Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This weekend I am finalizing plans for some upcoming changes to the blog, including a new name and a new focus that I think readers will enjoy.  I've been toying with the idea for quite a while.  The new focus will be interviews with everyday normal guitar / uke / bass / banjo players about their favorite instruments. 

There is still a lot of prep work to do, including a new blog format and possibly a new web site.  So hang on for a little while longer.

Articles about singing to/with senior adults will still be a regular feature because that is my first musical love and passion.  My new goal will be to post one informative article a week on a regular basis. 

God's grace, and new adventures, still amaze me . . . ><>

Friday, November 4, 2016

A "Good Book" recommendation . . .

I would like to recommend a book for those who are thinking about singing to senior adults, especially if something keeps causing you to abandon your plan using either of these excuses:

-"I just don't have the time," or
-"I'll do it when I'm less busy at work."

I wrote these two specific excuses as examples because I have used them numerous times in my life.  I knew at age 17 that I wanted a career singing to kids in camps, libraries and schools, and to senior adults wherever they gathered or lived.  I didn't start doing either on a regular basis until my late 40's. I may have been 48.  I'll be 60 my next birthday.  That's a lot of years not doing what I wanted to do.

The title of the book is "The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity."  The author is Julia Cameron.

I'm working slowly (on purpose) through this book, and I am finding it to be very helpful as I endeavor to work through a bit of "creativity block" in my life at the present time.  I've put off doing a couple of things musically over the years for the reasons I listed above.  This book is helping me to slowly reform my thoughts.  I am journaling again most everyday thanks to the suggestions Julia Cameron offers in the book. That was worth the price of purchase for me alone.

I think I got the book for around $11 from Amazon.com.  I believe it costs $17 at Barnes & Noble.  If you are a creative at heart, then this book might be of benefit to  you.

God's grace, and good books, still amaze me . . . ><>

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Elderly Man In Nursing Home Reacts To Music From His Era





I found this video to be simply fascinating.  I've had a couple of similar experiences over the years when I have performed music for senior adults in nursing home / long term care facilities.  They will be unresponsive, until I sing a song from "back in their day."  It's pretty amazing to watch them when they seem to "come alive." 

Many years ago, I sang at a memory care center in Georgetown, Texas.  Back then, I always finished my program with the old gospel hymn, "The Great Physician."  An elderly woman was slumped into a wheelchair at the back of the room next to the nurses station.  Her eyes were glazed.  She was physically alive, and perhaps that was about it. When I began to sing, "The Great Physician," she sat up in her wheelchair and sang every word with me in a voice as clear as the ringing of a bell.

Sweetest note in seraph song . . .
Sweetest name on mortal tongue . . .
Sweetest carol ever sung . . .
Jesus blessed Jesus. 

Many of the staff, who were present at that moment, began to cry.  I did as well. At the time I didn't know what was going on.  Before I left the facility, one of the therapists explained what they believe had happened, and that it is a blessed moment when one of the older men or women can temporarily leave the prison that their minds and bodies become due to old age and health related issues.

If you can sing . . . go out and sing.  It may be a very special blessing.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>