The Soothing Power of Lullabys
“I visit Dorothy* in her 90’s every Friday night and we sing old-style folk songs really loudly together. She says,”Oh no one can hear us!”
I sometimes talk about music I am playing on my Ukulele and she will say “Oh I loved The Seekers” so we pull out a CD and listen to them while I cook her a delicious dinner.
Dorothy and I sing as I help her get ready for bed. I give her a good massage and wash then, put on her nightie and tuck her into bed. She now always says “which lullaby are you going to sing tonight?” and I reply, “which one would you like?”. Dorothy always chooses Braham’s Lullaby or the Aboriginal song Carra Barra Wirra Canna. Dorothy shuts her eyes and, looks so beautiful and peaceful when she enjoys my singing.
Somehow I always sound better when I sing to Dorothy. “Thank you and goodnight” she says, and then I go.
Dorothy was a Head Mistress and didn’t have children, so our visits to her are really valued.
Family Connection Through Music
“My client, Joan’s* Granddaughter was learning to play the guitar so I took my Ukelele. I copied some of my music which was suitable for a 22 year old and Joan held the music sheet for us like a music stand. Joan was beaming with happiness, she bops in time to the music and is very encouraging to her Granddaughter. It was such a lovely time for them and we sounded good.
Joan also loves to listen to Tom Jones. She always says, “Oh he is so lovely, I just love listening to him”. We do her exercises for her rota cuff weakness and we always end up dancing.
I find music helps Joan to be more confident and she will try more difficult movements, like standing on one leg to balance. Joan used to always tip to the side but she can now hold her body upright and alternate her legs.
Music is certainly an important stimulus for Joan and I am always so happy to see her dance. She always finishes off, by saying “that was really good – I like that”.
“I believe music, exercise and dance are very important in the lives of older people.” – Kim