• Thom Rowlands

Classical Monday II

Updated: Aug 23

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

Alice Zawadzki chatted to Spitz GM Thom Rowlands about the second Classical Monday at Bridgeside Lodge:


"We had a lovely session, we started off by rehearsing some of our classical repertoire for the Classical Mondays franchise! We were getting into Vivaldi again, it's amazing. It's music of depth that just keeps giving. You discover new landscapes and layers. It's full of little secret codes and meanings - pretty cool."


Alice and Ben first visited resident J.


"J is non-verbal but can express her meaning through facial expressions but I'd never seen her make that expression before. Every other time we've been in to play music for her, she's smiled in a way that's very welcoming, but on this occasion...I got a really strong impression that it wasn't the right time. Her partner was at the window, visiting. I felt that we had intruded on a moment between the pair them. As soon as I saw that, we scuttled out and left them to it. We'll try again next time. It's great that she has that agency [to say no] you gotta respect it and it's absolutely fair enough."


The consistency and regularity of our sessions at Bridgeside Lodge has facilitated a level of trust between musicians and residents. It is vital that our work be enabled and welcomed by residents. It is a two-way process and not one in which music or conversation is 'forced' upon them. It is important that residents feel able to say no to a visit and we do not consider it a 'failure' when this happens. As Alice says; "we'll try again next time."


"We had some really interesting conversations with EJ, who was

a delight, as always, about the different colours that are evoked

by different [musical] keys. We talked about our instruments and

she was full of really thoughtful questions. She's great."


Ben and Alice played for a gentleman who has been resident at BSL since the start of the pandemic. They described his as seeming "increasingly sad". We've seen him go from being up and about, very mobile to being in bed the majority of the time. They described their session with him as feeling very significant.


"He kept saying how much he appreciated us being there and

how wonderful it was. For all of the things he's struggling with,

his dementia and with his physical ailments, he's still got so much

etiquette. Old-school manners, very politely spoken. He just really

enjoyed it, swaying along. I would imagine he would have been a

classical music fan. Maybe that's a bit presumptuous of me,

sometimes you can just tell."




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