My name is Jen Anderson, and I am a flute, clarinet, and saxophone player. As well as being a musician, I am also an experienced caregiver, and currently a Life Enrichment Manager in a memory care neighborhood. I have been playing music for people living with dementia since 2016, and have developed several different programs throughout the years especially for this population.
Each audience is different, each concert is different, and in memory care, each day is different. I have developed a repertoire of concert programs designed for people living with dementia that are not only flexible, but also engage a variety of senses. I love to include conversation and audience interactions in my concerts, especially if it evokes a memory or makes a personal connection for the individuals. Here is a sample of my programs that you and your residents might enjoy:
Thankful - a favorite during November, featuring pieces which evoke memories of things which we all can be thankful for, such as home, family, and life experiences. Music can represent a host of emotions, and this program highlights the pleasant memories of a comforting home, catching up with old friends, bring greeted by a favorite pet, and other heart-warming experiences paired with music that matches each memory and feeling.
Winter - a unique program which engages both visual and auditory senses. Winter scenes make beautiful photographs, and evoke childhood memories. In this concert, we pair printed photographs with the sounds that may accompany them. For example, snow falling on a quiet street might sound like small, predictable melodies. A horse-drawn sleigh might be accompanied by a steady, galloping rhythm.
Pieces that Move - music inspired by sports, exercise, and other movement-related hobbies. Many of our everyday movements can be done to a beat. Running can be quick, while a stroll around the lake can be leisurely. Riding a horse gets a bit bouncy, and a walk around the block with the dog can change pace in an instant. In Pieces that Move, we explore favorite activities, and match the motions involved to music.
May Flowers - an audience favorite, combining the beauty of music with the beauty of flowers. In this program, audience members will discuss their past experiences with flowers—planting them, giving them to a loved one, and other flower-related memories. To stimulate the senses, we will explore the many wonderful characteristics of flowers (bright, graceful, elegant, sentimental), and pair them with music! Sunflowers, for example, are cheerful with their bright yellow petals, and seem to pop up everywhere! This might be paired with Tambourin by Francois-Joseph Gossec, which features a bright, bouncy melody. Lilies, on the other hand, are silky and serious, so a slower, yet highly decorated melody from the Baroque era would pair well.
Around the World - draws on memories of travel, ancestry, and travel wish-lists. This concert program discusses different countries, cities, and other destinations around the world. The audience will enjoy folk songs and dances from different countries, as well as songs representing the beach, the mountains, bustling cities, and other sensory-stimulating destinations.
If you are interested in booking a program for your residents, please contact me email me using the form on the contact page. Thanks!
In addition to specialized programs, How Sweet the Sound Studios also offers lunchtime, dinner time, and happy hour performances. Musical selections include pieces for clarinet, flute, and saxophone from the vast classical repertoire. Past programs have included:
Click to download sample programs