Friday, May 1, 2009

Agewise Seminar: Social Connectedness for Older People

Yesterday I attended and spoke at the above conference. I was accompanied by Val and Val. There are three 'Val's in the Hilda Ross complex and they all now sing in Glee Club, which is great. I had a class to teach first thing and left half way through the class time to get to the conference. I left them to their own devices, preparing group performance for next Thursday for assessment so they had plenty to do. I collected the Vals from Hilda Ross, and got to the conference in time for the end of morning tea, and we were able to listen to two other presentations before it was my turn. I am pleased that I am technologically adept, and was able to link my own computer into the data display, and play the two video interviews that I could not play at the Bay of Plenty presentation. In addition I was able to include some of the data from my latest survey with the Glee Club; material to do with the effect of participation in Glee Club on health, feeling of wellbeing, and quality of life.

I have got more canny at getting them to fill the surveys out for me, I invited them to my home for lunch and all they had to bring was themselves and their survey completed. This was a delightful event, that happened March 27th and will be repeated. Next time the suggestion was that it would be pot luck and that suits me down to the ground :-)

The responses were once again very positive to my presentation, and each time I present I have added to the research that supports what I am finding. I am still amazed at the strength of the comments of the respondents to the simple act of singing. In discussion with Val and Val as we travelled, and in line with the responses to multiple surveys, I have come to the conclusion as to what a successful tutor in this setting needs to be:
  1. musically able, to play piano, or to have someone to play piano,
  2. to know about singing and how to get people to sing using their voices more effectively, i.e. improving,
  3. to be able to build mutually respectful relationships with the participants
  4. to have high expectations of the participants' capabilities
  5. to know how to have fun, to laugh and be free to laugh often

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