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,
Hello! I wanted to give you a brief update on StoriesLoveMusic and it's development.
This winter, with all the snow, ice and cold temps; we may forget that their are groups of elders, who must stay inside to stay safe and warm.
I thought, this is the perfect time to bring my developing StoriesLoveMusic Program out into "The Field" of elder facilities.
We have been having some incredible SLM sessions, with groups of elders and elders with Dementia. Bringing in the music and giving the elders the space and attention to feel the music and share the stories, thoughts and feelings sparked by it, has been a source of warmth and light during this dark cold winter.
I learned alot in the Dementia program i studied and applying the lessons into the field is rewarding and very challenging. My agenda" for "breakthroughs in communication" are not always possible and really seeing the "connections" that are naturally occurring, is the greatest lesson. One woman at my SLM session said over and over, "Music is better than Medicine". This made me I think of my day at Columbia University for the "Narratives in Medicine" think tank and it's CORE message. The importance of the "act of telling your story" and really being heard, should NOT be underestimated in the field of health and healing. More soon! Thanks for reading. ~Ilyana
Executive Director of Stories Love Music, Singer, Story Teller, Coach and Activist.