The Classical Music club began in October 2019. On my first meeting with Freda, she mentioned that she was unable to operate her CD player due to her deteriorating eyesight. She explained how upset she was that she was unable to listen to her classical music.
We arranged one afternoon for me to try to look at the CD player to determine what the problem was, however, unfortunately, it turned out that the controls were just too small to see and manage even for me to see with my glasses on.
Using a coloured sticker system, red, amber and green; for stop, play and pause; we organised an afternoon to listen to the wonderful Opera collection that Freda has and to see if our new colour coded system worked. It did. We were delighted and so decided to arrange another afternoon of Opera with friends.
Bunny and Valerie joined us with their music where we sat back and got lost in the moment. This too was a great success; so much so that Freda was able to pick and choose her own music and operate the CD player with very little help from me. From these two sessions, we decided to offer our classical music experience to all residents. We felt that the cinema would be an ideal venue. We could lower the lights, close the door, turn up the volume and get lost in the ambience of the spectacular composers and their piano concertos.
This has now been in place for two months plus and we call it our ‘Classical Music Club’. Our founder members; Bunny, Freda, Leila, Barry and Jim decided to rename it from ‘The Opera Club’ to ‘Classical Music’ to open the doors to more genres of music and appeal to a wider audience.
We generally have on average twelve to fifteen residents attend. Because of the soundproof design of this venue, even those residents with more limited hearing can come and enjoy the music too. We invite each resident to bring their own selection of music CDs to this event to share with everyone.
Jim explained it to me so well: “Last week, I sat with my eyes closed listening to Chopin’s piano concerto, and was so absorbed at the moment I felt as if I was at home in my living room with my friends and family. It means so much for one hour a week to bring back memories like that”.
After each weekly meeting of ‘Classical Musical minds’, our residents sit and discuss memories of where they were when they first heard the music along with how it makes them feel and the extraordinary talents of the composers themselves. Being a part of this activity opens your mind to different types of music one might not always think they would enjoy and I find it extraordinarily moving.