Little Things Mean a Lot...the best thing though is to try things and ask, be adaptable.

 

That's quite scary to a musician I think- but don't be too set in the repertoire order and work on being able to fully respond to the audience in the moment. If someone shouts out a request it's good to be able to respond.

 

I use themes, for example a jazz group based on the songs of Louis Armstrong or an Irving Berlin songs group or 'love songs'...often at the suggestion of seniors, staff or family members.

 

My clients like some hymns or religious music but it's important to be respectful and understanding- include people of all faiths and cultures, don't assume everyone is ( or ought to be! )your faith even if it's the most common in your area- sometimes people proselytise their faith automatically, which is especially unforgiveable when someone is confused or upset.

 

We've had a lot of fun with having someone share their culture, sing their national anthem or say a prayer or teach a saying to everyone for example, and I've often gone away and done research and collected music people have told me about or requested for next time. I'm English so we often use fun songs from my culture, many of my clients have travelled in Europe.

 

It's important to change things around to keep it lively and fresh I think, because you'll use the same songs a lot,once you've found the music which works best for that particular group!

Build a collection of props and outfits & make it a full entertainment experience.

 

If you talk make sure it's something fun and interesting and tailored to the audience- not everyone can concentrate for long stories for example, or as someone points out, may not speak English.

I try to learn a few words of greeting for every culture represented in the groups I'm doing- it's fun and people appreciate it.

If I talk I use it to make a join between two songs or to include someone; sometimes I tell a short joke relevant to what we're singing.

 

I think the best entertainers are flexible- if you can notice when people are not engaged and move on and re-engage them- and as someone commented, go around the room somewhat, involve everyone.

It's especially important for people who have confusion, establishing a comfort zone and reassurance.

 

Often it's quite a mixed group of needs I am performing to, so it's important to be perceptive and- smile! Look like you're having fun- an audience mirrors the performer.

That's what counts- everyone feeling envigorated and happy by the end, and looking forward to next time you arrive.

 

Good luck!

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Hi everyone,

 

I wanted to introduce myself, and respond to the above questions as well.

 

My name is Shana, i've been in the senior activity field for 7 years, 3 of the prior as Director of Recreation. I'm getting a little burnt out with all the paper work (i'm sure you all know what i'm talkin about) lol.

 

I'm also a professional singer/performer, and now am being given the awesome opportunity to follow my heart and sing full time for seniors.

My two favorite things in life is singing, and the senior population so i'm very excited.

 

my website is: www.shows4seniors.com

 

On it you'll find a quick audio sample I took with my band to give you a little example of my voice, as well as testimonials/reviews from nursing home activity directors where I have performed.

 

My area in which I'll be serving is New Hampshire, Vermont, Mass, Connecticut, Maine, and Upstate New York.

I have a professional sound system with a wireless mic which enables me to go out into the audience as well.

 

I keep my rates reasonable, as I know too well the problems I have as an activity director finding talented performers who are within my budget.

 

Please feel free to email me me off my website if you'd like more info on my specialized senior shows, such as booking info, rates, etc.

Would love to perform for your seniors.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To answer some of the questions on this page:

 

-I have paid entertainers come in every monday, as well as a few other times throughout the month.

 

-i love it when entertainers are prepared as well. Unfortuanately most i've run into are not.

-mostly all my performers are really great with my residents, and are nice to them. This is a requirement in my eyes.

-I love it when they remember some of their names (this is for entertainers who come here regularly as it would be hard if they only came once every 4 months or so)

-I'm also not happy with entertainers who "preach" to my residents, and also don't like it when they try to sell their cd's to them (helloo...these people are in nursing homes, and retirement centers and do not have much money in most cases).

I do not do this when i perform. If i have someone that asks me for a cd, i usually keep a stash of cd's i've burned that i can just give them out as demos and not charge. I also keep on hand my 8X10 to give out if anyone asks for it.

I consider this a cost of doing business and a great bonus for the facility.

 

- i like when entertainers play a variety of music, and when they play stuff that the residents can sing along.

 

-when booking entertainers i like it if they send me info by mail or if they have a website i can check out. i don't like it when they expect me to book them from just a telephone call. I like to check things out first and if an entertainer follows up and sends me the info, and or has a website i can look at, i feel like they are really professional and i have no qualms about booking.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It's nice meeting you all :-)Shana

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Hello everyone! As a musician, I am always looking for ways to improve my performances for folks living in assisted living facilities etc. And also, I would like to learn how various ADs and facilities utilize musical entertainers as part of their activities and programs. I was hoping I could start a conversation about this and to get some responses from people across the country.

 

Best way to respond to this is probably to cut and paste and then enter your responses:

So, here goes:

 

1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

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1. Yes we have live country music every Wednesday from 1:30 - 3:00. Then on Thursdays we have a lady come in and do karoake for 1 hour and once a month we have a singer come in and we have our birthday party for all the residents that have a birthday that month and he sings all different types of music, but over all its mostly country music.

 

 

 

3. They are paid entertainers.

 

 

 

4. Country music and between 30's and 50's.

 

 

5. I feel that the music should be what they used to listen to and the music that they grew up.

 

 

6. I think that the facility did a good job on choicing the groups that they did no matter what there is always someone that won't like what is played or the band.

 

 

7. The facility will now what the residents like and if you decide that you would like to play in a nursing home then you should know what the music is that they would like to play i grew up in the 70's and thats the music I like. I guess it depends on the era.

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  • 1 month later...

We have a Music Therapist (and Music Therapy Intern) in our facility. She has created a Resident Jug Band and a Tone Chime Choir that each practice at least once per week (a great activity in itself). They go to jug band competitions with other facilities. The Tone Chime Choir does performances in the community. Perhaps you could check into facilities who have their own music groups . . . then you get the benefit of their talents, and they get to perform . . . a definite WIN-WIN situation. I must say . . . they are AMAZING!!!!!

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1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs? Yes we would bring in live music at least 3 times a month.

 

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

 

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both? My budget would only allow for one paid - the rest where volunteers

 

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy? I felt like they liked it all - but they always love hymns- they remember all the words.

 

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repertoire? Elvis

 

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility? I have had a entertainer try to preach his religious beliefs to the residents - which is not what I asked him there for, and found really unprofessional. I don't like it when the performer brings family members that just lounge around, unless they are part of the program.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

 

Karen

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  • 2 weeks later...

1. Does your facility involve live musical entertainment in its activities programs?

----Yes, a weekly guitarist for 1 hour, and an every other week pianist for 30 minutes

2. If not, is there a specific reason...would you consider using live musical entertainment?

----N/A

3. If you utilize live musical entertainment, do you use volunteers only, paid entertainers or both?

----Paid - $100 each time for the guitarist, and the pianist is already paid $150 each week to come for the IL side, he just splits it every other week and comes to us first

4. Are there any specific types of music your clients especially enjoy?

----Anything they can sing along to. I have to admit that I don't recognize a lot of the songs, but the residents do, and that's what matters. The guitarist plays a lot of old folk songs (I recognize Harvest Moon and Mr. Bojangles) and the pianist plays more classic stuff like New York, New York, The Girl From Ipanema, etc

5. Are there any specific songs you think musicians should have in their repetoire?

----I think it's a good idea to know a lot of holiday songs. We asked our guitarist to try to focus on that all through December, and while he did play a couple of seasonal songs each time, he stuck to his regular set for the most part, which was disappointing.

6. Is there anything you wish musicians would do (or not do) when they perform at your facility?

----OK, this is a big one for me. We are actually getting ready to fire the guitarist. He is so rude. Yes, he is talented, and yes, the residents like him, but he is so full of himself. He doesn't want anyone to talk or get up or do anything while he is performing. The problem is that um, hello, we're a retirement community, residents need stuff in the middle of the show, or you have to explain to a resident what's going on when they suddenly go "Where am I? I need to pick up my kids." Also, his performances are weekly "cocktail parties" - we started calling them that because we tried having a open bar at first, but the residents are really not interested in it. So we have sodas and a fruit and cheese tray done very fancy. Well, they all want something to eat, and some of them need help eating, like they can pick food up and put it in their mouth OK, but the glass is too heavy to hold, so I need to go over every few minutes to each one that needs assistance and lift the glass up to them so they can drink out of the straw. He acts so irritated when I do those things, and he's even said rude things before. (Oh yes, and I would bring the residents to the room early and feed them first, but he comes 30 minutes early to tune up and practice, and I don't feel right making them sit there during the whole show with the refreshment table just gleaming at them "You can't have any.")

 

Anyway, one time during a performance, a new resident had come in that day, and I hadn't met him yet. He was walking the hall right then, and I got up and went over to him (out of the actual room, but still close) and introduced myself and we talked. When the guitarist finished the song, he came over and said "Um, the show is over here, we all really need to save our visiting for afterwards" or something like that. I was really new then, so I didn't call him out on it. At the Halloween show, we were behind the counter (behind him) at the sink, discussing how to thicken a Coca-Cola for a resident on thickened liquids. We were talking in low voices. When he finished the song, he turned to us and said "That was a really wonderful song. You could have enjoyed it if you hadn't been talking" and then he went right into another song. We were just stunned, but again, let it pass. But recently, he was rude in front of my assistant when I wasn't there (I'm usually not there - I have him come every Friday, which is one of my off days, because I can't stand him), and she told the Resident Services Director about it, and so she asked me if he is like this and I had to tell her yes. What he did this time was a resident had a visitor arrive during the show. This resident always sits near the doorway, and she and the visitor greeted each other and talked quietly for a moment because they hadn't seen each other in a long time. The guitarist stopped his song and said "You two need to do your visiting in the other room, OK?" That was the final straw. We're now looking for another performer to replace him. He was fired from Sea Island for similar behavior, which we knew when we hired him, but it was OK at first. So yeah, what I don't like entertainers to do is be too full of themselves.

 

7. Any other thoughts, ideas or comments?

----It's a good idea to meet with the AD before your first performance (or even for a minute before each performance) when no residents are around to learn about any resident quirks. I had to explain to them that one resident chants "Right right right" and "God Help Us" over and over, but that's just her thing, and she does like to sing along, so if you keep the songs coming, it minimizes how much she can chant. I have another resident with hx of CVA and Parkinsons who is mute for the most part, but will start screaming out of the blue. That's the kind of thing that's good to know ahead of time. Otherwise, you'd be all, "Oh my god, what's wrong? Should we call an ambulance?!?" when the resident is totally fine.

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I've been a full time entertainer on the Senior Circuit in the Dayton/CBus/Cincy market for almost 13 years. Its funny, when I started out I was the new guy, now I'm the old veteran...

 

Many, many good ideas, approaches, etc. mentioned in this thread. Here's a few of mine...

 

My schedule is quite full, so its been awhile since I actually went cold calling a facility for work. I have a huge number of repeat business clients, for which I'm very thankful. I do have a pretty nice website with everything from audio, schedules, references, etc. I've booked a fair amount of new business annually from this website which helps cover that cost.

 

My approach is to attempt to touch, in one way or the other, every resident I possibly can during a performance. I won't touch them all the same way, but whether its verbally, facially, physically, etc, I usually see some evidence of a reaction to my music. There are, of course, some who are in a sedated state or are simply unable to exhibit any easily recognizable signs of pleasure. We do what we can...There's several residents who can't talk, move or anything...but, they open their eyes while I sing...its that kind of stuff you really have to work hard sometimes to notice.

 

I bring in an arranger keyboard that sounds awesome. I also use a very good and heavy PA system. Its sounds terrific and I think that really makes a difference.

 

I actually "play" every song. 100% of all the chord changes, voicings, etc. are being played live. MY keyboard "follows me"...not the other way around. I've heard more and more criticism towards karaoke style performers. Many in this market are charging very high fees and simply not worth it, I'm told. Often the residents are turned off by this style of entertainment in favor of actual musicians who can sing and also play an actual instrument. Some people think owning an MP3 player, a mic and a crappy PA qualifies you to entertain their residents...Anyone can buy all the equipment in the world...it won't make a lousy performer charming, will it?

 

I do not "dress"...If the client wants, I will wear a tux but its pretty rare. Normally I'm in a business casual type clothes...I leave costumes to others...

 

I play a variety of Big band, oldies, country, gospel, latin, polkas and seasonal songs during my visits. I try and purposefully play a lot of songs during my show that other performers DON'T play. I find the 50's and the 60's as the most popular right now in this area, with a healthy dose of country thrown in as well. ON the gospel stuff, I never preach...period...I'm not there to do that. I play them for the musical value and significance those songs have. I play them respectfully and with great feeling I'm told, but that's it...no sermons from me...

 

I also talk to the audience frequently throughout the show...It's not scripted...I can't tell you what I'm going to say until I start playing..I get a feel for most audiences...some are simply more aware than others and that guides me. I may tell a story about my kids, my wife, I may play name that tune with them, name that lyric, or some other quick music trivia type game.

 

I keep the show moving and mostly upbeat. I also play it on the loud side and constantly get comments about how its nice that they can actually hear the music, lol...

 

I also make sure I do a few tunes using just my piano and maybe some strings as opposed to a full arrangement with drums, horns, etc. Its the change in dynamics that quite often "makes" the show. I bring them up, I bring them down. I might play All Shook Up and Hey Good Lookin, then go into In The Garden, followed by Alley Cat or Hello Mary Lou....

 

I do a few tunes every show so there's a continuity for them to stay comfortable with but then I challenge them with different tunes every visit as well. There's so much great music that other performers chose not to perform that I really think they're missing a great opportunity. I don't play obscure things or make them feel like they're not "in the know" but do bring back old songs they've just not heard in a while. As far as requests go, usually they ask for good songs so I'm happy to oblige, If its something that's likely only important to them, I usually apologize and say I don't have it. I need to try and please as many as possible during my time with them, and try not to get off on a tangent with one resident.

 

I am quite blessed to be able to do this for my living. I average about 400 shows a year for seniors and they are by far my favorite audience. I love their style and their grace and they seem to enjoy my interpretations of "their" music. The best compliment I ever got was from a long time AD who said, "Bill, I have other performers who are as good as you musically but they're not nearly as comfortable or as warm with my residents as I'd like. Likewise, I have other performers who are really great with my people but they aren't so good musically...you're the complete package!"

 

Thanks to all AD's who feel live music is a valuable part of programming!

Edited by BillinDayton
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