Staff morale and sector resilience:
Although some may be shy at first at joining in, staff love to see their residents happy and having fun. Music sessions are valuable stress relief during a long day. By joining in with the songs themselves, care staff experience validation, appreciation and a sense of agency (informing the musician of a resident's preferences and needs, (for example, which hand is strongest for holding a tambourine). A musician can act as a facilitator with pinch-point areas within the home, or help with some tasks, such as improving co-operation walking to the dining room at mealtimes using songs, and can also help care staff develop a deeper connection with residents.
Examples from recent situations:
Familiar songs helped one resident to co-operate in moving from her chair to bed, without needing to use a hoist. One gentleman was blocking a doorway and wouldn't move but his favourite song (By yon bonnie banks) encouraged him to look up smile and his body to become relaxed and he could move with ease. One lady was very agitated and angry but became calm when her favourite song was sung gently to her. Another resident was very stiff during personal care, and when she heard a song that was meaningful to her, ('Amazing Grace') she smiled and said thank you and relaxed which made the task go more swiftly and easily. Another time, a resident who refused to eat was encouraged to have a whole bowl of soup and two cheese sandwiches while being sung 'Dancing Cheek to cheek' and a lady who was in a diabetic stupor, gradually regained energy hearing 'Roll out the barrel' and joined in the actions.
One man, who refused to walk, after attending several music group sessions, became more positive and happy and started to walk again, which reduced the number of carers needed for his personal care from two to one.