Today I had the privilege of working with the charity Music in Hospitals. It's a charity that takes live music to those that cant go to concerts, due to mobility or ill health.
So today I visited a hospital in Edinburgh for two performances covering songs from the 50's right up to present day.
It was a great day filled with people singing along, dancing and sharing stories with what the songs meant to them. It was tough going, 40 odd songs over the two performances, but very cool to be involved bringing music to the people in the ward.
After I had finished, I got given some feedback that stopped me in my tracks. The nurse in charge told me that it was pretty emotional to see how the music had affected the clients especial one lady in question. The nurse said to me that it was a pretty rough day due to the old ladies health and as a result, she was frustrated and was becoming violent to the staff.
The nurse informed this was right up until my arrival this was a situation that was taking up most of the nurse observation in the ward. The music and atmosphere created by everyone joining in changed the mood instantly and as a result soothed the situation to a regular pattern.
It's amazing how powerful music is; it's astounding the effect it can have on people no matter if it's a three-chord song, if its classical music, country music or heavy metal.
so in the words of Shakespear "when words fail, music speaks."
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William Simpson Home in Stirling was the venue for today's concert through the charity Music In Hospitals. It is a large home with 65+ residents. Upon arrival, I was very impressed with their events planning. Within the central area of the building, there is a board that shows all the different events planned, and it was full.
I planned a programme for the clients covering lots of different genres. The events planner asked for rock music, so that was a bonus. Due to my experience with working with the charity, I was aware of what tracks would go down well, and they are still in the setlist these days. The classics are Johnny Cash Folsom Prison, Dean Martins version of Lil Ole wine drinker me and many others.
The clients were very active and vocal in the performance, singing along and requesting songs. The best request was Iron Maidens wasted years. I was especially pleased with this being a massive metal fan. The great thing about the performance and the same with others is the seeing the enjoyment on the client's faces. There is something about music that is magical. The way that song brings back memories and the way that it unites people who may be in pain. The way music can transport you away is mystic.