So last week, I joined the old married woman club. I’m in full honeymoon mode–glossy eyes, goofy smile and all. So ergo, the theme for my music groups my first week back was of course “Love and Marriage.”
We started with a sing-along of commonly known love songs such as Bushel and a Peck, Bicycle Built for Two, and By the Light of the Silvry Moon.
For a movement song, I cut small pieces of tuele into “veils” for each resident. We talked about veils and reminisced about what kind/length of veils they might have worn. We then did a scarf dance with the veils to the song “Love and Marriage” by Frank Sinatra.
For our cognitive exercise/instrument play portion we played the “wedding bells.” I assigned groups of residents bells in the chords of D, Em, and A. I taught them to hold the bells upright like an ice cream cone and to play them in sync with my cues. We practiced going back and forth between the two chords so that we would not overlap and have some nasty dissonance, eventually adding in the third chord. We them accompanied ourselves on the bells to sing “Going to the Chapel.” This was definitely a favorite activity.
For the reminiscing portion (and the whole session for that matter) I wanted to be sensitive of the fact that not all memories of marriage and weddings are good. I think we sometimes romanticize the era of our elderly, thinking that all marriages of that time were blissful. However, these relationships are not exempt from divorce, abuse, or neglect. I tried to gear my questions to account for this. We talked about wedding memories–not necessarily their own–particularly funny stories (eg. rings being lost, flower girls crying, cakes collapsing). I also took advantage of my newly hitched status to ask for some advice from people who have been/were married longer than 12 days. This seemed to prove very meanful for many of the residents–it was a chance to offer something that they had and I did not. It was sweet to hear some of the practical things like “communicate, love each other, compromise when necessary…” I had one resident who said “Don’t go to bed angry; just pop him one and get it out of your system.” This I think was also beneficial for the ones who through discussion it became obvious that their marriages were less than perfect or ended in turmoil. For them it was almost redemptive–that maybe their advice could somehow save this unknowing little newlywed some heartache down the road.
We closed the session with some of the classic sappy love songs like Love Me Tender, Can’t Help Falling in Love, and Let Me Call You Sweetheart.
P.S. In the past I have done a lyric analysis of Nat King Cole’s song “L.O.V.E.” where we came up with our own definition of love starting with each letter in the word.