Name of Activity: Spiritual Sing-a-long
Spiritual Sing-a-longs take place at least once or twice a month. This type of singalong is a client favourite.
What are the benefits of the activity?
There are many positive effects that engaging in a music program can bring about. Music can reduce anxiety and fear, decrease agitation, reduce stress, promote pain management, decrease feelings of isolation, encourage intimacy and friendship, facilitate inter-cultural understanding, and connect people through shared experiences. Spiritual hymns in particular can provide comfort and peace, support through death/dying issues, facilitate contemplation and insight, assist in meditation and prayer, support connection to a higher power, inspire hope and courage, and create a sacred and meaningful atmosphere.
Why do clients enjoy the activity?
Clients who have had a church affiliated childhood, who sang hymns in Sunday School, who observed Remembrance Day, Christmas carols at school and who listened to hymns at home or on the radio will have kept the songs in their hearts, souls, and memories. Hymn singing is a way for clients to reminisce and connect with one another through meaningful music. Clients comment on how familiar songs, like Amazing Grace, bring them comfort and joy.
How can the reader run the activity?
All that is needed in order to run the activity is a willingness to provide a meaningful experience to clients; No musical abilities or “good singing voice” are required.
You can purchase or make copies of song books and CDs, or download music online. Give clients the choice of singing from a song book. Some songs may evoke sadness or bring up repressed memories; take time to acknowledge the significant memory and provide support to the person. Pause in between songs to encourage reflection. Also encourage the use of instruments such as shakers or tambourines during fast-paced songs such as “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Most importantly, have fun and appreciate the shared connection that music elicits between people from different walks of life.