Instant Holiday Spirit? Just Add Music

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Instant Holiday Spirit? Just Add Music

In a managed care setting, you have people with various levels of cognitive and physical ability. Because of this, planning holiday activities can be a challenge. Fortunately, there is one thing you can do that has universal appeal: Bring music into your facility. Music can be relaxing, inspirational, and comforting, all at the same time. From sacred music and traditional carols like “Silent Night” and Handel’s Messiah, to more modern, secular songs like “Jingle Bells”, nothing will get people in the holiday spirit faster than their favorite songs.

Recorded music
The easiest option is to pick up a couple CDs of holiday tunes at your local music store. Most have a variety of classic and modern songs and can appeal to a wide range of people. You can set up a CD player in a common area like an activity room or dining hall. Get your residents talking about their favorite holiday memories and songs, and see if you can find those songs for them. Encourage singing!

Other cultures and traditions
Do you have residents with non-American ethnic backgrounds? Ask their family members to share holiday music in their native language, or use the internet to learn about songs and traditions from other cultures. Also, sharing non-Christian traditions (like the celebration of Hanukkah) makes all residents feel included, and brings something new and fun to your facility’s celebrations.

Live music
Look for local music groups that might be willing to perform in your facility. Most communities have choral groups either through a school, community college, or your local churches. Maybe you have a barbershop quartet or an instrumental ensemble available? Use the internet or a phone book to look for musicians in your area. Many will be listed alongside wedding and event planners, but would appreciate the chance to share their music with your residents.

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Bob_Collins

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