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  #31  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:36 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Originally Posted by paulin View Post
.... and many, many of the "older" generation LOVE classic country music, Hank Williams Sr. etc.
Just curious... Where are you located? I'm in Minneapolis, and I suspect the country stuff might not be as popular with these folks as it might be in some other parts of the country.

On the other hand, some of this stuff was very very popular pretty much everywhere I guess, so it probably would be familiar music.
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  #32  
Old 03-14-2010, 01:00 PM
paulin paulin is offline
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Just curious... Where are you located? I'm in Minneapolis, and I suspect the country stuff might not be as popular with these folks as it might be in some other parts of the country.
I'm located in California but have performed as far east as SD. Although not as "elderly" perhaps as those in rest homes, I've played for numerous older folks in RV parks as we travel and found people from the mid west and Canada really enjoy country western music, although it is not my forte. I'd suspect people from Minnesota would enjoy it too as evidenced by the music programs on the RFD channel on TV, i.e. Midwest Country out of Sandstone Minnesota, etc.
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  #33  
Old 03-14-2010, 06:23 PM
oldhippiegal oldhippiegal is offline
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If they've already been suggested, sorry to repeat (little time today to read!)

I love Waltzing Matilda and There's a Tavern in the Town (you get to sing the little echo parts), both three chord songs.

Over The Rainbow is good, as are many musical songs. Edelweiss is pretty, Til There was You, On The Street Where you Live.
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  #34  
Old 03-16-2010, 07:21 AM
Herb Hunter Herb Hunter is offline
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Sing along songs for an elderly audience - suggestions?

My family and I have been asked to do a musical performance at an apartment complex owned and run by our church. These are sort of retirement/assisted living apartments, and so most of the audience will be quite old.

I'm primarily a fingerstyle guitar player and banjo player, and I could easily fill an hour with original fingerstyle guitar stuff (on my classical and on my Goodall), along with some more familiar pieces like Classical Gas, I Can't Help Falling in Love with You, Shenandoah, etc (and on banjo, the Beverly Hillbillies theme, and a few other more traditional pieces). I could also add in a flatpicking arrangement or two ...e.g. Whiskey Before Breakfast.

An hour of just guitar (and banjo) will probably not be as interesting to the audience as it would be to me though, so at least half of the time will include my wife and daughter. They'll play a few flute duets, and we'll all play some stuff together (guitar + two flutes, or guitar + flute + violin) ...traditional walzes (e.g. Star of the County Down, some traditional Finnish walzes, etc) and some Irish fiddle tune type stuff.

But I suspect what this audience would enjoy more than anything might be some sing along stuff. When the middle school and high school kids in the church put together an event for for the folks in these apartments a while back there was some fantastic classical violin playing that got only modest applause, but then my daughter played Danny Boy on trumpet - a much simpler piece - and the audience started singing along, and she got a standing ovation.

SO, do any of you have any suggestions for good sing-along music that might be fun for an elderly audience like this (and that would not be too hard for me/us to learn some simple accompaniment for quickly)?
Let us know what songs you ultimately choose for your senior audience.
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  #35  
Old 03-18-2010, 04:25 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Oops, double post.

Last edited by wcap; 03-18-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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  #36  
Old 03-18-2010, 04:37 PM
wcap wcap is offline
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Well, we did this on Tuesday, and I think it went well. We got applause anyway, and no tomatoes were thrown! And we had some really nice conversation with some of these very nice people after we played. They seemed to really appreciate all of this. It was very much an elderly audience, for the most part - some folks didn't seem completely able to understand conversations we were having with them.

As it turned out, my older daughter (who was going to lead the singing) couldn't come, and my wife convinced me that the play list I had in mind was far too long (she was correct), so we didn't do all I had intentionally figured we might do. Mostly the singing thing was not a big part of it this time, but they did sing along on some of the things we played.

We started out with me playing Shenandoah (fingerstyle arrangement)...some sang along on this.

Then an instrumental - Shebeg and Shemore - very pretty old Irish tune. Guitar and flute (I sort of got lost part way through for no good reason...oh well....at least my daughter on flute kept going as though nothing happened!).

Then a medley of Swedish Fiddle tunes (my wife and daughter doing violin duets) - very nice melodies.

Then "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" - classical guitar, fingerstyle, and folks sang along.

Then classical guitar, violin, and flute playing Childgrove (another old traditional tune).

Followed by the three of us on steel string guitar/flute/violin playing an assortment of old traditional tunes like Londonderry Aire/Danny Boy (folks sang along on this), Star of the County Down, Captain Henry O'Kain, Carolan's Welcome, etc. Ended with Ashokan Farewell (not an old tune, I realize), and The Ash Grove (got some singing along on this too). (By the way, I LOVE the sound of guitar, flute, and violin together, especially when my daughter takes the melody up an octave as a variation!)

Had cookies and coffee and juice and conversation, then I played an original fingerstyle piece of mine on classical guitar, followed by Classical Gas. And finished with a lively, fancy fingerstyle arrangement of Freight Train (and some folks sang along on this).

It was fun. It was my first time doing anything like this. And it made me feel like all the time I have spent playing guitar has some value beyond just self-serving personal enjoyment.

My playing was not perfectly clean at all times (in part I was distracted by having an audience), but I don't think a non-musician really would have noticed. My wife and daughter played great. This was a good experience for me to get me used to playing in front of others - it was a very appreciative and non-judgmental audience.

If we do this again, we'll work some more singing into it.

An amusing thing that happened:
On my steel string, I used several different tunings, and the transitions went smoothly. But when I got home that night, picked up my guitar, and changed from standard into DADGAD tuning, my high E string immediately broke! I guess I should have put on new strings before our performance!

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We will make good use of them if we do more of this in the future.

Last edited by wcap; 03-18-2010 at 04:55 PM.
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