First day response from staff at Middlechurch 2011:
I don’t know how you do it!
The music students you send seem to get better every year.
I’m not sure how that is possible because each student that we have had seems outstanding and yet again this year, Matthew has been here only a week and he has enriched the lives of everyone here at Middlechurch Home in a matter of a few days.
What a summer we have to look forward to.
He plays and sings beautifully and he works very hard on his own time finding new music to bring each new day.
He is very personable and in the few days he has been here, he has adapted very well to everyday life in our long term care facility.
He has proven his flexibility over and over (which is very important in healthcare) as nothing here is ever routine or ordinary from moment to moment.
As Matthew was heading off to provide one to one music therapy for residents on the units, I asked him if he would be up to performing for our large group of residents who were already seated in the activity centre waiting for a concert to begin.
He performed a full hour concert for the large group of residents with absolutely no notice as our scheduled entertainment did not arrive due to a personal emergency.
He did an exceptional job.
The residents and staff were extremely impressed with this wonderful young talented musician who performed with such passion bringing joy into their day.
THANK YOU again for all your hard work in providing this exceptional program for our residents.
Therapeutic Recreation, Volunteer Services, Pastoral Care
Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg Inc
Kristopher Ulrich – Health Sciences Centre.
Over the summer I found many great places to play. One of these places was a hallway outside of the “Sanctuary”, a meditation room. I would sit outside of it and play and the music would drift into the main elevator area and other wards. Many people would walk by, and just seeing smile as they passed would instantly brighten my mood and give me energy. I also enjoyed playing in the Rehab recreation room. The coordinator had books full of old song lyrics and we would play guitar together while we sang along with patients. At HSC I made many friends and it was always a joy to see them every day and chat. Jennifer, my coordinator was incredibly good to me as well. She does a ton of work at HSC, but made sure I was always looked after. She gave me space to work and explore the hospital and was never once overbearing.
I met one fellow who introduced himself and informed me he had been writing a song. I offered him my guitar and asked if he would play. He obliged and proceeded to play a beautifully simple song for a friend he had lost. After he played it a few times through, he looked up and asked if we were friends, to which I immediately replied, “yes!” He told he once broke a string on a guitar playing the song. He said he thought his music must have power in it. I felt so inspired after this and it truly made my week to visit his ward.
No matter where I played, I never once felt in danger or uncomfortable at HSC. The staff there is very kind and always excited to have music played for them. After thinking about the patients and staff I would be leaving there, I decided I might like to volunteer there once a week if possible, depending on my schedule. I’ve had so many good times there I would feel like I’m missing something if I didn’t play there!
Being an Artist in Health Care is an incredible job. I got to be in situations no other job could offer, and played music for people who needed it the most. Music is a powerful thing, and I’m sure the patients and staff would agree.
Thank you again, for the opportunity to be an Artist in Health Care. -Kris
Jesse Popeski – Riverview Health Centre
Dan is a resident at Riverview who is paralyzed.