I cannot tell you how important music is for the elderly. I am going to try though. First, a little back ground on my family. My grandma on my mother’s side had Alzheimer’s and eventually died because of complications of this horrible disease. She got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and while on her way back to her room she flashed back to her old house. In her old house she would always put on her favorite, but cheap ugg boots before she would go anywhere. On this night, she didn’t have them. She turned the wrong way in the dark, got lost and stubbed her toe, falling straight into a low dresser and breaking a hip. While in the hospital for her hip she deteriorated and just seemed to simply give up. It is a disease that takes far too many great minds and hurts way too many families. It hurt us !
On the days my grandma was at her worst, pop would play her favorite music. He played one particular CD over and over and over again, as loud as grandma could stand it. This seemed to help her focus on the thing she loved, singing the lyrics. It wouldn’t always help her to remember, but it felt like it did help in some ways each time.
Even if she was having a good day there would always be some type of music playing in the back ground. Music holds a power like none other. It grounds people and keeps us together. Of course, these are just my opinions and that of my beloved grandma.
If you have a family member who needs to be put into an assisted living facility one of the many things that needs to be asked about the music played in the home. I believe that just like a school music should be a daily activity in nursing homes. I believe music aids old minds by keeping the neurons firing and helps the mind stay lucid as long as possible. I think that there should be a music time daily. A piano open to anyone who wants to play. Ahhh, the piano, grandmas favorite . I wish I had spent more time with grandma and I know she would have loved to see more of me and my sister , who played the piano so well.
We use music for entertainment. We use it for everyday life, to keep us motivated, to bring our emotions up or down whatever we may need. It really is like a medication for our brains, more over our souls. As we age, we change but will never stop using music. Make sure the elders in your life have access to use music till the end of their time here on earth. I just know it will make the remainder of their years more pleasant for them.
The sound of a piano can express the piano player’s emotion. In my opinion as long as the player is happy with what is being played the musical piece is a success.
Life is not perfect. Never has been never will be, there for a piece of music should not be perfect either. Or maybe what I should say is perfectly imperfect. If you are the composer of a piece then you will pour over the music till it conveys exactly what you want it to, there for being perfect. Sadly, every listener might not agree that it is perfect. As long as it is perfect for you then I say it is. I was being asked today by a lovely gentleman who cam by to install some window tinting on my home. I was practising and he asked me what my favourite piece of music was? I had no idea where to begin with that question so I bumbled my way through an answer but it goes to show the difference in response. Some may know, others won’t?
Now if you are playing a piece that was composed by someone else, you will never, however hard you try, no matter how closely you follow the sheet music, be able to play it exactly the way the composer did in the beginning. This is a beautiful thing about music.
You might play a piece one week when you are madly in love, up tempo, joyful, bright. Then if the dreadful break up happens over the weekend by the next week you could be playing the exact same notes to a slower tempo, depressed, dark. You control the tone of the song each time you sit down to play.
On the other side of the music being played is the listener. No matter how you want your music to sound, you have no control over how your listener will convay it. I personally like dark slow music. It makes me calm and being calm makes me happy. Up beat high energy music makes me nervous, I often feel like things are going to fast with this music playing and that I will not be able to complete the task at hand with fast music playing. I get a lot more done when calm. There are people who are exactly the opposite of this. The fast music helps them work harder and faster, and slow music only hinders them when they are trying to complete a task.
When you are able to play a piece and you are playing for an audience it is a very special thing when you are able to see the emotions you want to covey on their faces. The joy, sadness, fear, excitement and more can be expressed by you through your music and seen on the faces of your audience.
Well today was an interesting day. I was having some solar panels installed on my roof today and got chatting to one of the installers. He was well in his 60’s and still working hard. I could se him cringe overtime he got off the roof and walked past the verandah, where I was sitting listening to Metalica. I asked what was wrong and he replied that he wasn’t a fan of that kind of music. ‘What are you into? I asked. ‘Sinatra’ he said. Without missing a beat (pun intended) I put Sinatra on. He was shocked that I even had that on my playlist. He talked for a good half hour about music and how it as evolved and changed in society. This gave me a great idea for this blog….