Yesterday I became involved in a new programme at our local Neighbourhood House.
We have a lot of what used to be called mentally disabled people now often referred to as Intellectually Disabled come (along with carers) to use the facilities, mainly in the gardening and craft area, they love being able to have a day away from their ‘homes’ meeting with others, doing things which might not otherwise be available to them. This venture is called Community Singing – anyone who likes to sing can come along and just do that – Sing.
I always think that music in all forms is a way of making the brain work, trying to remember the words and tunes, sparking memories for alot of us as well as giving enjoyment to everyone who takes part so when a friend mentioned this I was all for it. Not a huge number of people there, a good size actually, about equal numbers of those who could (or rather tried to) sing and those for whom it was a challenge but we had fun.
My voice isn’t quite what it used to be and it was a laugh in the beginning trying to be precise with the notes and then realising that that wasn’t what it was all about, none of us were perfect and there were three guitars to make the squeaky sounds less noticeable and add to the fun. I’ll be back again next Wednesday afternoon thats for sure.
Apart from my friend Val the other faces there were ‘strangers’ to me – we’d arrived a little late so I just said who I was ( Cathy) sat down and joined in. Was gathering up things at the end and one woman came up and asked if I was so and so, had lived at such an adress and had several children , yes I replied, don’t you recognise me she said, well no I said, then she gave me her name.
Oh dear, it was like being at a school reunion, she had been in the Mothers Club (like myself) at the local Primary School way way back, many years ago actually – I met her in 1972 and had been quite friendly with her (and many other mothers) for 7 years doing all the sorts of things you do when you’re involved with a school – helping out in the library, listening to reading in class and the biggy of they year putting on the school fete to hopefully raise funds – only thing was when our youngest left and went to High School I started work and lost touch with them all.
So we laughed and spent time reminiscing – much to the delight of some of the others ‘cose we talked about how things had changed locally and being more recent residents they had no idea of how things were in those days Honestly I didn’t recognise her but once I knew who she was I could see her as she was at that time. Lots of other names kept popping into my head during the evening so I’ll have questions galore for her next week
The second Tuesday night in the month is also a music night for us – Dh and I tootle along to the Folk Club for their guest artist night
We had a great time ‘cose as well as some really good spot acts and a singalong, the main attraction was a group of singers called Saoirse – http://www.myspace.com/saoirseoz
‘Continuing to sing up a storm throughout Victoria’s festivals and music venues, Saoirse have evolved into a four piece band, embracing Irish culture from the ancient to present day. Saoirse performances offer their audience the opportunity to participate in both song and spirit, with the addition of original songs, penned by Sile Coleman. Singing in English and Irish, harmonising beautifully, Saoirse have a unique combination of voices and instruments and delight audiences wherever they perform.’
By the By, theres one act coming to the club in April I can’t wait to see – will be a fun night listening to Mama’s Mountain Jug Band
Do have look at all those links and discover that music in all shapes and forms is definitely alive here in Australia.