Date: Wed 26th of Nov 2014
VENUE: Four Hills Nursing Home
8 Hazlitt Street
Glasgow G20 9NU
Type of Performance: Care home Time of Day: 6.30 pm
Length of Performance: 1/15mins
No of Clients: Around 25 with staff dropping in and out.
Observations: 1/ Environment relaxed, or otherwise appropriate performing music
Really relaxed environment and it was a large room for the performance. Plenty of space to set up the equipment and plugs sufficiently placed for PA. The room was rectangle with the need for a PA system due to the number of clients attending the performance. The staff arranged the seating so it was like a theatre performance, which gave the gig a living room feel, a great way to start off the event.
2/ Techniques speaking, questioning, demonstration, verbal imagery, and use of musical aids
The group was mixed with ages 60+ to the age 90. Some of the clients were more able than others some were very talkative. Lots of questions while I was setting up, I got the feeling they were excited about the performance. This can sometimes make it a little difficult to set up as you don’t want to be rude but it’s important to understand that you are there as much to talk and be friends with the clients in the time as well as perform. I feel It a good opportunity at this points to chat away and tell them about the equipment your setting up such as the make, what it does and this actually helps get set up faster and reassure me that I putting it together correctly (even after all these years)
During the performance there was lots of questioning and engagement from the majority of the clients. This particular gig was excellent for communicating and telling stories about the songs before hand I feel that really got this audience involved, however there are times when this approach doesn’t work.
3/ Communication Skills, movement, gestures, facial expressions, vocal inflection, eye contact, and other non-verbal communication.
Lots of communication with the clients, lots of laughing, joking and songing along with the songs. The movement I saw was swaying side to side and lots of smiles. Its great when you smile and you get one back. Smiling can be so infectious.
There were some of the clients who maybe looked a little dazed so I believe its important to ensure that you catch there eye and smile or even sing to them to encourage them to engage. There was one customer who I thought was enjoying it due to lack of facial gestures. I sang the song directly at him and smiled between lines and nothing except for the beginning of some foot tapping.
Its important to realise at this point is that I don’t know the background. This man could have had a stroke and unable to move his face due to being paralysed. The fact that he tapped him foot signalled to me that there was some type of enjoyment there.
4/ Musicianship (standards, expectations, expressiveness, musical knowledge, correcting mistakes, and positive feedback)
I was pleased with the performance I really enjoyed myself at this gig and feel the expressive of the clients was first class and that they enjoyed it all round. Im still looking to add to the set list and get some more songs into the set. This particular group were asking for some old country songs, like Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers which I know some, but I will need to get more familiar with their repertoire so I can pull them out the bag.
5/ Responses active vs. passive participation, musical, interaction with other clients and with the myself
High reaction from the customers and staff, input was solid and association was high. The participation was exceptionally dynamic.
1/ What was successful, effective, or made a difference for the clients?
The interaction was a great success being able to attend the performance early really helped build rapport fast with the audience. With this particular audience they seemed to want more engagement and to share their stories with me about the music I found this a really effective way to get information about what the songs meant to them and also let take the direction of the music elsewhere as I thought it would meet their needs more.
2/ Did you notice any problems? If yes, how were they addressed?
The only issue I felt could have gotten out of control was that everyone was so excited that a few times I felt I had to reign it in. There were times when the conversation aspect started to get a little noisy and the focus off the performance had to be brought back in. I did this by changing the subject and explaining I had so great songs to share with them and proceeding with the set list. This is something that I will need to look out for.
3/ What did you learn from this observation?
I would need to say the most important thing I learned today was the importance of not judging a book by its cover. The man I spoke of earlier maybe didn’t give many facial expressions away or be as animated as the rest but there was something there after I engaged more with him. The foot tapping was definitely a sign to me that he felt included and it was a great first step.
Feedback from the charge hand was that it was great success. They said they were getting feedback as I was playing and that the singing and song choice was excellent. They loved the stories and they loved the links into each song.