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  • Writer's pictureKate Millett

"I’m finally out of that bed, and I want to celebrate.”

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Musicians: Graham Hughes (double bass and voice) and Kate Millett (Ukulele and voice)

Resident G was sitting up in his chair smiling when we visited him on Thursday — a very different man from the one we saw a few days earlier.

“Yes, please some music! I’m finally out of that bed, and I want to celebrate.”

- Resident G, BSL

He hummed along as we played to him and thanked us profusely. G has been distressed, down and isolated in the last few months, so seeing him up and about, and able to enjoy the music was very encouraging.

“Entertainment makes such a difference for him. He’s very social, and needs these visits.”

- BSL carer

We have been trying to carry out musical activities at BSL a few times a week, but, unfortunately, as Covid continues, care home residents are still experiencing prolonged isolation.

We met a new resident in the dining room on the 2nd floor. V was sitting with G.H, who proudly introduced us! V said she was a music fan and would be happy to hear anything. When we started playing Danny Boy, both her and G.H sang along. They both also started dancing, enthusiastically, with their arms when we played Dean Martin’s Sway. It was interesting to see the two women responding to each very different piece of music with movement, song and emotion. It was G.H’s birthday and, although she was focused on the music, she kept one eye on the window. From there she could see her son sitting on the bench below - Covid’s equivalent of a birthday visit. When I saw him later on, still sitting on his bench.

“She understands I can’t go inside, but I want her to know I haven’t forgotten her.”

- D, BSL resident's son

S on the 1st floor put in a couple of song requests. She was very curious about Graham and his Double Bass and wanted to chat. We did a couple of bedroom visits and were able to celebrate J’s birthday with her:“Happy”, she said, with a big smile. She even tapped her foot along to the music, which is unusual for her as she is partially paralyzed. Rhythm, often unconsciously, gets people moving. It activates the motor cortex and the subcortical motor systems, so is an incredible tool for people who have lost mobility. J’s foot tapping is definitely something we can encourage!

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