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Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...

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Mudlark 11 Nov 01 - 04:58 AM
Cappuccino 11 Nov 01 - 05:33 AM
Mooh 11 Nov 01 - 06:54 AM
GUEST,Fortunato 11 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM
Willa 11 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM
Willa 11 Nov 01 - 09:31 AM
Deckman 11 Nov 01 - 12:16 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM
brid widder 11 Nov 01 - 12:31 PM
pavane 11 Nov 01 - 12:49 PM
VoxFox 11 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM
Mudlark 11 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 11 Nov 01 - 03:41 PM
Deckman 11 Nov 01 - 07:26 PM
53 11 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM
Mary in Kentucky 11 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM
Tiger 11 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM
VoxFox 12 Nov 01 - 01:04 AM
Mr Red 12 Nov 01 - 07:51 AM
PaulBobbyBuzz 12 Nov 01 - 12:44 PM
jeffp 12 Nov 01 - 12:58 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Nov 01 - 03:51 PM
jeffp 12 Nov 01 - 03:54 PM
Deckman 12 Nov 01 - 04:33 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 12 Nov 01 - 05:00 PM
Deckman 12 Nov 01 - 08:01 PM
DancingMom 12 Nov 01 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,mcpiper (cookieless just now) 13 Nov 01 - 04:26 AM
Genie 14 Nov 01 - 01:46 AM
katlaughing 14 Nov 01 - 03:17 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 01 - 09:11 AM
Raptor 14 Nov 01 - 09:39 AM
MC Fat 14 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM
Louie Roy 14 Nov 01 - 05:11 PM
Steve in Idaho 14 Nov 01 - 06:18 PM
Deckman 14 Nov 01 - 07:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 01 - 07:52 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 14 Nov 01 - 07:54 PM
katlaughing 14 Nov 01 - 09:54 PM
Mudlark 14 Nov 01 - 11:15 PM
Deckman 14 Nov 01 - 11:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 15 Nov 01 - 08:53 AM
Raptor 15 Nov 01 - 11:36 AM
open mike 16 Nov 01 - 02:27 AM
GUEST,Genie 16 Nov 01 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Boab 16 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM
SeanM 16 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM
GUEST,Boab 16 Nov 01 - 03:52 AM
53 16 Nov 01 - 04:47 AM
Mudlark 17 Nov 01 - 02:16 AM
Marion 02 Aug 02 - 01:01 AM
Genie 02 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM
Genie 02 Aug 02 - 04:31 AM
Genie 02 Aug 02 - 02:56 PM
Genie 23 Sep 02 - 07:52 PM
GUEST 14 Oct 02 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,coloradoboy 30 May 10 - 05:06 AM
deepdoc1 30 May 10 - 10:25 AM
GUEST,Stevoe 28 Aug 10 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,NickF 23 Sep 10 - 07:59 PM
Genie 23 Sep 10 - 11:52 PM
Genie 24 Sep 10 - 12:04 AM
LadyJean 24 Sep 10 - 12:33 AM
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Tattie Bogle 28 Jan 13 - 05:22 AM
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Subject: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mudlark
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 04:58 AM

I'll be playing for the first time at a nursing home Monday for Hospice...will first play for group, then individually for any that are bedfast and would like it. I've been singing a long time, so have a lot of songs in my head, but many, tho melodic, have content that is not necessarily "pleasant." I'm wondering if I need to "censure" my repetoire...I would HATE for anybody to do that to me just because I was old...but on the other hand I don't want to offend anyone.

Kat says her Dad, at 84, plays for a nursing home audience and plays anything he feels like. Any other experience out there? The kinds of songs I'm wondering about are "rough" chanteys (Rueben Renzo, Go to Sea No More, for example), parodies like Rickety Tickety Tin, the mayhem of 18th c. folk songs, and gentle anti-war songs like Crow on the Cradle.

This Home has no religious affiliation and I know very few hymns, so will lean heavily on secular folk music.(br>

Maybe I should play it safe at first, then ask THEM if they would be offended....I'm flying blind here, have never done this before....


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Cappuccino
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 05:33 AM

I've done a few of these recently, and several of us agree that the biggest mistake to make is to underestimate the intelligence of people who are stuck in nursing homes. Apparently some people go in and sing them the most inane 'music-for-five-year-olds' gibberish, whereas of course these people have seen a lot and know a lot. If you respect their intelligence, you'll find they really are satisfying and appreciative audiences.

I've just re-read that last sentence and wonder if it sounds pompous instead of helpful... wasn't meant to be.

Hope it goes very well. - IanB


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 06:54 AM

There are classic songs of every era which are appropriate for every audience. Melody transcends infirmity, so start with those.

Find the songs of your audience's youth and experience. These days it might be songs between 50 and 80 years old.

Alot of music is timeless. So called Celtic music can work, whether it's actually more modern folk band stuff, slow aires, jigs and reels and songs from the past 200 years, or ancient melodies.

Even if the home isn't alligned with any particular religious denomination, many of its residents are, so hymns are a good idea. Old standards as opposed to modern gospel.

Songs relevant to the time of year. Old folks DO notice the passage of time and mark it with song. Seasonal songs, event songs, songs of Christmas, new year, Remembrance, Easter, Thanksgiving, anniversaries of world events...

Don't dumb it down. The audience is old, maybe infirm, but not stupid, and they don't like being patronized, or condescension.

Some melodies from the classical music world are popular.

Find out from the home staff what works, and ask them to let you know what they might hear from other sources.

Parodies, and humourous songs are good, but provide a mix of emotion, just as you would for other audiences.

Don't present everything the same way. Different styles, different instruments, and different posture from the performers will keep it interesting.

Good luck! This is good and worthy work.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Fortunato
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 08:44 AM

First, good on you for going. Second, you are right to be concerned. Mooh has told you how to "know your audience" above. My experience has been, and it's a good bit, that mostly anything you do will please them. They receive too few visitors and not enought attention. However, you'll receive the strongest reaction with songs they know. But don't let that stop you from going! Learn a few, maybe Bye Bye Blackbird, or The Tennesee Waltz. Then sing your favorites. You can search for the Hit Parade and figure your audience was 'young' in 1945. Remember they have enough sadness in their lives; they want to cheered up! If you sing songs they can pat their feet to and clap their hands a bit, you'll come away feeling like a million dollars. I would sing "Froggy went a courting" and "The Sheik of Araby" and "Folsom Prison". Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Willa
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 09:02 AM

There are several threads on similar topics, and many mudcatters already sing to people in nursing/retirement homes, so I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice.Perhaps you could write down a list of songs you do know, and let your audience select from that. If you're likely to be singing on a regular basis then you can ask for songs they would like you to sing in the future - mudcat is a wonderful resource for finding seemingly 'lost' lyrics. The best of luck, whatever you decide to do. Don't forget to ask your audience to sing along!


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Willa
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 09:31 AM

The thread started on May 1st, titled 'Tune req: Sing-a-long songs from the 20's and 30's', may be useful.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 12:16 PM

Hey Mudlark, Good for you. My parents have been living in nursing homes for the last dozen years, so I have LOTS of experience, and experiences. You've already received plenty of advice. I especially echo ... "don't dummy it down!" In my own case, I do not try to reach to songs that I'm not that familiar with. I avoid hymns like the plague, you never know what you're dealing with. I've also found out that most facilities have PLENTY of programs on the spiritual side. I do find that the familiar sing alongs, like Blue Tailed Fly, Froggie, etc. are very well received. Also, I'll relate an experience I had that I still laugh about. About a year ago, a new resident showed up. Man, was she a bawdy broad. She asked for every dirty song in the book, and then wanted me to take her back to her room so we could "get to know each other better." So, you never know what you'll run into. Good luck and do it often. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 12:29 PM

Mudlark, you may want to censor your repertoire to avoid being censured.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: brid widder
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 12:31 PM

Not all residents in Nursing Homes are elderly...you mention Hospice...if the place you are singing is a Hospice then your audience could cover all age groups. I work in a Hospice and we welcome visitors to entertain the patients, songs with a local theme go down well, for example those that mention the local industry, in our case fishing, sentimental ballads, especially the well known ones...Danny Boy, I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls Believe me if all those endearing young charms etc. Also humour is always welcome...preferably risque...though never crude.music hall songs and the like.. Make them cry, make them laugh...and have your diary ready for the next booking...could you come to Hull?


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: pavane
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 12:49 PM

Agree with the above. Mrs Pavane does on average 4 nursing homes each week. She sings mostly pop from the 1940's to the 1960's, but with some more recent songs and also some older ones. Songs from the well-known musicals always go down well. My wife takes an extra mike and gets some of them to sing along.

And when I am between contracts, I go with her and we do a short extra set with some jigs and reels, and the odd folk song. The folk music always goes down well, and there is often someone in the audience who used to play or sing. There are a few songs which she avoids, though, like That'll be the day (that I die!).


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: VoxFox
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 01:20 PM

Could some one blue clickie that thread from May 1, regarding the sing-a-long songs from the twenties and thirties?I tried to get it but my machine is really slow. Thanks a bunch. VF


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mudlark
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 02:50 PM

Thanks, guys, for all the positive and helpful input. Am glad to see the consensus is that I need not censor (thanks, DaveO...blush) my material. Good idea, to ask them at the end of a session what they liked, what they'd like more of. Only wish I had a wider chord repetoire as I know and love lots of 30's/40's stuff but can't get my guitar to fit around them. Have actually had more luck with dulcimer...Moonlight becomes you, Zing went the Strings of my Heart, lots work well. Glad to know, also, that spiritual stuff will be covered elsewhere, as I am a secular kind of person...about the only song I sing in that line is Satan's Jeweled Crown and The Darkest hour (is just B4 the dawn)...

Thanks, Bob, for your input from the other side of the desk....loved your Bawdy Maud story.

I'm a finger picker and I've just broken my thumbnail..will have to sing loud to compensate! Will now go and search archives....Thanks again

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 03:41 PM

I first sang in a health care center close to forty years ago. And I wasn't a child star. The biggest hurdle for me was my own emotions, not the patient's. If I had to make any generalizations, it would be that I find people respond to something that brings back their memories. Not yours. The most bizarre experience I ever had was watching a woman in her early twenties trying to get 80 year olds in wheel chairs who were half paralyzed to beat a rhythm on pots and pan lids with spoons, to a recording of 16 Candles, by the Crests. When I first started bringing in songs like Up A Lazy River and Me and My Shadow, the songs were way to NEW for most of the people. I ended up buying a book of popular music from the turn of the century, with songs like Bicycle Bill For Two, and The Band Played On. The thing that I find most beautiful is when someone in the nursing home requests a song I don't know, and I ask them if they want to sing it. That sometimes starts a firestorm, and everyone is excited because they are getting a chance to sing one of their own songs. I had an experience one time, when the patients turned the program into a patient-led sing-along of old popular songs I'd never heard of. They were still singing, when I walked down the hallway to leave. When I sing with the Gospel Messengers, we've invited people to come up and lead a song with us doing the backup, which is as exciting as Heaven. If you draw upon the repertoire of those danged singer/songwriters, it's best to do songs that relate to a time in the past that the patients can respond to.

Finally, if you are a folk singer, no one need to tell you what your audience wants. Your audience will tell you that. You can usually get a good feel for what they will respond to after the first couple of songs. After you finish singing (and before you start) go over and sit with some of the people and talk to them (and let them tell you their stories.) Their stories are often far more interesting than any of the songs you end up singing.

After singing for a group with a completely paralyzed woman sitting in a wheel chair directly in front of me, I awakened the next morning with the start of a song in my head. The woman could show no facial expression, and couldn't move, except for one finger which she tapped in rhythm to the music.

The line was: "And somewhere inside her, there's still that young girl, with a tortoise-shell comb in her hair."

Don't be put off by people who can't applaud, or even smile. Somewhere inside there, there is still a young man or woman who will smile, if only inwardly, as the memories come back with a song.

Go out and sing for these people. They will give you far more than you could ever give them.

Jerry Rasmussen


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 07:26 PM

I want to echo Jerry Rassmuson's comment ... "they will give you more than you give them!" So, so true. And another comment I find quite valid, your own personal emotions can be a problem. So, don't forget this population group ... the elderly. And remember, we're all working every day to get to this status. (besides, they are a kick in the pants)! Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: 53
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 08:42 PM

sing take my bones to the hopper cause i won't need them anymore.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 09:07 PM

Sing-a-long Songs from the 20's and 30's


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Tiger
Date: 11 Nov 01 - 09:36 PM

Old folks seem to relate best to songs from their teen years or early 20's (i.e., the 'courting' years). That means if the clients are 85 years old, that songs from the 30's would be spot on, and they would easily remember earlier one which were 'golden oldies' to them at the time.

A good play is name songs, especially the common names, for example:

    I Wonder What's Become of Sally
    Oh, Johnny! Oh, Johnny!
    Mary's a Grand Old Name
    Darling Nelly Gray
    Big Bad Bill From Louisville
    I'm Just Wild About Harry
    I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen
    Danny Boy
    Lydia, The Tattooed Lady
    Ragtime Cowboy Joe
    Sweet Marie
    Sweet Rosie O'Grady
    If You Knew Suzie Like I Know Suzie
    Molly Malone
    When You and I Were Young, Maggie

This way, you can focus on a member of the audience, put him/her in the spotlight, get everyone involved. And, they already know the songs, too.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: VoxFox
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 01:04 AM

Mary in Kentucky, Thank you for doing a blue clickie for me. I've just arrived home from a gig at the Legion doing Remembrance Day songs. They really had a blast and so did I. I'm off to bed and tomorrow I'll get a good look at that thread. Thanks again. VF


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 07:51 AM

Give 'em a few chorus songs from their youth
You may not see all of their mouths move but they will be moved allright.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: PaulBobbyBuzz
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:44 PM

That thread that I started was SOO helpful to me, for the tune suggestions, and for the heartfelt response of so many 'catters. I continue to share with my friends at the Rouse Home, and I also get at least as much from them as they get from me. I'm sure WYSIWYG will weigh in here when the opportunity arises...so helpful to me. Here are some that work for me You Are My Sunshine(#1 favorite), She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain, When The Saints Go Marchin' In, I've Been Workin' On The Railroad, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Side By Side, On Top of Spaghetti, Yankee Doodle Boy, I'm Lookin' Over A Four-Leaf Clover, Home On The range, Bicycle Built for Two, In the Good Old Summertime, Moonlight Bay/By the Light of the Silvery Moon/Shine on Harvest Moon(works as a medly), Bye Bye Blackbird, The Band Played On, and some from the '30's and '40's like Ain't Misbehavin', Accentuate the Positive, Sunnyside of the Street, Sentimental Journey, some R&R from the '50's, some traditional country tunes(LOTS of country fans here in the valley), and for "spiritual ", Amazing Grace, Old Rugged Cross, How Great Thou Art. I DO go on & on, don't I? Good luck, and God bless you for sharing your gift. Music gets through, never doubt that! PBB


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: jeffp
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 12:58 PM

This is great! My wife and I were just talking about putting a show together and playing the nursing homes. I'll be sharing this thread with her as we seek out material that's appropriate.

Jerry, did you ever use that line? It's beautiful. If you did, could you please share the song with us?

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 03:51 PM

The song is in remembrance of two people I sang for. One was the woman who could only tap one finger. She was no more than three feet in front of me, and I looked deep into her eyes as I sang. She was completely paralyzed, except for that finger, so there was absolutely no expression on her face. But I could see into those eyes. They say that the eyes are windows to the soul. The man I wrote a verse for sat very quietly at the back of the room in a chair. When I went over to talk to him, he just wanted to talk about the years when he worked so hard, and took such pride in his work. He was very feeble, and could hardly shake my hand. I thought of lines that were common when I was a kid, which don't a have any meaning anymore. "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay." When was the last time you heard that? And, "they said he was good with his hands." We are so far removed from work that requires the creative touch of hands now. Machines do all of that stuff. Now, being "good with your hands" probably means that you are a craftsman. There was a time when everyone was a craftsman/person. Not a matter of choice. And people took pride in the things they created. I wanted to get that feeling into the song.

She remembers the sweet smell of freshly baked apples That came from the wood-burning stove And the songs that her Mother would sing to herself And the laughter when Father came home And somewhere inside her, there's still that young girl With a tortoise-shell comb in her hair And sometimes the memories come back with a song As surely as if she was there

He worked for the railroad, ten hours a day And they said he was good with his hands An honest day's work for and honest day's pay Was enough for a hard-working man And now he just sits there with nothing to do And he's lost all the strength in his hands But he still talks with pride of the work that he's done And you know he's no less of a man

She moves to the music although she can't dance With a far-away look in her eyes Then she's back once again on that warm summer's night As if none of the years have gone by He bows so politely and asks her to dance And she smiles as she offers her hand Then they balance and turn as they glide 'cross the floor And you swear she can still hear the band

Not all songwriters whine.

If you want to contact me more directly, my e-mail is gospelmessengers@msn.com

God bless all those who bring light to those who no longer can come out into it.

Jerry Rasmussen


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: jeffp
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 03:54 PM

Thank you, Jerry. I'll be in touch after the tears stop. That is a beautiful song.

jeffp


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 04:33 PM

Jerry, After reading your latest comments, I'd like to add a little. I'm over at the nursing home where both my parents live several times every week. I also perform on a reguliar basis. Many many times I've not felt like 'getting myself up' for the singing date, but I always do. And I ALWAYS am very glad afterwards. Singing in front of those people, old, feeble, blind, in wheelchairs, walkers, or trapped in mental illness, lonely, afraid, is an experience every performer should have. To see the enjoyment, recognition, tears and laughs come to their eyes and faces in awesome. My style of performing is to walk around and try to approach closly with every audience memember. Yet sometimes, I find that I have to avoid and look away because my own emotions get in the way. It's funny, when I was 14 or 15 (and I was once) I used to perform at nursing homes all the time. Now that I'm 64, I'm still doing the same. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 05:00 PM

Hi, Bob:

Glad to see young'uns doing this stuff. I'm 66. I've had just the opposite experience. I couldn't handle it emotionally when I was in my twenties. The other thing that I'd encourage people to realize is that while the choice of songs that you sing is important, the most important thing is just to be there, showing that you care. My wife and I visit the sick on a regular basis, and most of the time, we're visiting people we have never met. The beautiful thing is when, three years later someone comes up to you and says "Don't you recognize me? You visited me when I was in the hospital!" We may not have said much more than, "how are you doin' and had some spiritual conversations with them... not inherent in this thread." The important thing is that we came. Sometimes, just showing up is the victory. My parents lived 1,000 miles away, and I figured that if I couldn't come to sing for them where they lived, I'd sing for someone here, and let someone else out there sing for my parents. There are good folks everywhere. I'm glad you're doing what you're doing, Bob. My highest paying jobs are one where no money is involved.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 08:01 PM

Beautiful ... thankyou for being you ... Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: DancingMom
Date: 12 Nov 01 - 08:54 PM

You guys are great. My father-in-law used to love old WWII songs. The old "stroll down memory lane" always works well. And there's always someone in the crowd who will help you sing. You'll be blessed.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,mcpiper (cookieless just now)
Date: 13 Nov 01 - 04:26 AM

Good on you. Pukuhipi and I did bit of a gig for a group for senior cits a little while back. We had pipes, accordion, a bit of whistle, bit of guitar, we had a ball and they loved it. We were a little rough round the edges, said hell and bloody a few times, but we were live, topical, and sung stuff some of them hadn't heard for years. Other acts that afternoon performed at them, we struck it right and performed for them. We both agreed it was one of the most gratifying performances we had ever done. They were the most appreciative audience I have ever seen.
Ain't oldies magic.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 01:46 AM

What Mooh said.

What Jerry R. said.

In addition to songs already listed by others, these are among the songs I most frequently find requested by the residents in convalescent and senior residences where I sing regularly:

Maria Elena
Baby Face
You Must've Been A Beautiful Baby
Ain't She Sweet?
Five-foot-two
Tumblin' Tumbleweeds
Back In The Saddle Again
South Of The Border
Blue Moon
Du Liegst Mir Im Herzen
Bei Mir Bistu Shön
Jambalaya
Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree
Yellow Rose of Texas
Blue Skies
Mona Lisa
It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
Shanty In Old Shanty Town
Marie!
I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)
The same list as  PaulBobbyBuzz  and I would add"
My Old Kentucky Home
Oh, Suzannah!
School Days
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Any Time
Singin' In  The Rain
Red Sails In The Sunset
Hey, Good Lookin'
Sidewalks of NY
Paper Doll
Music, Music, Music!
Que Sera Sera
Help Me Make It Through The Night
Riders In The Sky
Cattle Call
Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
Don't Fence Me In
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Edelweiss
My Favorite Things
O What A Beautiful Morning!
Hello, Dolly!
I Left My Heart In San Fransisco
Lara's Theme
Misty
Goodnight, Irene
Three Little Fishes
It Had To Be You
You Made Me Love You
I Love You Truly
Crazy
Smiles
Till We Meet Again
Let The Rest Of The World Go By
God Bless America
America The Beautiful
Jesus Loves Me
Red River Valley
All Of Me
The Glory Of Love
He's Got The Whole World In His Hands
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Always
Nevertheless
Blue Hawaii
Pearly Shells
Harbor Lights
King Of the Road
 

Most of these songs were popular in the '20s, '30s, '40s, and maybe '50s, regardless of when they were first written.

I always ask for requests, though, and it is not unusual to get requests for songs such as:
Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet
Havenu Shalom Aleichem
Otchee Tchornya
Muss I Denn?
O Sole Mio
Cielito Lindo
Sakura

and other songs from languages that are my client's first languages.
 

I also get requests for Vince Gill, Charley Pride, Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn, Johann Strauss, and B.B. King songs!   The point is that seniors (and convalescers) are individuals, with different backgrounds and tastes, and it is always a good idea to solicit requests.
 

Two songs I often sing at retirement homes -- with never anything but a great result -- are Proud Mary and La Bamba!  I guess it's because they are both so much fun ( and both have easy choruses) that everyone enjoys them!!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 03:17 AM

Wow, Mudlark, what great responses you've received! I feel I've just been listening to my mom and dad when I was a little girl, again, they sang so many of the songs listed.

Jerry, your song is beautiful. I used to work in a nursing home and I know what you mean about being able to look into their eyes and know that they are still in there and are touched by your words and music.

When I told Mudlark, by PM, that my dad plays just about anything with no censuring, I should have said that he does gear it towards is audience. He is 84 and last year I had the pleasure of going with him to watch as he played one of his weekly venues, a nursing home for women only. He is a raconteur, with a great smile which naturally lights up his eyes and I think every women in there thought he was singing just to her. It was so gratifying to see him doing what he loves best and to see their great appreciation. There is one woman in particular who sings along to every song he plays. Others can't do much but just sit, but you know there is a connection. I had a hard time not crying I was so touched and proud of my dad.

When I worked in the home, hardly anyone ever came to visit and pets were not allowed. Things have improved somewhat in what is allowed now, but they are still very lonely people and it takes such little effort to bring some brightness into their lives. I applaud all of you who are able to do this.

Out here, I've found they enjoy some of the old cowboy songs, too: Desert Silvery Blue; Old Chisolm Trail; Rosin the Beau; Goodbye, Old Paint; and a few others such as Country Roads; the Seine; The Old Apple Tree; did somebody already mention Red River Valley?; the Wayward Wind; Mariah; Tattooed Lady; Colorado Trail; and they love Art Thieme's cowboy version of Barbara Allen, as do I!

Let us know how it goes, okay?

kat


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:11 AM

The list of songs is great! I've written a ton of songs about life in the thirties and forties, all of which work well because I can recount some of my own memories, and that often primes the pump. Another quick anecdote. At the same nursing home where I sang for the paralyzed woman I wrote the song about, there was another woman who loved to sing along on all of the choruses... including choruses to my songs which she picked up easily. She told me that she had been choir director at her church for many years, and used to be a soloist. Her voice was weak and quavery, but she sang with such Spirit that I looked forward to seeing her again. The next time that I came, she had had a stroke and could barely form her words. It was difficult for her to get out a sentence of three or four words. But, when I started to sing, she sang along with just as much vitality. She just couldn't get the words out, so she sang nonsense sounds. Right on pitch, though. And life goes full circle. My youngest son didn't start to talk until he was almost two. But, he loved to sing. Long before he sad Mommy or Daddy, he was singing baby sounds with me, right on pitch. He could sing a dozen songs or more, long before he could say a word, and we sang together, just for the shear fun of it. Isn't that what's it's really all about?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Raptor
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:39 AM

I Often feel intimidated giving my two cents worth on these threds knowing that the class of musicians that will read what I have to say is mostly far above me but here it goes. I play a nursing home for my father in law (who had a major stroke) he can't speak english anymore, just german, but you can tell when he's happy! As for what to play I think it is best to play the stuff you love. The joy of listening is inhanced with the joy of seeing the performer get off playing what they love example B.B. making his Fuck faces when he is into the riff he is playing(excuse the language). B.B. would not be nearly as great if he just stood there and played deadpan! I believe if you play the songs that make you happy that joy will be shared by all. It would be a big mistake to play songs that you don't like or know! Noone would like to see James Taylor Do Gangster rap!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: MC Fat
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:44 AM

STAYIN ALIVE by the Bee Gees !!


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Louie Roy
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 05:11 PM

The group I play with plays at 8 nursing Homes and the VA Hospital every month and have for the past 15 years. we have found they really enjoy country Gospel tunes,Cowboy songs Hoedowns old time Waltzes Banjo and Mandolin playing.As previously mentioned by others in this thread these patients are not dummies and nearly all of them regardless how far their health has deteriated they somehow associate with music and you'll find many of them tapping their fingers or toe to each tune and as one person mention their eyes are glued to whoever is on the mike.One thing I think is very important whether you are singing a song or playing it on an instrument play it with sincerity and to the best of your ability and don't use these patient to practice on.Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 06:18 PM

Yep -

Steve


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 07:41 PM

I have to echo Kat's comments ... what great comments we are getting. I feel like I'd like to add another posting. Just last night, I was over at the "home", visitng my folks. As I left through the lobby, I said "goodnight" to the same four (old) women that seem to live there in the lobby. They come to every performance I do, and we are all on a first name basis. It was raining hard, I was hungry, and I just wanted to get home. I walked out to the truck, started it, turned it off, and thought about those four. I walked back in and asked if anyone had given them a laugh today. Then I sang "Dick Darby, The Cobbler", complete with hand gestures as I stitch my shoes together. When I left them five minutes later, they were all laughing. What did it cost me ... five minutes. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 07:52 PM

Five minutes for what you received? That's a mighty fine rate of exchange. I too am greatly pleased to see how many people take such pleasure in giving pleasure. Lobby sitting is a variant on stoop-sitting. Wrote a song about lonely folks left behind.. I'm going to try out my sentence breaks that Joe showed me

From Planter's Bar

Never thought I'd end up living in a hotel room
Lying half awake all night and sleeping until noon
I guess I'll walk down to the Star and get a bite to eat

The Star was a restaurant in my home town.

This thread is a real lift..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 07:54 PM

Missed a line... the next line after "get a bite to eat" is:

Maybe see someone I know, or sit and watch the street
The breaks work though... Jerry


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 09:54 PM

This thread and thinking about my dad reminds me of this song, susanne(skw)'s third post down in this thread, Sing Me A Song Mr. Bloom. It's got a lovely tune, very easy to pick up and remember. I think we all have a bit of Mr. Bloom in us.

Deckman, those five minutes will stand out in their hearts and minds for a long time. Good for you.

kat


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mudlark
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 11:15 PM

Oh, oh, what a lot of inspiration, support, great stories and great song lists...how I wish I could play them all!! I went last night and what an experience it was...this is the first time I've ever done anything like this and didn't know what to expect. I had an audience of about 15 people, half in wheelchairs or beds...was playing in the Home's dining room. I was prepared for old, and infirm...I was not prepared to have not a single person in the audience that could request a song, sing along, answer a question...it was a real stretch.

I have no idea, really, if they liked what I sang, or could even comprehend it. But everyone dutifully clapped after every number, even those that looked like they'd been sleeping through the whole thing. At first I said no need for clapping, this was just front porch singing, not a performance. But I soon realized what I mistake that was, as clapping was their only way of joining in. So clapping was reinstituted..

There were several stroke victims in the crowd, one woman especially could not control her vocal chords and in an attempt to communicate made continuous loud sort of wailing noises. I admit, this audience rattled me a bit...I'm not the most self-possessed person in the world anyway, and am not long on self-confidence..

Still, I could tell that some, at least, were enjoying it, if only for a break in their routine. (And I know the staff appreciated it!) So I just played from the heart, didn't worry too much about content, just sang what I loved, and told them all to be sure and let the staff know if I sang too many sad songs for them!.

God knows, I flubbed often, particularly when one woman repeatedly shuffled toward me and thrust her robe ends into my face. But I just smiled, patted her hand, lost my place, found it again.... they didn't seem to mind. My best moment was when I realized that buried in the seemingly random wailings of the stroke victim I discerned bits of the song I was singing... Shanty in Old Shanty Town. It was so great to know I had connected with her..

I can usually sing for a couple of hours with no trouble, but I tell you I was drained after about an hour and a half and had to stop. I talked a bit with them...most not able to articulate anything, at least not that I could understand. I'm hoping over time I will become more familiar w/these folks and will be better able to communicate. I'll be going back to play again on Thanksgiving.

The next time I go I will have a cheatsheet with me of easy songs. I tend to only play songs that interest me, either melodically or because of the story, and I put quite a lot of emotion into my singing...so I need to be able to take musical breaks!.

Oddly enough, although I found the experience very exhausting I did not find it depressing. These valiant people are clinging to their selves, their life, under the hardest kind of circumstances. They all seem like heros and heroines to me. I hope I can do right by them..

Thank you again for all your comments...just so helpful, and so uplifting, and Jerry, your song is wonderful.

Nancy


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Nov 01 - 11:39 PM

Welcome to the club, mudlark. I realized years ago that when we perform in this setting, all we are doing is paying back the folks that have taught us so much. Good for you and keep it up. CHEERS, Bob


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 08:53 AM

Hi, Mudlark:

I'm so glad that your maiden voyage went so well. Your posting stirred a couple of other thoughts. First of all, God bless you for giving so generously of your time. When I am asked to sing alone, our with my gospel quartet, I limit the time we sing to a maximum of 45 minutes. I've found over the years that even people in the prime of their life start to loose focus after 45 minutes. I know that I do. People on medication, or who are just plain uncomfortable sitting up have an even harder time. That's why many of them fall asleep.

You received your baptism into singing in nursing homes in a powerful way. You'll find that if you do this in other places, the "audience" varies as much as up and running audiences. My group sings regularly at two places. One is a residence, and most of the people can get to the program with walkers or canes. They are more alert, more talkative, sing along and even ask to lead songs on occasion (which I always welcome.) The other place that we play is part of the same complex, but is a health care center. Essentially everyone there is in a wheelchair, and very few of them sing along. There are also people who are more disoriented, and some who cry out or talk incoherently, and the nurses have to wheel them out. It sounds like the group you sang for was more like a health care audience.

Best of all, Mudlark, you DID it! Suggest to the people that you would like to cut down the length of your program. You'll find it less draining, emotionally and the people will most likely appreciate it better. You're a good woman. The first time that I sang for a health care center, I was so disturbed by it that it was many years before I did it again. I had to grow up.

The other area of singing that I've only done once but found even more challenging is singing for children. When I lived in New York City, someone asked me to sing for children in a cancer ward. I know enough children's songs and have done programs for children, but that was HARD! I'd do it again if asked, but I'd have to do some serious praying to give me the strength not to get upset.

This is a wonderful thread, and one that I've greatly appreciated. My gospel quartet has sung at festivals, large concert series, homeless shelters, funerals (there's another topic) and everything in between. I think that we like singing at nursing homes best.

Glad you liked the song..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Raptor
Date: 15 Nov 01 - 11:36 AM

Can I just say Good for you too all the folks that take time to share thier art to the people in homes? You should pat yourselves on the back!

No?

Too late I've said it!

Raptor


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: open mike
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 02:27 AM

bob dylan's "Forever Young" you are mysunshine always goes over well/ and hand me down my walkin' cane inspired memories of younger days lately when sung at a senior breakfst...


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 03:14 AM

One thing I find helpful for convalescent & nursing homes -- especially those with mixed-age residents -- is to look for songs that have had multiple renaissances in pop culture. E.g., Blue Moon, written in the 1920's, has reappeared on the charts  in several decades; Bill Bailey, written in 1902, is a standard for jazz, dixieland, swing, and other kinds of bands; Danny Boy (much to the chagrin of Irish bands) is beloved by many generations; Any Time, Who's Sorry Now?, Ain't Misbehavin', and Stardust are others that have had several rebirths.

For instrumentals, I don't think it matters much what kind of music it is, as long as it is something you play well and enjoy playing.  People respond to the rhythm, the spirit of the music, etc.   For sing-alongs, obviously, there is a benefit in doing simple songs that can be learned easily and/or familiar songs that will stimulate all sorts of memories (beneficial for the sake of the memories per se and for the emotional or cognitive stimulation per se).   Also, parodies of old familiar songs (e.g., "Let Me Call You Sweetheart, I'm In Love With Your Automobile") offer both cognitive stimulation and humor as a release.
 

One thing that never ceases to delight me is meeting, in retirement and nursing homes, musicians such as Benny Davis's sister (who was herself a jazz singer) and folks who played and/or sang with Kay Kyser, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, and the like, as well as former opera singers who can still sing circles around me in their nineties!  I learn something from these folks just about every day.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM

Music-hall, folk, country western---Ive done it for many a year, and find myself nowadays facing folks younger than myself, often! Any good material is welcomed. Be warned---prepare yourself for apparent cool reactionif you try comedy; in ANY audience, no matter how good the comedy might be, a good response brings outright laughter from about a third of the audience. In a hall of, say, five hundred folks, this brings gales of laughter fron some 100 to 200 people; quite a laugh, and highly encouraging. When you bring the audience down to a dozen folks and get a laugh from three or four and silence from the rest, you might feel like crawling under the nearest rug--in spite of upholding the "laugh average"! Old folks, and infirm folks tend to enjoy their comedy silently even more than the average group; you may find yourself being discouraged by the reaction. I know they in fact are enjoying themselves---but it's hard to be convinced that you are not merely making a fool of yourself. Usually, I stick with the music and song--and am asked back again and again. A rewarding experience.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: SeanM
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 03:48 AM

I don't know, maybe it's just me... but were I performing (or even in the audience), I'd stick in a bawdy song... Obviously, not Eskimo Nell - but something mild, just a bit racy, and something a bit out of the fairly sterile world they live in.

Ive not done singing, but I HAVE done performance skits before nursing homes - and we got hte single biggest laught of the evening from a fairly risque joke that we'd agreed to cut earlier, but that jumped back in once the show was rolling.

I don't know... I guess I'd think of it as a show where the goal is to TRULY entertain - not just fill seats or sell CDs. I'd shoot for the stripped down lean versionof the normal set, with anything that is obviously out of place. Much as I love the song, Isn't it Grand might push things...

Still - sometimes I feel that people treat these shows with kid gloves when it may not be needed. Simple research into whether there's a denominational majority, or into whether the audience has significant experiences in common would be my barometeres as to what to sing.

M


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 03:52 AM

----and it's surprising how many are keen to give DANCING a whirl.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: 53
Date: 16 Nov 01 - 04:47 AM

down by the old mill stream, you are my sunshine, this land is your land, puff the magic dragon, green green grass of home, beatle music, ccr,hymns, happy music, songs about life, and about crossing over to the other side, they usually are a receptive audience. BOB


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Mudlark
Date: 17 Nov 01 - 02:16 AM

My thanks again to you all...with your encouragement and play lists in hand I feel fortified to try again. Though I can't be certain, with this crowd it seemed to me that "content" as such was not the issue. At any rate, I was a bit rattled and ended up singing lots of songs about dead maidens, dying lovers, etc....many of the old ballads I know and love sing of nothing else! I certainly didn't sing "down" to them, altho next week I intend to intersperse the music I love with coasting music like You Are My Sunshine, so I can kind of pace myself.

I will take the suggestion of limiting singing time to no more than an hour...am hoping in time I'll still have the energy to do one-on-one stuff after, if there is a need. I look forward to the time when I am more at ease....these people are just being who they are, where they are...it's up to me, I feel, to get comfortable..

You guys are pretty inspiring!.

nancy


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Marion
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:01 AM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 01:56 AM

Jerry R, Your song lyrics are wonderful! Do you happen to have an MP3 of the song, or have you put it on CD? I'd love to hear you sing it.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 04:31 AM

Two points, I think, bear repeating/emphasizing:

¥ there are a lot of different populations residing in what some would call "nursing homes" -- with widely varying mental functioning levels, of various ages, and from widely varying cultural backgrounds. You could be asked for "Jailhouse Rock" to "Rachmaninoff" to "Rock-a-My-Soul" to "Rock-a-bye, Baby" to "The Rock Island Line" to "Rock-a-bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody."

¥ It makes a big difference whether you're doing a sing-along, a concert, or background music.


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 02 Aug 02 - 02:56 PM

Just connecting the nursing home / retirement home threads.

click here


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 07:52 PM

Here is a list from Gern, who recently played his first nursing home gig (and got a fine reception).

Genie


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 11:50 PM


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,coloradoboy
Date: 30 May 10 - 05:06 AM

i.am.looking.for.lyrics&chords.to.the.old.song,"In.The.Sweet.Long.Ago"
i.have.a.few.o.the.lyrics.and.a.version.on.youtube.done..by.George.Wilton
Ballard.in.the.1930's,i.believe.But.i.don't.have.complete.lyrics&chords.
Can.anyone.help?i've.got.to.do.this.song.on.Friday,June4th.HELP!...thanx
coloradoboy


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: deepdoc1
Date: 30 May 10 - 10:25 AM

I've always wondered if songs like Bed By The Window or Hello In There have a place in an older venue, or if one must be unfalteringly positive and uplifting. As I get older (62-ish) songs like this do give me pause, make me think, both backward and forward.

I crack a big grin when I read the stories above about the more earthy sensibilities of older folks - some of the friskiest people I know are getting up there.

JimB


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Stevoe
Date: 28 Aug 10 - 05:37 AM

where is the best place to get music for keyboards to play for retirement homes?


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,NickF
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 07:59 PM

One of the easiest places to get great NH songs free is on a little known site called Wikifonia.org

There you can find many Standards of the past in the form of lead sheets containing melody line, chords and lyrics in pdf format. You can even transpose the song into any key before downloading or printing it out.

A few of the Synth keyboard (one-man-band) NH performers use this site as a song retrieval resource.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 23 Sep 10 - 11:52 PM

I see one of the elves has corrected the misspelling of "sing-along," so here's the link:
Sing-along Songs From the '20s and '30s"


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: Genie
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 12:04 AM

Re the type of songs that are "appropriate" for "nursing homes," having focused on doing music for senior communities, including nursing & rehab. centers, for 17 years, I'd say any songs like this have their purpose in homes for people who are very old and/or impaired physically or mentally:
~ Songs they know and can/will sing along with, even if just on the chorus
~ Songs that make them laugh (and some that make them cry, by bringing up fond memories)
~ Songs that make them move (e.g, "dancing" - even in wheel chairs - or tapping feet, etc.)
~ Simple new songs that they can learn (learning something new being, in itself, one of the best ways of fighting cognitive loss)
~ Songs that connect with the season, holiday, etc.
~ Instrumental music - whether familiar or not - that soothes and/or elates.


Especially with groups wherein people are very cognizant of and concerned about loss of function, etc., I use songs about "being old" sparingly. The ones I do use tend to be about life-long love or humorous "aging" songs like "The Memory Song."


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: LadyJean
Date: 24 Sep 10 - 12:33 AM

I will always remember my silver haired mum and one of her friends singing, "Violate me in the violet time in the vilest way that you know."

There was also the time she shocked one of my friends when he began, "This is the day they give babies away with a half a pound of tea." and she finished, "If you know any ladies who want any babies just send them along to me!"


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Subject: RE: Songs Approp. 4 Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Ron
Date: 12 Feb 11 - 07:46 PM

I have been playing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities for over 30 years. You will be amazed at the memories music and song will bring back for the residents and the number of folks that will sing along with you.
I do a variety of Hank Williams, Jim Reeves, Elvis, Chuck Berry, Marty Robbins, Jimmie Rogers, some honky-tonk blues and a little gospel.
I always try and give them an opportunity to tell me "who sang that song"?
I have had residents get up and dance, sing along and even have had a couple that had guitars in their rooms and they played with me.
The residents enjoy the memories and I am blessed by being able to make memories for myself!


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: The Minstrel
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:09 PM

Surprise, surprise. The top songs (based on resident response) are:
Tennessee Waltz, Danny Boy, The Anniversary Song, Whispering, My Blue Heaven, Stardust, I'll See You In My Dreams, Night and Day, Don't Fence Me In, Alexander's Ragtime Band, The Gambler, Button Up Your Overcoat, It's Been A Long Long Time, It's A Sin To Tell A Lie, September Song, Alabama Jubilee, As Time Goes By, Deep Purple, Deed I Do, If I Had You, Slow Boat To China, South Of The Border, Swingin On A Star, The Unicorn, Darktown Strutter's Ball, Bye Bye Blackbird, Bill Bailey, Pack Up Your Troubles, It's A Long Way To TIpperarry, 4 Leaf Clover, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Moonglow, Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Smile, Up A Lazy River, Birth Of The Blues, Sentimental Journey, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Heartaches, Heart Of My Heart, Sunny Side Of The Street, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, All Of Me, I Remember You, A White Sportcoat, Singin The Blues, King Of The Road and more.


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 01:43 PM

I appreciate that this is going off at a tangent but Richard Stilgoe & Peter Skellern made an album called A Quiet Night In and one of the tracks is called The Caithness Self Lift Chair which appeals to my sense of humour, possibly because I work in a care home!!


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Marie Bray
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 04:40 AM

Hello
I've been reading your link and it's fascinating. I play piano for ballet classes and I have just landed myself an audition with an entertainments agency for playing to the over sixties in care homes, sheltered housing and similar. I have a ten minute audition in which I will put together a medley. My ideas for songs in general so far are Winter wonderland
Get me to the church on time
Zipididooda
Itsy bitty tweenies weenie
Thank you for the music
Dream a little dream for me
Don't dilly dally on the way
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner
Spoonful of sugar
Bipadibobadidoo
New York New York
Strangers in the night
Boogievwoogie
Show me the way to go home
She'll be coming round the mountain
Old MacDonald
Blueberry hill
Stand by me
Whiter shade of pale
Hey Jude
Nights in white satin
Let it be
Get by with a little help from my friends
Daisy daisy
I'm forever blowing bubbles
Over the rainbow
Just a spoonful of sugar
Doe a deer
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
My bonny lies over the ocean
Amazing grace
Memory
Puff the magic dragon
Eidleweiss
I can play all these by ear , but I may do a classical piece at the end from music to show that I can play the serious stuff too.
If you have any suggestions then I would be most grateful. Im also quite funny and didnt know whether it'd be appropriate for a joke or too in the music, I e a quirky unexpected link between songs. Also, do all care homes use agencies or can I contact them directly to set up a monthly singalong?
Many thanks
Marie


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 05:22 AM

Living in Scotland, we put a lot of Scottish songs into the repertoire, and this last week, of course we have done a couple of gigs on a Burns' theme, one in a day care centre and the other in a head injuries unit. I have compiled the song lyrics for this and other gigs into song sheets, which have changed the whole thing round from singing AT people to singing WITH them. Not all of them still able to read because of visual or cognitive impairment, but the careers can, and those who can join in. It is rewarding to have people who have perhaps been pretty uncommunicative suddenly light up and join in when they recognise a song. We also allow time for folk to tell us of life experiences, the memory of which may have been triggered by the song:many if them have led very interesting lives.


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 07:51 AM

The bigger care homes have events managers - so would be happy with a direct approach.
Do your local football teams have songs?
Grandfathers clock - everyone seems to know.
FloraG


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Jan 13 - 12:28 PM

Hello, Marie. I haven't done nursing homes much, but I do remember a comment that a friend made to me after a show. She said that the director's greatest pleasure came from seeing people who usually sat hunched and silent turning into people who were alert, interested and talking. (These were Alzheimer's patients.)

I think it's important to play well, but it's also important to have a sociable personality which interacts with the patients and brings them out.

Different homes will have different needs of course, so talk to the staff and see where their patients "are at." I think it will help your chances of getting jobs if you show that you are aware of this kind of stuff about nursing-home gigs.


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: Celtic Cat
Date: 17 Jul 14 - 02:05 PM

Playing at nursing homes can be fun, but the song list is important, as many on this thread have noted. Here are some of the songs we play that get a nice reception for most 'older' venues we've tried. We usually end with Goodnight Irene or So Long It's Been Good to Know You.

You Are My Sunshine
Ain't She Sweet
Georgia On My Mind
Home On the Range
My Blue Heaven
Jambalaya
Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out
The Old Gray Mare
Pack Up Your Sorrows
When You're Smiling
On the Sunny Side of the Street
Take It Slow and Easy
Lulu's Back in Town
I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
Five Foot Two
Ain't We Got Fun
Bill Bailey
The Happy Wanderer
Goodnight Irene
So Long, It's Been Good to Know You


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 18 Jul 14 - 04:36 AM

I have been singing and playing traditional and modern folk, blues, bluegrass and easy listening music for many years. I started entertaining in the Hospice about 3 years ago and have also played in the Marie Curies Hospice. The first time I sang at the Hospice someone burst into tears because of whatever song I was singing. I was mortified but the nursing staff reassured me afterwards that I had helped the patient tremendously.
I sing and play all my usual repertoire.
It can be hard to gauge the response from the residents but recently the manager of the Hospice told me that the patients absolutely love the music, really look forward to it and want to know when I am coming back - no not so they can avoid me !!!!
Anyway, just play your best material whatever it is and be sure to entertain them to the best of your ability.


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: LadyJean
Date: 19 Jul 14 - 12:40 AM

When I went to visit my elderly cousin in a nursing home, they had a duo singing old sixties rock and roll songs. They weren't very good, but the crowd seemed to like them.


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Subject: RE: Songs Appropriate for Nursing Home...
From: GUEST,Mr T
Date: 11 Aug 15 - 07:58 PM

I do a somewhat professional show of anything...tin pan alley and bog band to pop oldies from the 50's, 60's and 70's, and some country.
Frankly I need the extra money and always negotiate a price by letting them tell me what they pay on average I am a former band director, play guitar and piano and sing. I get people to sing along, tell corny jokes and stories about my mom and dad and relative and even my kids. i like to have people fell that we're in the living room having and party singing and talking. I use both my own self created back up music and live singing. Often I will use the phrase "you'll never guess what happened to me last week" and tell some silly thing that actually happened, ask if it ever happened to them too? i worked as an activity assistant for 2 ears and I know the drill, and love the people. I hope I leave them laughing every time!


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