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Mepap2 Final Practicum Wednesday SingALong Play by Play

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Professional Development Practicum: Wednesday Sing-A-Long January 2018 by Cynthia Karnes, MEPAP2 100317, cynkarnes@gmail.com


​Every Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, Willowbrooke Court (WBC) hosts a Sing-A-Long for the residents. Initially, the program was led by 2 Residents that live in the Independent Living area of our community. BR plays the piano. And AJ leads the residents in song. Currently, AJ has taken a break from leading and our Activity Staff, Cynthia Karnes, is leading the residents in the Sing-A-Long. This activity is one of our most successful programs. Every resident that attends enjoys singing or listening to songs that they grew up with. Also, the music quality of itself is healing and soothing to the soul. Below is written to begin at 3PM, when Activity Staff arrives, includes supplies, and also provide instruction for new Activity Staff or a mature Volunteer to lead the Activity & Singing at WBC: (This article is written specifically to reflect the current culture of Activities at WBC. Information is subject to change based on staffing, IL Resident Volunteer involvement, and Cokesbury current activity programming. Please adapt this activity based on your facility’s programming, staffing & culture):


3:00 to 3:55PM

• Set up piano: you will have to first arrange the residents in a half circle, but pull them back as far as they can go against the room. Then move the piano in place and plug it into the multi plug outlet, be careful not to run over the cord.

• For those using a microphone: depending on your system, this would be a good time to set this up and have it ready. You will need to plug the wireless box into the speaker and multi plug outlet and set it up on the lower cabinet in front of the flat screen TV. Hook microphone onto microphone stand until ready to use. It would help to position the music stand, so you can place your music packet on it in the event you have to hold the microphone in one hand (since the microphone stand is broken).

• At the same time, you will have to manage the volunteers that come in and direct them to take their belongings to the lounge, sign in, and put their nametag on.

• Then you have to direct the volunteers to assist with the afternoon snack, if you have volunteers signed up.

• And while you are directing the volunteers, you are also trying to invite residents to the afternoon snack and Sing-A-Long; intercept residents that are brought out and delivered to sitting area (area outside activity room with limited viewing and decreased ability to hear the activity); set up the room to ensure there is enough space for as many residents that can fit along the wall; retrieving song books that are now stored in a black cube bin in AD office, labeled Sing-A-Long; assist in setting up, delivering, and cleaning up afternoon snack, and retrieve an ice water with a lid and straw for BR.


3:55 to 4:00PM

• Hand out songbooks to appropriate residents (those who can actually utilize them) but make sure you keep a copy for yourself. Have volunteers assist with this and make sure everyone is on Page 1 (after cover page)

• Direct volunteers to assist with page turning. If you have student volunteers, like myself, you will literally have to direct them to specific tasks like telling one volunteer to assist the left side of the room and then the other volunteer the right side of the room. And if any resident requires assistance holding a packet, you may utilize an extra volunteer or try to position it on their body or use a tray table, if available


4:00 to 5:00PM

• Turn off TV, announce the Sing-A-Long with BR and begin at Song Number 1. Stand by BR, facing the residents, to lead the singing.

• Continue to direct Volunteers to assist in page turning and jump in while you are leading the singing (If you are all alone, no volunteers, do the best you can to assist in page turning and trying to lead the singing at the same time).

• Keep an eye out for any residents that are brought out and left at sitting area. While you are leading the singing, managing the volunteers, and trying to assist with the page turning, you also have to retrieve/invite any residents that come late and provide a sitting place for them.

• At the end, thank everyone, especially your wonderful IL Resident Volunteer, who played the piano, provide any announcements for the rest of the evening program

• Ask student volunteers to assist in cleaning up and to assist Residents into the dining room for dinner.


***In the event that BR, who plays the piano, cancels or does not show up then you have to get Plan B in place, which is the set of song books and a CD that accompanies the songbooks. Retrieve this in the AD’s office in black cube bin labeled Eldersong and retrieve the first packet that also has 5 additional song binders. You will also need the remote to the BlueRay DVD player so you can turn the TV on and change the imput to the HDMI port it is on. Play the CD and sing along with the pre-recorded singers. The majority of the songs are sung 2x and in order of the packet. Have volunteers, if present, assist with handing out song books and turning pages. Make sure you keep one for yourself to lead the singing.

Below are some Plan Bs, Cs, and Ds:

• For those who do not have Eldersong or similar packets like this but who do have the ability to mirror YouTube on the TV: Prairie Hills Senior Living Sing Along or Sing Along with Susie Q. Susie has a list of songs where she plays the piano, sings, and the words are written on the screen.

• If you do not have the ability to Mirror on the TV, but you have a way to play music like an iPad with a speaker or a Boom Box that plays CDs: Create typed music packets ahead of time with large print to hand out.

• Another idea is to check out your local Library for Karaoke CDs or DVDs.

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