picture from tesco car park after gig, i love sunsets!
Before i start writing to tell what i found at todays concert i have to share what one of the nurses said. "When you walked in with that beard i thought, OMG what are we getting here! but you were amazing" Note presentation and first impressions can be misleading... more reading and investigation on that later.
I think it would fair to say that Midlothian Community Hospital is for a more frail elderly care. Music for Hospitals booked the gig at this hospital in midlothian and did say on the booking form that it may have to be quiet gig.
Upon approach to the place i was surprised to see it as i have passed it many times before, the car park wasn't busy and a big sign out from say, no A&E. I brought along all the usually equipment to have the choice incase i would need it. I went in and spoken to the nurses and they showed me where i would be setting up. Music in Hospitals were correct! these guys looked like they would be very quiet.
I decided that the right type of performance would be a quiet one and that i would still stick to my round the world program. I developed this performance, which is still getting developed, with a means of educating and speaking with the audience. The idea is that there is a lot of interaction. I introduce the songs, maybe a Scottish band or a english or Irish or even American writer/performer, give them details on the song then play it. It seems to work well.
Ever since taking this role on and mixing with my project i have been really observant to how the crowd reacts. You tends to find it starts slow, you see feet tapping first then you see miming of words then you see people making suggestions before they tend to get a little animated.
People getting up off their seats doesn't happen all the time but its good to have the staff their so they can handle the situation if they need to. I love playing the different care homes, wards but my favourite are the respite centre as you get more interaction from the crowd and it easier to see if they like it or not.
Today i saw a good few people enjoying themselves, they were responding to more of the country music as it seemed to be the genre they liked. I always try to look after the staff as well. I must have struck a chord as they said they would like to book me for their staff party so we had a good laugh and exchange of words about drinking wine and dancing ha ha ha.
half way through the performance a lady walked in with a dog. The dog was party of complimentary therapy sessions that bring animals in for people to clap and destress and just be part of something different. Im reading more and more bout how care homes are doing this and how music, massage, pets are all seen as complimentary services. I spoke to one of the nurses afterwards who said they love having the music and that they really see a difference in the clients with music. She then pointed one of the ladies out to me android that over the last few days she has been really irritable and they don't know whats effecting her. They told me that once i started playing the lady seemed calm and almost went into a transfixed state. I was amazed at this. The music did something, it must have spoke to her inside or had a effect of some sort. The same woman just before i left gave me a thumbs up. The rules are now, if you get a thumbs up, job done!