Friday, May 31, 2019
Where the music takes you
I play music for a man who lives in a mission home. The other day when I arrived, he was confused and did not remember me. I tried singing some of the songs that were a hit last time like, “Stand by Me,” “Under the Boardwalk, “ “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay,” but none of them made a connection. He kept leaving the room and the nurse kept bringing him back.
Finally, I got the idea to just improvise on my guitar in a bluesy style. He closed his eyes as he listened. At one point, I thought he was falling asleep. When I finally finished, he brightened up and said, “Wow! I really enjoyed myself!” It showed me that he can listen to instrumental music and let it take him somewhere. That he enjoys engaging his imagination. Many people get bored with instrumental music. Not him! It is true that he is a bit of an abstract thinker and so I can understand why improvisation would appeal to him.
When I arrived to see him, he was confused and disengaged. When I left him, he was happy and excited for me to come back again and play for him. I learned a lot from this experience and I look forward to what will happen next time.