Responses to the Health Arts Society programme

I would just like to express our deep gratitude for the program. The musicians have … been so appreciated by residents, families and staff. What a treat it has been to be treated to these talented musicians!
 
We have had family members come and enjoy the performances with the residents and clients. They have enjoyed this program as well. It is a wonderful program that enhances the lives of the people we work with daily.
 
When the [Health Arts] program was on the calendar, we had family change their plans to attend with their loved one and we had the highest participation from residents that we have ever had.
 
...Such genuine and fun-loving entertainment that truly moved people to the soul. It was a raving success; the residents are still talking about it, and I've never seen such a good response to live music in all the time I've worked in healthcare!

What I have really observed is the calm atmosphere after [Health Arts] performances. Sometimes at this time of the day, it can be a little unsettling for our residents with dementia. Thanks for this great opportunity for our home.

We are SO enjoying the music and performers…I hope this can continue. It’s absolutely fantastic and we are awestruck. Thank you!

We have a woman in our facility who played a violin in the Vancouver Symphony for years. She is quite unresponsive to most things however she smiled and stayed alert for the 45 minutes that this group played. In addition, the members went and talked to her after they finished and she made eye contact and had facial expression – truly a wonderful program for her.

What outstanding performers you sent to us!!!!! Our residents and staff loved every minute of them and were hoping to hear from them again in the near future. Really appreciate your excellent musical offerings and your interest and energy in providing this amazing service to us.

[The artists] were FABULOUS! It was such an honour to have them here. You could have heard a pin drop in between songs the residents were so quiet and relaxed. Thank you so very much.

The residents sat and watched and listened open mouthed. I do not think I have ever heard such a beautiful flute performance.

One gentleman reluctantly admitted that he was moved to tears by the intensity of the performance.

Residents reported to me that it was nice to hear some different kinds of music than what is normally scheduled in our recreation programming and with our volunteer music makers…

The resident immediately responded to the music, talked about the show, and showed other signs of being more cheerful. This resident died two days after the concert; it was the last live music she heard.

All of the performers were of a calibre which we are not typically able to provide for our residents. The performances were exciting, moving, educational and fun! There was literally something for everyone!

One gentleman ... a very tough character ... was moved to tears by the end. I suspect it was his first experience of live, classical musical, beautifully performed.

I had the pleasure of introducing our oldest resident (110 years old) to the musicians. She too, rarely takes part in large group programs, as she finds it quite tiring. Again, she stayed for the entire performance and was thrilled to shake hands with group afterwards. It was a unique experience for both her and the performers.

What a treat it was to witness such extraordinary talents as they embark on their musical careers. Moments like these really confirm the restorative powers of music and the importance of the [Health Arts] program.

We began to play … and from this tiny woman came this sweet voice that sang the tune with us while we played, with perfect intonation and articulation. It was very touching.

We were very well received everywhere we went. We were told by one nurse that she appreciated how calming our music was to the residents, and that it guaranteed a nice remainder of the day and evening for them after we left. I felt inspired many times over!

We met a young man suffering from ALS that had a master's in piano performance... he rarely comes out of his room but did for our performance. He had a smile on his face through the whole thing. Very special…

I really want to express the wonderful impact this wonderful music has on our residents and clients. We have had family members come and enjoy the performances with the residents and clients. They have enjoyed this program as well. It is a wonderful program that enhances the lives of the people we work with daily. Many of our residents look forward to the performances and anticipate their arrival the whole day the performers are to arrive.

The performances have been absolutely fantastic. The engagement of the performers with our residents is so heart warming. In our particular home, we do have musical programs. We do not however, have much in the way of classical music. This interaction has been so valuable and enjoyed by all of the participants. What I have really observed is the calm atmosphere after the performances. Sometimes at this time of the day, it can be a little unsettling for our residents with dementia. Thanks for this great opportunity for our home.

We had a wonderful turnout at the performance last Thursday at Hospice at 3:30. We are SO enjoying the music and performers…I hope this can continue. It’s absolutely fantastic and we are awestruck. Thank you!

The performance we had in June (string quartet) was absolutely fabulous. Their music mesmerized everyone. We have a woman in our facility who played a violin in the Vancouver Symphony for years. She is quite unresponsive to most things however she smiled and stayed alert for the 45 minutes that this group played. In addition, the members went and talked to her after they finished and she made eye contact and had facial expression – truly a wonderful program for her.

There was a large turnout, and it seems that everyone is very impressed. One gentleman reluctantly admitted that he was moved to tears by the intensity of the performance.

Residents reported to me that it was nice to hear some different kinds of music than what is normally scheduled in our recreation programming and with our volunteer music makers…I extended [the] invitation as well to the tenants of the assisted living facility, McConnell Estates which is linked to Terraceview as well.

The resident immediately responded to the music, talked about the show, and showed other signs of being more cheerful. This resident died two days after the concert; it was the last live music she heard.

A staff member explained that there are about 10 residents who were formerly subscribers to the various musical organizations in Victoria and having the musicians come was, for them, like returning to their “normal” life.

A resident who previously worked at UBC and attended many of the student and faculty concerts said: “I usually go home at noon, but always stay on Health Arts days because this is food for my ears, I need it.”

I just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity of taking part in your ... pilot program … All of the performers were of a calibre which we are not typically able to provide for our residents. The performances were exciting, moving, educational and fun! There was literally something for everyone! The residents would talk about the performers for weeks after each visit; reminiscing about how beautifully Joel sang or how Amicus Duo composed a song for us on the spot! It was very interesting for me to see the effect of the music on some of our residents. We have weekly entertainment and music therapy, so the residents have ample opportunities to experience music. There was something different about these performers, however. I saw residents there who would normally never attend a music program, clapping and cheering. One gentleman, a former resident of the downtown east side, is a very tough character. He rarely attends any social gathering, and if he does, only stays for a few minutes. He wandered into the Trio Accord performance, stayed for the entire show, and was moved to tears by the end. I suspect it was his first experience of live, classical musical, beautifully performed.

At that same performance, I had the pleasure of introducing our oldest resident (110 years old) to the musicians. She too, rarely takes part in large group programs, as she finds it quite tiring. Again, she stayed for the entire performance and was thrilled to shake hands with group afterwards. It was a unique experience for both her and the performers.

I hope this gives you some idea of the impact this program had on our facility. Residents, staff and family members had nothing but praise for the performers, and gratitude for this very special opportunity.

I just wanted to be in touch about the bluegrass band "Headwater" whom recently played here at Glengarry Hospital through the [Health Arts] program. Thank you for booking such genuine and fun-loving entertainment that truly moved people to the soul. It was a raving success; the residents are still talking about it, and I've never seen such a good response to live music in all the time I've worked in healthcare! I would definitely flag this band in your books as one that we'd like to see return.

We’ve had the [Health Arts] program here at our centre for the last few years. The clients and staff are always pleasantly surprised by the variety of performers from classical pianists to jazz guitarists to Shakespearian actors. This has been a wonderful opportunity for our seniors to see highly skilled and experienced talent that they would not usually get the chance to see due to mobility and/or transportation challenges.

Not only has this program been entertaining but there is often an educational component as well. It has also connected us socially with some other nearby centres who sometimes bring their clients. One of our clients even met up with an old-time friend she hadn’t seen in a long time who was visiting.

We all look forward to [Health Arts performances] each month and hope it will continue to thrive and bring much joy into the lives of our seniors.

I want to thank you for the opportunity to reply to this fabulous project. We had several groups in to play and we were in awe of the quality of their work… The residents have many entertainment groups booked for them on a monthly basis but none of them are the quality that we enjoyed. When the program was on the calendar, we had family change their plans to attend with their loved one and we had the highest participation from residents that we have ever had.

I had the privilege to hear Avan Yu perform in Banfield yesterday. I don't even know what words to use to describe the performance, but it was wonderful. You could almost hear a pin drop, the audience was so silent….Once again, thank you so much for bringing the Health Arts program to residents and family/friends at Banfield. We appreciate the support.

In the 15 years I have worked in extended care, I have never seen the residents more focused and entranced by a performer! It was amazing. Even residents with dementia, who normally can't sit still for long, stayed and listened intently for the entire 45 minutes. It was educational for even me, how people with dementia can obviously appreciate fine music and respond so differently than with other calibres of music. Thank you so much for allowing our residents to share in this opportunity!

Our Residents thoroughly enjoyed these quality performances…The programs were calming and relaxing for the residents - few wanted to leave the concert and often you could hear a pin drop. These are signs that they were enjoying it. I fully support continuing these unique wonderful classical concerts for our residents.

What a good thing [Health Arts] is. The feeling that I had as a performer was truly unique. The response from all three places was most gratifying. From the staff, to the relatives of the patients and of course the patients themselves, it seemed like we were able to fill out a very special hour of their day. The comments were numerous: “this is good for my soul”, “we’ve never had something this good before”, “when can you come back?”, and my favourite “when you see them sit absolutely still for so long, you know something special has happened”.

One gentleman in the last concert was the perfect example of why to do this. He sat three feet from me and while I was setting up asked how the OSO was doing. Turns out he was a volunteer in Penticton for five years but is now legally blind and no longer able to help. As the concert progressed he reminded me of someone watching a tennis match as his head went back and forth from horn to horn while we played.

Saturday was amazing. We met a young man suffering from ALS that had a master's in piano performance... he rarely comes out of his room but did for our performance. He had a smile on his face through the whole thing. Very special…

I was out at UBC for the valentine's performance. One really grouchy old guy was moved to tears....it's amazing what emotions the music can bring out. The program is so valued by the mental health clients and staff.

I spoke to the staff and they said the Red Chamber performance was excellent!! They said the patients really were impressed with it. It really made an impact to have cultural music to support the multicultural event. Apparently the patient attendance at Fir Hall was one of the highest!

What an absolutely amazing concert this afternoon with The Chris Millington Trio! They were fabulous, so talented, and personable, kept the audience totally engaged and laughing! Wow, our old piano hasn't rocked like that I must say!! ha! Really a wonderful performance, we are so appreciative! Thanks for making this series happen.

[A] severely depressed resident who refused activities...was finally talked into attending the Chris Millington Trio because the staff knew jazz was a favourite. The resident immediately responded to the music, talked about the show, and showed other signs of being more cheerful. This resident died two days after the concert; it was the last live music she heard.

A seriously depressed client who after refusing to leave her room for days, heard Robert Silverman was coming to play and asked to be dressed, have her hair fixed, and lipstick put on and be taken to the concert. She then talked about the concert for days after.

[Health Arts] is a truly incredible amazing experience…wishing this could be a standing monthly performance as it has so much to offer. It’s been wonderful at Parkside, Rainbow & Gateway. It’s brought some residents to tears…the familiar songs resurrecting memories, emotions, validation, and so much more. Family members attending alongside one’s loved one, enjoying the experience together where conversation just isn’t there anymore. For some residents – they’d come alive & energized with the music; others would be calmed and focused…forgetting one’s aches & pains and just enjoying the moment. Staff too…stopped in to enjoy the music right along with the residents. Performers were great in their overall delivery…short introductions to the pieces of music with the focus being the music worked well for our population (complex care). The variety of instruments played and ability to be viewed up close; the professionalism & respect demonstrated; the engaging with the residents before & after the performance…very touching to individual audience members. A topic of conversation heard at the dinner meal later that day…

The performances have been received very positively from the residents here. It's wonderful to have such talented artists come here for us. The different music is certainly a change for our seniors, and a welcome one at that. They are very appreciative to have company. It's been great that it's small groups. 2-3 seem a perfect fit for us. Thank you so much for including us in your pilot project!

We have thoroughly enjoyed the [Health Arts] events that your organization has provided for us. The residents have responded very positively, and definitely appreciate the high calibre of talent. We have not had many family members attend the concerts, but staff and residents have been so impressed. These concerts have been a highlight on our calendar these past months. A few of our residents are musicians themselves, so they particularly enjoy the music. The diversity of instruments, as well as the interaction that the musicians provide is also appreciated. The musicians have been great about explaining the music they play, as well as making themselves available to answer any questions the residents might have. All in all, a huge success, and we so thank you and your team for all the effort that you have put into making this program possible. I can only imagine how much work has gone into providing these concerts; please know that your efforts have touched our hearts and are valued beyond measure. We certainly hope that the program can continue as it provides such wonderful entertainment for our residents. On behalf of the residents and staff of Laurier Manor, our sincerest thanks.

Just to let you know our performance was on Tuesday. The residents absolutely enjoyed it immensely. I watched residents that usually are not so responsive to music and I witnessed some toes tapping, tears, fingers moving to the beat. This is such a nice thing these performers are doing. Just wanted you to know. Thanks again for including SFL.

Residents and family thoroughly enjoyed the Conservatory Strings Trio – residents reported to me that it was nice to hear some different kinds of music than what is normally scheduled in our recreation programming and with our volunteer music makers. They are looking forward to the next concert.

It’s been a great program. The residents, staff, and guests have all appreciated the opportunity to take part. The length of the program is appropriate; all the performances have been exceptional. Thank you!

The residents, family and staff...are all very happy with the performances. Some residents will inquire as to what kind of performers will be coming this month. Family members will specifically visit the day they know a performance will be held. Staff will take their breaks and sit or stand on the periphery to listen to the performances. This is such a lovely cultural and community linkage program which brings much joy to the residents at Bastion Place.

The music and musicians have been fantastic. The residents look forward to the musicians coming and the variety of music reaches everybody….It is great to bring such talented musicians to the Facilities as it gets harder to get to the music.

I just wanted to say thanks for the delightful performance by Annette Dominik and Naomi Cloutier. They were well received and very relaxed with the residents (performances here can be quite interactive due to the large number of musicians among the residents). A good time was had by all and we look forward to the coming performances.

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much our residents, staff and family members enjoyed Ingrid (harp) and George (cello) on June 12th. Not only was their music beautiful but everyone was awed with Ingrid in her stunning evening gown! We feel very fortunate to be a beneficiary of the Health Arts program, and are looking forward to our next performance!

Just to let you know we had our first concert on the 16th and it was a hit. Lots of obvious enjoyment by the residents: humming, toe tapping and engaged faces. Thanks for this great program looking forward to the next one.

I wanted to send you a big thank you from all the Staff and Residents at McKinney Place. The first Health Arts performance…was a great success and enjoyed by all. There were many positive comments and a lot of happy faces. So thanks again for adding McKinney Place to your list of facilities that benefit from this wonderful program.

I would like to acknowledge that the program has been extremely well received by residents, staff families and visitors…The level and quality of the performances have been outstanding. The performers are always very professional and relate well to our population group by engaging with the audience. The program provides in house live performances for our residents and family who otherwise could not afford to enjoy this high calibre of entertainment due to financial or physical limitations. We always look forward to the performances and hope this program continues as it only enhances our residents' quality of life. We would like to thank you and the Health Arts Society for filling the gap for our residents in providing them access to live professional artistic performances.

The concerts are eagerly anticipated by many of the residents. Classical music is the genre of music that some of the residents were raised with, while others grew to love classical music as adults. We have 54 residents and are averaging 33 residents at the concerts. Family members have also come to the concerts. The quality of the performances is exceptional. The residents and myself especially appreciate that the performers talk about the next piece of music that they are about to perform, who composed it, when and what it represents...Residents who have dementia, and have enjoyed classical music in their lifetime are especially touched by the music. Watching their facial expressions and their hands moving in time with the music, you see the joy that the music is bringing. Music can reach back through time, and bring memories of times past to the present day, touching the person in a very profound way. On behalf of the residents, I want to thank you for bring the Arts Way Concerts to Piccadilly.

The response to the project has been great from residents, families and staff. They have especially enjoyed the quality of the music as witnessed by residents staying the entire length of the performance and confused residents not disrupting the performance. The artists have been a pleasure to work with as has the staff of Health Arts Society. I sincerely hope this program can continue!!

I don’t know how to begin to explain to you how appreciative and thankful we are to be involved with the Health Arts events. Staff, residents and guests continue to be amazed at the professional quality of all the entertainers we have enjoyed so far. We have a record number in attendance; and the momentum continues to grow as word circulates on the high level of the performers. Family members plan their visit, so that they can be here on the day of the performance. Many of our residents have been involved with music over the years at various levels and it is very respectful to them to be able to benefit from something such as this! Our sincere thanks!

It is almost hard to put into words how grateful we have been here at the Dr. Andrew Pavilion for the quality of the performers that have visited us during the past four months. I can speak on behalf of the residents and the staff to say they have brought a ray of musical sunshine into our home. In between songs and after the performance you can hear a pin drop; even our residents with more profound dementia are quieted and soothed by the music. I have visitors who make a point to come in on the day of performance, and office staff who nip over on their coffee breaks to listen in. The program has been nothing but positive for our residents. Thank you very much for organizing the events, and we sincerely hope the program continues in our region.

On behalf of the staff, residents and families of Pleasant Valley Manor, I would like to thank all of those members of the Health Arts Society for setting up the performances. At the last performance we had 52 residents attend (one of our largest turnouts ever). The majority of our residents suffer from dementia/Alzheimer’s and for the duration of the performance ALL of the residents sat attentively and quietly. One resident who is often very agitated and calls out, sat for the entire performance with her eyes closed and a smile on her face. The quality of the performances was excellent, and everyone here feels fortunate to have that superior level of talent at our home. One small comment that was relayed back to me was that they staff found that the first performance (the quintet), was a little too loud for the residents. Otherwise, only compliments. Thanks again to yourselves and the performers.

The Health Arts Program has been “THE BEST” thing that has happened for our Residents. (This is my opinion of course) Our Residents who are now unable to go to concerts are enjoying the music that Health Arts Society has provided. Music is a universal language and it touches so many people in so many different ways. We have Residents here who used to go to the symphony, taught at UBC, performed themselves and have written music. Even when some Residents have dementia they still enjoy the music. I see the applause, the smiles, the toe tapping or just the quiet listening. For some it is relaxing. For me it is the best program and I look forward when someone from Health Arts Society comes. I have also noticed that the staff seems to linger in the room with the program as well. I personally would like to thank you for the joy that Health Arts Society has brought to so many people. THANK YOU! I hope that you will be able to continue.

The residents and tenants…have really enjoyed the artists. It is nice to have a variety of entertainment as many people/groups that perform are regular routines. The quality has been great.

We have all really enjoyed each and every performance. The residents are quite thrilled with the talent each performer has shown. I think this program is a very useful one in that it is entertaining and it gives us some insight to just how much talent we have here in the Kootenays! Performers have always been very polite and always on time.

All of the residents and staff have been enjoying each of the performances. The residents are so quiet during the performance; it is bringing back memories for many of our residents. We cannot thank you all for the wonderful entertainment you provide for us here at Pine Grove. We post the performance and also include it in our newsletter. We do not have many family members attending due to the time slot. It is so nice to see the staff stop and take time to enjoy the performance when the time allows.

To date the quality of all the performances has been great. I have heard positive comments from many of the residents and staff particularly those that enjoy a more classical style of music. There are some residents who prefer a more sing-a-long or western style of music and have expressed that to myself. I do think this type of music from the Arts Way performances does appeal to many of our residents.

I would like to thank the Activity Staff at DLJ for the invitation to join in on the presentations. The children from the day-care have enjoyed the music program immensely! They are so interested in the music and the instruments and all of the musicians have been so welcoming to the children and staff. Thank you so much for the opportunity for the children!

When I asked the residents they told me they enjoyed the performances and the other workers have be happy with the event they have attended. Keep up the good work and we will look forward to your being here this weekend. The worker has attended two of the sessions and some others up in Kelowna. She expressed how they were well received in all places.

I have nothing but positive feedback for this wonderful provision of music by Health Arts Society. It was apparent from the very first performance that we were going to be witnessing some very talented musicians. When it comes to working with the elderly and with individuals of varying abilities and inabilities the one thing we’ve found that speaks to everyone is music. Any opportunity to provide live entertainment to the residents is welcomed and the provision of such high quality entertainment, such as the one offered by Health Arts Society, is a treat. I’ve seen residents cry tears of joy and sadness. Many of them wish to meet the musicians after to thank them for the performance. It’s absolutely wonderful and I hope we can see more of these opportunities in the future. Thanks again for all that you’ve provided and we look forward to the upcoming performances.

Our residents and families have enjoyed all the performers so far. Our old piano has never sounded so good. Attendance has been 30+ residents and families coming from the North and South units.
We have enjoyed the performances tremendously this year. The talent has been outstanding and very well received by our residents. Some of our residents have learned to enjoy the beauty and appreciate the skill offered by the performers. Others have been reintroduced to the quality of performance that they had once been able to enjoy in their younger years and then for those who once played an instrument this was very entertaining for them. Our hopes are that we would continue to see this level of performance in our home. As a staff member I know that I have enjoyed the calibre of performance and other staff/visitors and family also appreciated these performances. Our only concern was that at times the musicians would give a lengthy explanation about the piece they were about to perform which often our residents could not understand. Thank you for a wonderful year, and again we hope that this type of programs will be offered again to our seniors.

The project has been very well received by all residents, staff and families. We have had residents talking about the performances long after they have been here and everyone thinks the performers are incredible. I will tell you the story of one of our family members as she has told me: She is the wife of one of our residents who has been with us for almost one year. This woman was having a difficult time dealing with all the life changes that come when a family member has been diagnosed with AD and with his move to our building. After watching the second performance (I believe it was a piano player and perhaps a singer as well, I am not sure) she came to me the following week and said that seeing the performance had changed her life. She had been is such a slump over the last year and was having a hard time moving on without her husband. Something about the live music opened her eyes to her life again. She went home, cleaned her house and organised things that had needed organisation for a year. She ordered a BOSE and now has music in her life again. She has since been on a trip to Vancouver with girlfriends, and is refreshed and renewed. We can see this change in her-both mentally and physically when she comes in for her daily visits with her husband. These monthly performances have been both stimulating and relaxing for all who have heard them. This program is very beneficial to our residents at Kamloops Seniors Village, as well and families and staff. The music engages our residents and brings out many wonderful memories for them. We are very grateful to be part of the Health Arts Program and hope to continue being part of this in the future.

The programs offered at Noric House have been very well received by our residents, staff and families. The quality and calibre of the performers has been outstanding. We have many entertainers come regularly to perform for us and we appreciate their commitment but it is also nice to have performances of a calibre that many of the residents have enjoy in their past. Thank you for the opportunity to have Health Arts programs at Noric House.

I was present for the June performance – and can say that it was thoroughly enjoyed by all!! There were the residents (of course), family and guests, and the staff persons. The music was wonderful … and the little stories between the pieces was appreciated! I was on holidays for the August performance; however, the feedback was great! There were a few more guests at the second performance as word had spread about how great the first performance was! On behalf of the residents, visitors, and staff persons …. thank you for sharing the music with us! It’s wonderful!! We are eagerly awaiting the next performance on Oct 16. In fact … I’m just on my way to putting the posters up for everyone to make note of!!

Residents are highly engaged in the music, all listening in various ways. Some with continuous eye contact towards musicians, some closing eyes (with relaxed expression or with smiles). Lots of smiles, toes tapping, eyes “lit up” ...silence – no one chatting, everyone lost in the wonder of the music. Residents who have dementia, and can become easily agitated, stayed for the entire duration of the performances and were both settled and engaged in the music. Residents who are more “well”/high level, thrilled with the music. Loved & thoroughly enjoyed the classical music, a style which is rarely brought in as entertainment in our care home. Comments were made for several hours, complimenting the music, how delightful it was, the quality of the music. Residents who are less “well”/lower level (i.e.: non-verbal, limited physical abilities) had relaxed facial expressions, and an appearance of peace & contentedness. Content to remain at program through its duration. A light and refreshing, yet peaceful energy noticed throughout the entire house. Some residents who chose to stay in their bedrooms could also hear the music and expressed their enjoyment. Music was deeply appreciated by all. The quality of the musical performances was exceptional, superb. This made us all feel quite special, that we all were valued enough to receive such high quality experiences. Children (3-5 yr olds) from the day-care on site at our care home joined us for the performances. Musicians were very accommodating of the children, and were happy to include them in the experience as well. We sure do appreciate the opportunity to be included in the Health Arts performances. These were both tremendously

We are thoroughly enjoying the performances at Ponderosa Lodge. We have residents, staff and family members attending the monthly program and are being favourably reviewed. Thank you very much for this wonderful opportunity that most of our clients would not be able to access if in the community.

On behalf of the Residents of Ridgeview Lodge, I want to thank you very much for the awesome performers that have been sent out way! The Residents, families and staff have enjoyed the performances immensely!! The quality of the performances is extremely good and very suitable for our audience. I sure hope that they will be continued but I heard that this is a one-time grant!!??? We appreciate the programs very much.

I can listen to this all day!! When they are finished the residents rave about how lovely the music is - and even those that usually get agitated by music in the main dining room are calm. Can we keep them??