You may have read about GreenAngels' involvement with this wonderful music program created for people with dementia in our previous article. It is truly amazing to see how familiar songs can evoke powerful memories and emotions.
What we’ve learned as well, is that it’s never too late to learn something new. A local residence for people with dementia has recently started a very popular choir group. The choir leader asked if we could make a couple of ‘special’ playlists for a particular resident who insisted he doesn’t like music and has never sang—not even in the shower. She’s now convinced him to join and he loves it! Here’s the email we received the other day:
“After listening to the playlist for the first time he said, ‘You know I really enjoyed that!’ (and you could tell he really did). This is a man who had sworn 'he just doesn't like music'. He has since joined in with the choir and the community whenever we have played community-chosen songs on a bluetooth speaker. I think that he just didn’t know what he likes in music and music programs were intimidating—he just felt uncomfortable. We would like to come up with more songs to add to his iPod.”
We were also asked to make a special playlist for a resident who is a classical pianist and is the accompanist to the choir. A list with just one song, repeated ten times. This was an experiment to see if he would learn to play a new tune. Here’s what happened:
“This fellow has listened to his 'Sing, Sing a Song' iPod just a handful of times, prior to choir rehearsal, and it’s been so exciting to watch him learn this song. Each time he comes further along in the song and at the third rehearsal he made it through in its entirety two times! It's still not perfect, but perfection wasn't what I ever expected. It’s amazing to watch him and the rest of the choir learn this piece.That is one of the components that makes this choir so special—the ability to provide a learning and growing experience that we all need to feel productive in our lives.”
This wonderful program requires volunteers and donations. Please find out how you can help improve the lives of our loved ones with dementia.