January 29, 2015: We played two concerts today at the Foss Home. One concert was for the cottages, an assisted living area that feels like a little village. The courtyard is where they hold their annual Farmers Market. After that show we moved to a memory care unit. I found this day of concerts to be moving and again, a confirmation of how important it is to continue presenting these concerts.
The concert in the cottage was a very cheerful crowd. Questions kept flying at us (which we love) during the whole show. A lot of laughter and exuberant applause. At the end of the concert we received one of the nicest comments: “Coming to this concert was like being invited to the most wonderful party.” It did feel like a party!
We moved to the memory care unit for our next concert. We perform for this unit a lot and we get to recognizing many of the residents. One in particular has caught my eye on the last several visits. This resident is basically non-verbal—I’ve approached her every time we visit and she looks at me like she’s not sure who or what I am. But I have been convinced that she was participating in her own way. This concert she wheeled herself very close to us and I observed her squeezing her eyes closed with a great intensity. After the concert I asked her if she liked the music and at first it was that ‘who are you’ look –but then she nodded YES! The Activities Director and I were surprised, happily. I asked her another question about the music and she suddenly flashed us a brilliant smile—it made my knees weak.
I learned that day that the Foss memory care unit is going to participate in the individual ipod project and that several of the residents, including the resident that flashed us the smile, are in line to receive one of the ipods! You may have heard of this sort of thing from the movie “Alive Inside.” The Foss Home calls their project “Music of the Heart” and they are looking for donations of ipods, cds, and itunes gift cards. If you’d like to help out here’s more information:
http://fosscare.org/files/Fall2014Newsletter.pdf or http://musicandmemory.org/
©Linda Melsted salishseaplayers.org 2015