I suppose you could say it was class. The next day when we went to Compton Lodge in Swiss Cottage, the other nursing home, instead of liking ackee and Yorkshire pudding, people here tended to like Mozart, oil painting and the waltz. My feeling was that this would be a far more “talky” group and indeed we did chat about what people had done (produce radio plays, painted pictures, lifted torpedos and lived in South Africa). It was a diverse group, a boxer and fisherman had snuck in there, much to Bolder Stan’s delight.
But honestly, things didn’t take off until Andy got rolling with his guitar. We stomped in, not to everyone’s taste at first (I get that – you’re sitting there, catching up on a bit of daytime telly and in stroll all these noisy people who want to know about you). But once we started singing – it really was magic. One woman who spent a lot of time furious, growling and poking her tongue out, really angry about something, by the end of the session was hugging everyone, so excited for us to come back.
Why isn’t this more universally recognised? I know that it’s used in a limited way but I long for one of these massive bids on changing the quality of life for older people includes a healthy dose of music and singing. Is that too much to ask?