After our weekly hymn-sing at the care home, a first-time aide on our unit said, “This is the liveliest unit I’ve ever worked on!”
Such is the power of music to bring joy and life to even the saddest of places. As we start to sing, “I’ll Fly Away,” residents who were slumped in their chairs a few moments ago are now smiling and playing tambourines, drums, and bells with enthusiasm and energy. They are worshipping, singing, playing and exercising all at the same time. What a wonderful, holistic activity for spirit, soul and body.
We love bringing this kind of experience every week to the care home. We know that the atmosphere will be transformed by our sharing music with the residents – and the staff, too. Two or three young staff members stand up front with us and join us in doing hand motions to “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “This Little Light of Mine.”
Singing together is a great way to build a sense of belonging and togetherness. We each contribute our voices and our percussion instruments to “make a joyful noise to the Lord.” It always feels like a celebration there in the normally-quiet evenings in the nursing home. When we finish, there is usually spontaneous applause and lots of laughter. Faces all around the room are beaming. Before we leave, we go around and thank each resident for their help in making our choir and orchestra such a special one.
We all leave with a sense of well-being at having been in the presence of the Lord together, singing and celebrating His unfailing love to us who gather every week in His Name.