It don’t mean a thing

If it ain’t got that swing…. We’ve talked in this blog about coping with, and even creatively using, sound latency within online music. But Gary found himself actively creating further discrepancies of musical timing during online music therapy sessions at Hill House recently. That is, he found himself ‘swinging’ some of the songs. Why? What’s …

Musical events – with GIO

Our Virtual Tribe: Sustaining and Enhancing Community in Online Music Improvisation…. Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra (GIO) is friendly and accepting. Tia noticed that immediately when she began to play along with them on zoom (she is relearning an instrument – the flute – after forty years of neglect). To celebrate she tried to draw a diagram …

Stitches in Time

Weaving together music, stories, and identities In Philip Larkin’s Love Songs in Age the poet describes how each chord of music brought back, ‘the unfailing sense of being young’ … Many of us know that listening to music can evoke memories, and that sharing favourite music with others is simultaneously an opportunity for sharing those memories – …

‘The other way around’?

Do disabilities acquire people? In an essay on a project called Musical Minds, a project that was facilitated by music therapist Sarah Wilson, Gary Ansdell muses on how, ‘”communities of practice” catalyse fundamental social processes of participation, meaning-making, identity, and belonging’ (2010: 48). His essay highlights one of the bedrock features of ‘community music therapy’, namely …

Wandering Free?

Featherstone, K. and A. Northcote. Wandering the Wards: An Ethnography of Hospital Care and its Consequences for People Living With Dementia. London: Routledge. 2020. Xxii + 165pp. £77.38 (cloth) free (ebk) ISBN 978-1-350-07845-1 (cloth) ISBN 978-1-003-08733-5 (ebk) We recently read this wonderful book. Our review of it will appear soon in Sociology of Health and Illness. It …

Why do we sing?

The Hospice Choir via Zoom Keep smiling, keep shiningKnowing you can always count on me for sureThat’s what friends are for. In good times, in bad timesI’ll be on your side for evermoreThat’s what friends are for. Burt Bacharach & Carole Bayer Sager Every Wednesday evening for three years, around 70-80 people packed themselves into …

Poetry of Departures, 2

“- Say it, no ideas, but in things…” – William Carlos Williams, Paterson Imaginative engagement of what might, through other methods of investigation, be documented… That is our aim….  Working on a longitudinal (10 year), ethnographic study of community music and mental health some years back, we took inspiration from the work and writings of the American …

I take one of the surgical masks out of the box that is placed on a little table in front of Rebecca’s room…

I take one of the surgical masks out of the box that is placed on a little table in front of Rebecca´s room, put the elastic straps behind my ears and fix the blue-white colored piece of fabric tight on my nasal bridge. During this extraordinary year with the Covid-19 pandemic, I have learned that …

Latency: what’s the problem?

A Christmas Story Doing sessions ‘down the line’ really highlights the physical distance between, in our work, the Hill House residents and staff on the one hand and Gary, music therapist, miles away, on the other. But it also reveals what it is that everyone involved – Gary, residents, staff – are doing to care for …

Disrupted Synchrony: Does it matter?

Gary’s thoughts As we reported in the last Vignette, the Skype sessions at Hill House in the last six months seem to have been – surprisingly – successful. Surprising, that is, for Gary – who feared that the famous ‘latency effect’ [aka sound delay] would make musical activity just too difficult between him and the …