Date: Tuesday 17th of February
Venue: St Michaels Hospital Linlithgow.
About the concert: The concert was at a small NHS run hospital today that was situated on the outskirts of Linlithgow. When I first attend the venue there didn’t seem to be many people around. I finally got in contact with one of the nurses.
The clients were just finishing lunch and on first glances they seemed very quiet. I would make the assumption that they were in the age group to 60+. One of the nurses told me their eldest patient was 103 but she wouldn’t be attending the concert.
Verbal content and clarity: I decided to take the approach that I would clearly explain myself as half of the audience looked as if they were sleeping and so I didn’t want to startle them. I thought it was important to approach the concert with a clear explanation of what to expect and what involvement I would expect, this was all done in a softly softly manner.
Vocalization of residents: This was a difficult concert, as the group seemed really subdued. It wasn’t until some family members came in and helped with the crowd did some people really start to come alive.
Eye Contact: Lots of eye contact but I couldn’t help but feel the audience were just looking through me. I felt the heartstrings pull and I started to wonder if they sleep due to medication or something else.
Facial Expressions: I few smile but nothing that gave me confidence that I was doing a good job. At this point I often wonder if I have the set list wrong, however looking at the songs I play I cover all the genres, Scottish, 50’s, country everything.
Body Posture: The majority of the audience were stooping over and I only really noticed one person really show any really positive signs of enjoying the concert.
Movement: There wasn’t much movement at all, some vocal interaction but not much towards the end of the concert I was feeling that I hadn’t done a good job.
On-going evaluation: This was difficult. There wasn’t much response from the audience and the staff members did really seem to get involved like they do in other places. Towards the end my head was a little down.
I was very surprised to get the feedback I did when at the end of the concert at least 3 of the audience members made their feelings know that they had a great time, they complemented me on my voice, my choice of music and said they were looking forward to having me back. My jaw could have hit the floor.
This made me realise that I judged these people purely on an observational basis and I didn’t think out the box. I hadn’t a clue that these guys were just happy to sit back and listen to the music and view it rather than take part.
One lady told me that the song Crazy by pasty client I played reminded her of her husband that passed many years ago and brought a smile to her face. She told me they used to have parties and they used to sing that song together a duet. She thanked me for bring back special memories and said I had brightened up her day which made me feel fantastic.
Lesson learned today is that there is more than meets the eye.