Your Music Stories

Please consider sharing your stories:

Many of us have turned to music for help, for comfort, to effect a change in our mood or social situation. In the interests of sharing, and learning from each other, if music has helped to care for you and those you know we would love to hear about it.

Your story could be about yourself, or your relationship to the person you care for. It might, for example describe how you have used recorded music, or taken part in live music, or even just remembered, talked about, or thought about music. It might involve describing how you have written songs, or sung a lullaby, or put music on in the background for an event or occasion. It can take the form of a story but we would also be delighted to read a poem, a dialogue, a short story….And it doesn’t have to be ‘in perfect English’! Indeed it doesn’t have to be ‘in’ English! (Halvparten av teamet vårt er norsk og etter hvert håper vi å publisere mer på disse sidene på norsk. – well, we hope you get the idea…)

We are aware that there are many people who will not have access to this website or be in command of the digital skills required to take part in this activity. And we realise that the ‘sample’ of stories will therefore be skewed in ways that leave some kinds of people out. But still we think there is a lot to be gained, and learned, through any amount of peer-to-peer sharing. And we will publish here as many as we can.

If you send us a story for publication on this website, we promise never to use your name or identifying details (and we will remove any obvious identifying details before we upload it). Moreover if at any time you change your mind and ask us to remove it, we’ll do so immediately . To show you the kind of thing we have in mind, here are a couple stories from two members of the Project Team, Tia and Gary:

Tia: In his final years, my father sometimes got frustrated and angry. We had a long-standing joke in the family that he was learning to play the recorder. (He was not.) But when he got distressed, this old piece of family culture came in handy. When I could, I’d grab my recorder and play random sounds on it. I’d say, “it’s time for your recorder lesson,” and immediately (every time) he would laugh and say, “No, no, no, anything but that!” – and our tension flowed away. Sometimes he would even play a few notes: toot, toot, toot! It seemed to give us a way of shifting scene and shifting away from what would otherwise have been a difficult time. We always followed it with something nice – a cup of coffee and a piece of coffee cake, a little work in the garden, or even just quiet time together. Music helped us both.

Gary: The last time I visited a favourite uncle in a care home I found him anxious and it was difficult for us to talk. I looked around the room (and suddenly I heard!) all the clocks that were ticking and chiming each quarter. Seeing me look my uncle started talking about his beloved clocks, and I started remembering how he’d shown me as a child how to wind up his grandfather clock in the hallway of his house. Then he talked about his favourite hymn, and sang a snatch to me. Following this visit I wrote a poem about this:

Time’s Music

We’re in your room of just a year

Where nine crowded clocks tick –

all sizes and shapes: transplanted from your more spacious home of 60 years.

Every hour the clocks chime

Set to slightly different times so they

Stretch the hour

with a two minute jangle of sound.

Here is the grandfather clock

I remember as a child

just inside your old front door,

You showing me how to wind it so that the slow-life of the pendulum weights kept it ticking through another week. 

The one that’s not survived the move is the elaborate French-style ormolu

under a glass dome that stood on a sideboard in the room that had the piano…

The piano on which as a four-year-old I first discovered and followed the sounds

that led me into this life

whilst my mother gossiped with her sister each week in the next room. 

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If you want to share a story and are willing to let us publish it on this website fill in this form and add your story in the ‘Message’ box: