This afternoon I had my first taste of my new volunteer placement. I am volunteering to bring live music to the residents (and to the carers) of an alzheimers home. As I waited for the other volunteers to arrive, a resident was invited to play the keyboard – and she played, falteringly, ‘There is a Green Hill Far Away’. As the other volunteers arrived, she went back to her chair, and I started playing the tune she had played on my violin – just the start, and she joined in. It felt important to affirm this song back to her, as, for some reason it had stayed with her, despite her dementia.
The session lasted half an hour, and was a rattle through some old music hall favourites, as well as ‘What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor’ which got one of the residents dancing. It was wonderful to see such a high staff:patient ratio, and to see the carers singing to their clients, holding their hands, and connecting with them.
I can’t wait for next week!