Hello! I have been quite busy bringing this program to several facilities and working with groups both big and small. There have been so many moments of discovery along the way, it's difficult to remember them all. That's why it's great to have this blog, a place to share what i am discovering. A huge thing that came up was about shifting expectations based on sizes of groups. When i work with large groups of people with dementia, which is anywhere from 15-25, i MUST expect different outcomes then in smaller groups and one on one sessions.The connections, communication, and responses in large groups are very unpredictable. Sometime eye contact and gestures are the most common way to connect and communicate, as large groups can stifle verbal participation. My smaller groups of 6-8 bring completely different reactions and true story telling is brought on from the music.
Today I brought my Stories Love Music program to a class of Care Givers at The Alzheimer's Association. I began by introducing what the program is and how music and story telling are in a relationship together. I then led them through an interactive series of exercises using music, verbal prompts and story telling. The response was better then i imagined. So many of the care givers shared what music meant to them, how it lifted their spirits, brought them out of depression, connected them to their roots and most importantly how it allowed them to see what they had each over come in their lives. We played music for them, they shared stories that the music brought up. This was a special experience for care givers, the people who work so hard lifting others up. And in the next session with them, i will teach the components of this work and how they can apply it to their people with Dementia.
Stay tuned and thanks for reading,
Musician, Story Teller, Coach and Activist.