Hi There – Actually it was yesterday I went into a local Bank, and the young lady serving me shared how she used to play Classical guitar at school but didn;t really enjoy it – but her thing was really Adelle, Playing the Keyboard/ Piano and singing – and how she would love to… except she didn’t seem to have the time.
A way too common story I’ve heard – and yet if we’re honest we can always make time for those things that we find important.
And at the other end, I finished late last night listening to BBC radio Two Jeremy Vine’s interview with David Skinner, and his experiences with Dementia and Alzheimers – not once but twice, first with his Mother, and then also sadly with his sister – and how it was helping them with their love of music that provided some meaningfull connection.
In the program Dennis shares his mad idea of taking his mum to the local Miner’s Welfare park, back kin the late 1980s – at this time his Mum had lost the ability to recognise names – but once in the park as he started to sing along with the band, she responded and she he got her back into singing, no this wasn;t the Mozart Effect, but this was meaningfull music from the soundtrack that had shaped her life – which in her case included Gracie Fields We’ll Meet Again.
This wasn’t such a mad idea – as it was in 2013, during what became known as the Plymouth Experiment, that a Japanese G8 Delegation saw first hand the impact of Meaningfull Music making, this time singing on people affected by Alzheimers – who literally seemed to come back to life, through singing.
Dennis, an MP for 40 years billed as The Beast Of Bolsover, for challenging MPs and especially Prime Ministers for the last 40 years – also shared how he went through a similar experience sadly again with his sister – who developing a different kind of dementia, meaning she lost the ability to swallow, again responded to what was for her meaningfull Music, singing along.
And I couldn’t help but think about the young woman at the bank – saying how she on the one hand how she really wanted to get into Piano/keyboard, and how her meaningfull music included Adele – and yet in the few minutes I was at the counter with her – I couldn’t help but think she had in her mind, that she needed to establish work first.
Now perhaps if she got to the point where she thought about her career, as just a Job, as something that itself was not enough to fulfill her – then perhaps she might get back to following her musical dreams.
I know myself after teaching and training older students on Guitar, up to the age of 72 – one of the things they do share is that they wish they had done this sooner; they wish they hadn;t kept putting it off.
Dennis also shared how he had got back into music, even helping out at Shorevale Old People’s home in his constituency in Derbyshire.
The Jeremy Vine BBC Radio 2 Program : Dennis Skinner Vs Dementia is still available online.
If You’d like to check it out, Here’s a link : BBC Jeremy Vine : Dennis Skinner MP Vs Dementia