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  • Writer's pictureKate Millett

Words, Words, Words

Musician: Kate Millett (ukulele & voice)

There was a sleepy feeling around Bridgeside Lodge on Thursday when I visited for another experimental session. On my last visit some of the residents had responded well to describing the moods they felt from different chords. This week I wanted to try something else “mood related”. I started in G.B’s room. He was pleased to see a visitor and we began to chat. G.B is a deep thinker and conversation with him often turns philosophical, however, in recent months he has deteriorated and suffered from low-mood. As he chatted to me about the trees he could see from his window, I improvised on the ukulele, trying to match the mood of his story. This worked well for a while as the music seemed to encourage him to talk. We easily fell into a matching rhythm. However, after a while G.B suddenly stopped talking. I kept playing quietly, waiting to see what he would do. It soon became apparent though that G.B had fallen fast asleep…

Leaving G.B to his slumber, I went downstairs to the 2nd floor. G.H was sitting in the communal area by the dining room with J and called me in to sit with them. Every week G.H’s son gives her a notebook full of words, to help her in her efforts to re-learn how to write. She showed these to me, excitedly and I suggested we put them together and make them into a song. G.H really enjoyed this activity, pointing out her favourite words (“music” being one of them), and singing along with me. She enjoyed taking the lead on the melody line but sometimes got carried away, ignoring the words and freestyling with “Las and Dahs” instead. Although she didn’t want our singing to be recorded, she was very happy for me to take a photo of the notebooks, after which she proudly kissed the pages. Throughout this exchange, J clapped along, clearly interested, and laughing at some of the words.

I tried to visit E.J again too. Last time we made up a story based on chord changes which E.J had really enjoyed. Unfortunately today she was busy playing an intense game of Dominoes so I decided not to bother her!

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