The books and CD’s have arrived and all are in good condition. Many thanks for the excellent service, having now seen what you have produced the wait was well worth it. I must congratulate you on their beautiful presentation, they are certainly going to be of great assistance on those occasions when, for whatever reason, our pianist is unable to play for us. Singing ‘a cappella’ and leading the residents for over an hour is very tiring, so I am absolutely thrilled that I found your site and this music and Barrie Hall does a great job. As well, Barrie covers every song in the two books, so this will, in time, allow our little group to learn and practice many of the song we do not know.
As I told you on the phone Christine and I have been singing at the Terrace Gardens Nursing home for well over ten years now and it has become an integral part of our lives. Surely these residents of nursing homes all over Australia are some of the most forgotten people in the country. Many who have Alzheimer’s and/or dementia receive no visits from family or friends and even many elderly in homes who are not ill receive no visits so the singing and interaction between ‘us and them’ can have a beneficial effect. We sing not so much as to entertain, although we do, but to get the residents involved and singing. That is why it is so important to have the music and for all the residents to get a book with the words, regardless of whether they can read or not. It is surprising the reaction that we sometimes get. Awhile back we were singing “Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree” which we do with the relevant actions when, a lady with dementia who was pretty nonresponsive suddenly started smiling and copying us trying hard to follow. We were all absolutely beaming with joy and afterwards my wife put her arms around her and gave her a big hug. One of our singers, who recently joined us, remarked on the smiling lady, I told him that I looked at it this way; that for those brief few minutes we had reached out to her and touched her soul and given her some inner joy and that the occasions such as this was the reason that we came every Thursday to sing and interact with the residents. Making them happy also makes us happy.
Once again many thanks for all you have done I am sure we will keep in contact and hopefully I will be able meet you in person. Keep up the good work and I hope it will all go really well for you.