Reminiscence is very much a sensory experience...
Whenever I deliver training, I always emphasise how important it is to consider multi-sensory stimuli of all sorts. I try to include lots of images, sounds, smells and tactile experiences. Of all of these experiences I often find music the most powerful as there are so many associations.
Going back to the early 1990s, I was working with a group of colleagues delivering reminiscence training at the Potteries Museum. We invited one of my former Staffordshire County Library colleagues Andrew Baker to deliver a session on Music in reminiscence.
More than twenty years later I still reflect on that session with great delight as I recall the passion and warmth with which Andrew took us all on his own musical reminiscence journey.
Andrew shared his memory of his sister getting ready to go out whilst listening to Alma Cogan on her record player. He was entranced by the music and his sister singing along but whenever he hears Alma Cogan now it is not just his sister he thinks of, but also the toys he was playing withas he listened, the room in the house he was in, the house they were living in, who else was in the house, the weather, what they had for tea that day...the memories come flooding back!
This experience is so common. Music has the power to transport people back in time and place. They recall where they were, the clothes they were wearing, the friends they were with, the food they ate, etc.
I am very proud to share that my lovely daughter Holly is following in the reminiscence tradition.
For a couple of years now has been sharing the music of the 1950’s and 1960’s in settings all around the Midlands and North West. Holly’s performances engage the audience not just through the music but also with some topical reminiscences from the time of the songs she sings.
Visit Holly's website @ www.hollyreynolds.co.uk where you can listen to her performing both solo and with a full band…you won’t be disappointed!