• Kate Millett

The secret to looking 20 years younger...

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

Musician: Ben Hazleton (Double Bass)

“I’m planning on writing a new song! It’s about Lorry Drivers and I want it to be Bluesy!”

- Resident J.C, BSL

We were thrilled to hear J.C was feeling creative, his previous Spitz songs have been hits and are even making an appearance on our Spitz album (coming later this year.) Ben began playing some Blues classics, inviting J.C to jam with him, and Kate accompanied with a couple of our Percussion Plus instruments. J.C was so focused on collaborating musically. He maintained eye contact and made sure we were all matching each other's tempo.

We had a party on the 2nd floor. Gladys, one of BSL’s carers, who we work quite closely with, brought a few music loving residents into the dining room, handed out the freshly sanitized treasure trove of percussion instruments, and danced with incredible energy. A.R loved the drums and wanted to try them all. She held them while she danced with Gladys too. At one point she sat down and suddenly started crying.

“It’s all coming back to me...I used to love to dance.”

- Resident A.R, BSL

Another resident, M, also joined in. She liked the Maracas. Although she’s in a wheelchair, she kept trying to move one of her legs like a “flapper dancer.”

G.H only had eyes for Ben, and refused to be distracted by anything else. Ben later described how powerful her connection to the music had been:

“We fixed our gazes together and as she conducted expressively with arm, body and face, following, and indeed leading turns of melodic and harmonic resolution, I realised she was giving me a music lesson.”

- Ben, musician

E.J did some Spoken Word while Ben played. She read some of her favourite poems - Tyger Tyger and some Shakespeare - and it was flawless. Kate hummed along and used the Rainstick which she was very interested in:

“I’ve never seen anything like this before!”

- Resident E.J, BSL

In the dining room we sat with S. She was drawing and showed me all her colouring pencils. Ben played as Kate showed her the different percussions. She couldn’t believe her eyes and seemed drawn to their beautiful colours, She kept laughing and reaching out for them, but would then suddenly pull back as though she was nervous to touch them. Their presence almost overwhelmed her and she soon sat back exhausted.

We sang Happy Birthday to O on the 1st floor. She was having some cake with N.J and wanted us to join her. N.J was particularly excited to see the suitcase of percussions, which he remembered from the day before:

“Oh you’ve come back!”

- Resident N.J, BSL

“I'm 94 today...but I don’t expect to be here this time next year.”

- Resident O, BSL

We couldn’t believe her. We thought she was late 70s and told her so. When asked her what her skincare secrets are! She said:

“Happiness and the Northumberland air.”

- Resident O, BSL

Before heading off we popped into S again as promised. We played her a bit of Bob Marley and she sang along! Hearing her vocalise full sentences was amazing!

“I love Bob Marley! That was Fantastic!”

- Resident S, BSL

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