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Hello everyone from The Music Lady


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that's what my clients call me! I am writing a book about the music program I have been devising for seniors with short-term memory losses, I would welcome hearing more about what activity directors feel would benefit their client groups. Someone said to me last week they feel the music and entertainment industry does not always meet the needs of seniors- is that a common view?

 

I try to engage all clients I am involved with, get to know their names, their interests and families. Sometimes it's not possible because some places only hire me once every two or three months for example, but I find it's the personal touch which makes a difference as to how successful music activities are. The greater the 'comfort zone' the more people participate! And it's their participation which generates fresh ideas and a lively program.

 

I'd love to hear activity directors comments!

 

~Tracy Pace

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that's what my clients call me! I am writing a book about the music program I have been devising for seniors with short-term memory losses, I would welcome hearing more about what activity directors feel would benefit their client groups. Someone said to me last week they feel the music and entertainment industry does not always meet the needs of seniors- is that a common view?

 

I try to engage all clients I am involved with, get to know their names, their interests and families. Sometimes it's not possible because some places only hire me once every two or three months for example, but I find it's the personal touch which makes a difference as to how successful music activities are. The greater the 'comfort zone' the more people participate! And it's their participation which generates fresh ideas and a lively program.

 

I'd love to hear activity directors comments!

 

~Tracy Pace

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  • 3 months later...

I am new to this board and am an Activities Director (or Healthy Lifestyles Director) in Tennessee. I am really interested in the music discussion because I have a music degree and, since I have been working at my facility for the past year, I have included a great variety of music into the activities. I feel this is very important in their lives. The residents relate to the music and I can relate to them with my music.

 

I am starting a "music therapy" activitiy in September where I will either play the piano or keyboard (I brought in my own keyboard) and play cd's that are very soothing. I am not sure how to include the deep breathing exercises into the music, but I will figure it out before then. I also sing (my major is voice) quite a bit. I have a very low alto voice that I have found is more soothing than a high soprano voice.

 

We have two other good singers on staff and one of them plays the guitar. So we have put together a trio and everyone loves it. When we practice, we let the residents hear us (we do it in the living room) and they all enjoy it, even when we make mistakes. We just laugh and then they all laugh.

 

We also have a resident who is very sick and is in bed most of the time now. So, I will go in and sing in a very low tone some of her favorite hymns and she seems to relax. That's what her sitters say, anyway. I hope it is helping her. I used to sing like that for my grandson when he was a baby, and he would stop crying, so I thought it should work with the residents, also.

 

I think that "live" music should be used more and more in assisted living facilities. I will get everyone together and have them come down to the living room when I have a few minutes either before lunch or before dinner and just play the piano. It's not a scheduled activity--just at that moment. When I stop playing, they say, "keep playing", so they must enjoy it. I have to tell them to go eat--they just keep sitting there. It's not that I'm so good (because I make mistakes when I play), but I just think they really enjoy listening.

 

Anyway, I think the use of music in assisted living facilities should be explored more. Does anyone else have any experiences similar to mine? Thanks for reading, Linda

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