by Dean Solden, founder of Vibrant Life Senior Living, and professional musician
Just about every week I have the pleasure and opportunity to play music either with or for “the people who live here” (residents) at Vibrant Life Communities. I have a ball, and so do they.
For years, I have played jazz, rock, oldies, standards, and even my original music. They love it all. I don’t just play the traditional songs of the 30’s and 40’s – we have many other musicians who come in every week and play and sing with the people who live in our communities. I like shaking it up!
Two New Vibrant Life Choirs
Recently, however, instead of just playing for the people who live with us, they get to be musicians too! We have started two new choirs in our communities:
- The ‘Tic-Toc” memory care choir at our New Friends Memory Care community in Kalamazoo
- A yet unnamed choir in our Vibrant Life Superior (Ann Arbor/Canton) location.
It is amazing how well the Vibrant Life Choirs sing! Now THEY are the active participants, not just the listeners. In too many activities in too many days, the people who live in assisted living communities are the observers and not the participants. Almost everyone they come in contact with during the day is the “alpha-male”. Music is a great way for people to actually participate in one of life’s most treasured activities – Singing!
Related: Vibrant Life’s Music Program
It’s Not Just Singing
We also do chanting, drum circles and percussion circles. Singing is actually quite complex. It involves creating a musical note, adding a word, and then that word has meaning. Three things at once! I like to break it down and sometimes we just focus on the singing of a tone – with no words. I have people close their eyes and we sing a note together. We can feel the vibrations of the voices. They can feel it themselves. We can feel how their voices blend.
As one person said, “it’s like we are holding hands with our voices.”
I also explain that chanting can be very soothing and help people get to sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, start chanting a note, breath in, and chant a note on an “ee” sound, very slowly. Breath out. Then start again. If you do this a few times, it may help you get to sleep.
The people who live at Vibrant Life Senior Living love music and we love playing for them. We try to have music on a daily basis. Come on by some time and join us as we chant and sing. Wait until you hear us add the words!
Happy Magic Music Moment!
Come in for a visit to learn more. Call (734)847-3217 or send us a note: