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  • Writer's pictureBen Hazleton

A musical challenge

Musicians: Alice Zawadzki (violin) Ben Hazleton (double bass)

On Wednesday Alice was giving her voice a much needed rest, so the session was entirely instrumental, focussing on the work of Arcangelo Corelli. Corelli was a well-respected Italian composer and violinist in the Baroque period. His music was key in the development of the modern genres of sonata and concerto, in establishing the preeminence of the violin, and as the first coalescing of modern tonality and functional harmony. In layman's terms, many of the elements of music which we take absolutely for granted (chords, melodies etc) were being established during this time. So he's kind of a big deal.

Ben and Alice sat with resident JG and explained that today was a Corelli day. She didn't think it was going to be her cup of tea but as things turned out she really enjoyed! We try to challenge residents with music. Meaning that we don't simply play what we know they like or request. "I don't like classical music, I don't like jazz". Give it a try, you never know! In this way, we are introducing new ideas, new musical concepts to residents. We're sure that this mental challenge must be good for the brain. (although we have no scientific/proven evidence for this as yet).

When we visit JG, she increasingly doesn't recognise us, but through music she remembers. She sings along to music old and new. Her soprano voice rising above Spitz musicians and their instruments, sometimes picking out the melody, sometimes harmonising, but always as a collaborating participant, never as a mere audience member.

Upstairs, resident GB was in excellent spirits thoroughly enjoying the music. He was very chatty and showed Ben and Alice lots of photos of his family and his travels. Ben remarked upon GB's amazing transformation since his last visit, as he had previously thought GB was near the end.

"He's really perked up the last few weeks. I reckon that is

the power of visitors. At one point he wasn’t really having

any because he had become bed-bound and they weren’t

allowed indoors. It's great to see. Long may it continue."

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