Mudcat Café message #2287300 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109300   Message #2287300
Posted By: KT
13-Mar-08 - 09:38 AM
Thread Name: Gigs (that pay better than coffee houses)
Subject: RE: Gigs (that pay better than coffee houses)
Interesting thead. I have to echo those who've stressed that not all retirement communities are the same. As a musician AND Activity Director, I've seen it from both sides.

Years ago, believing strongly in the benefits of music therpy, especially for older populations, I approached the administrator of such a community, with the idea of providing music for the residents. I was told in no uncertain terms that there was NO budget to pay for musical entertainment. At the time, I didn't believe it. Once I became the Activity Director, I realized that what he'd said was true. I think a lot may depend on whether it's private or not, but again, not all places are the same.

Regarding Genie's exasperating experience above, just a thought for assited living entertainers to consider.

The staff knows the residents. They know their abilites to attend to an event, how much assistance they may need to engage, thereby deriving as much as possible from the experience, what particular behaviors or tendancies a resident may have, which, left unchecked, could cause greater disruption to a performance. They know how to read their residents and can oftentimes recognize and anticipate needs that a performer couldn't possibly know. Sometimes what may seem like an interruption or attempt to upstage, may in reality, be a proactive measure to circumvent a problem or assist a resident in participating more fully. I have, on many occasions, requested of a person leading a sing-a-long, to change direction, or to repeat a refrain, because I see something in a resident that she did not, or could not, in her role. What may seem like an interruption to the one providing the entertainment, may in fact, be for the benefit of the residents.