Thursday, September 18, 2014

Robby Roberson Quartet
Band Review by Sandy Hathaway - September 18, 2014






Award Winning-Robby Roberson Quartet

“I’m looking into this livin' world, for life’s essential sparks"-Robby Roberson

Robby Robertson has been playing guitar since the mid 60’s, inspired by The Beatles,“I Want to Hold Your Hand”. In 2007 Robby developed a passion for writing and performing. He plays and performs at many of the finest listening venues in Arizona. In 2013 he and his band, Robby Roberson Quartet won the Tucson Folk Festival Songwriter Contest with a live performance of original music by Robby Roberson.

The award winning songwriter Robby Roberson teams up with band mates to form Robby Roberson Quartet. The members of the band include: Robby Roberson on vocals and multiple string instruments, Jim Banister on drums and percussion, Michael Mulryan on violin and  Eddie Garnero on bass.


With the accompaniment of his band they have developed an original sound. Robby describes his music: “The Robby Roberson Quartet's music is reminiscent of 'americana roots.’ Our repertoire consists of original songs that are stories of fact, fiction, joy, and sorrow; set against a backdrop of the various acoustic stringed and percussive instruments that create a balanced harmonic, organic, and original musical style.”-Robby Roberson.

The live recording Robby Roberson Live at The Rhythm Room is available at all live shows. The dynamics of the live band are so much more energetic than one can derive from a recording studio. The album contains nine songs: The Rezz, Sweet Milk & Cornbread, Hard to Find, Fairy Tale Song, Across The Universe, Heaven or Hell, Waves, Black Wind Blowin and All Along The Watchtower.
Listening to Robby Roberson Quartet live will make you forget your troubles and enrich your soul with resonating goodness. At any time during a performance Robby could be playing a guitar, dobro, mandolin, banjo or one of the many resonator instruments when he performs with his band. The band adds even more rich layers of sound with, bass, drums, percussion and violin to make this beautiful “Sweet Milk and Cornbread” sound. 

See Robby Roberson Quartet play live.

Friday, September 19 - 7:00pm., $5 door, performance at 8:00pm. Robby Roberson Quartet plays a live show-playing rock, blues, folk, gospel, jazz, kicks-off Alwun's new Third Friday Musicians Showcase series. http://alwunhouse.org

References:

Photos from Robby Roberson Quartet Facebook page.


Collage by Sandy Hathaway with photos from Robby Roberson.

Robby Roberson’s Bio from ReberbNation.


Audio Recording

Robby Roberson Live at The Rhythm Room


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Front Row Seats

How much did your last concert cost?  

Sure I was there, it was amazing. The concert was on your bucket list. Was the ticket price a good value? Could you get a good view of the musicians or were you up in the balcony? 

When you buy a concert ticket you pay for the band, sound engineer, booking agent, advertisements, rental equipment, travel costs, ticket printing, lodging, meals, snacks and drinks for a large crew of people. That $175 ticket to see Billy Joel gets spread out to many people. I was there, it was the amazing concert we expected. I remember back when $50 for a concert ticket was crazy. A great concert can be a good experience, especially those of aging rock legends who might not be touring much longer. Now compare the value of a local music venue to a large venue. Front row seats, low cover cost, excellent music, original songs, and you can meet the band during the night and get a CD signed without a long line.
Sandy Hathaway 2000

Local music is low cost or free entertainment that provides an up close and personal experience one cannot experience at a large arena. I started playing venues in Arizona in 2000 and back then there were so many venues and fewer musicians. In the past decade I have seen an increased interest in local music in the valley. The ones who get it keep coming back for more. This is a unique experience; listening to a musician you know who was sitting at your table just ten minutes earlier. Now he or she transports you to that special place in your mind that remembers feelings and thoughts from the past, maybe the smell of pine trees and emotions you haven't felt in a long time. 

Fifteen years ago there were so many coffee shops in Arizona that would hire musicians to sing for three hours for the rate of $50 per hour. Today most coffee shops in Arizona pay $50 but there are fewer coffee venues that have live music. Full-time local musicians could make a living by playing coffee shops and wine rooms. Full story here.
Willow House-Phoenix, AZ

Local musicians learned the bitter truth about why their coffee shop gigs were closing fast.  In 2003 BMI and ASCAP started dropping in on small venues that offered live music.  If the BMI or ASCAP spy recognized that the local musicians were singing cover songs the venue would be required to pay a fee.  Usually the fee was between $400-1000 a years to have local music, depending on the square footage of the venue.  Most coffee shops could not afford the fee because they were barely afford to keep their doors open, let alone pay the fee.  I performed my own live music at ASCAP venues--I am an ASCAP member, so why have I not received any compensation for performing my songs at the ASCAP venues? Full story here.

One of the best things about coffeehouse venues is that when the coffee grinder is not running you actually hear the musician singing to the room as well as the sound system. He or she may even look at you and ask you a question or spin off into a special story that leads into a song. 

Some of my favorite local musicians in Arizona are:

Mrs. Lincoln

Mrs. Lincoln has been busy booking shows so you should be able to catch a local show almost every weekend. 

AnnrenĂ©e Jones on vocals and guitar,  Marconias on guitar,  vocals, harmonica  and mandolin, Gram Benike on lead and slide guitar Chad Standlea: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, David Wells playing Bass and Dobro, and Glade Wilson playing Percussion. 




I took some time to see Robby Roberson Quartet play at the old Sail Inn location this year. Small venues are a great opportunity to really hear the music, get some good photos and meet with the musicians. 

Robby Roberson on vocals and multiple string instruments, Jim Banister on drums and percussion, Michael Mulryan on violin and Eddie Garnero on bass.

Both of these bands are well worth the cover you might pay and you will get a lot more entertainment for your hard-earned dollars


Sandy's Live Show Schedule

I am a Singer Songwriter, recording artist and performer who has over four hours of songs in her cover songbook. The venues I play at are coffee shops, wine rooms, festivals, weddings, corporate events and parties. 

Please subscribe, join and follow the links listed below. 

Thanks for supporting Local Live Music!



Sandy Hathaway


References:

http://musicians.about.com/od/musicindustrybasics/a/concertcosts.htm

http://www.billyjoel.com



Monday, July 7, 2014

Folk Music Evoluton

Folk Music Blurred Lines Between Genres

The definition of folk, folk music, and folk dance are derived from the term folklore.  According to Wikipedia, the word folk began being used around 1846 when William Tomms  used it to describe the traditions and activities of the "uncultured classes."  I became interested in folk music as a child in school when we learned important folk songs like This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Guthrie
Photo from wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Guthrie

When I was eight I learned to play guitar chords and folk songs were popular in 1969.  I learned to play songs by Judy Collins, Peter, Paul & Marry, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.  This music was not music from  uncultured classes as William Tomms believed it was.  The new folk music was intelligent and asked questions that needed to be asked. 

Many early Folk fans during the American Folk Music Revival expressed their disappointment in 1965 when Bob Dylan released Bringing It All Back Home by Columbia Records, an album with electric guitars.
The definition is very broad and contains blurred lines and mixed genres.  A melting pot of music to use an analogy, much like Americans, we are of many cultures, traditions and heritages. Roots music covers a wide range of genres that began during the great depression and the dust bowl between 1900-1930's.  Most roots music musicians don't consider themselves as folk musicians.  Roots music includes Cajun, Blues, Rock and Roll and Rockabilly are just some of the roots music that developed and fused between multiple genres.  Much of todays country music stemmed from folk and roots music. 

My personal experience with folk music has been one of community, caring and creativity.  Traveling throughout Arizona from Tucson to Flagstaff I have meet up with many of the same folk musicians and their families from town to town.  Songwriters frequently fall into the folk music genre simply because they are independent artists.  In Arizona we have the Tucson Folk Festival, Folk Music Festival, Sharlot Hall Museum, Gilbert, Folk Festival, Flagstaff Folk Festival and various other community events that bring this large family of folk artists together.  Most folk festivals have amplification but discourage electric guitars, guitar amps and pedals.  Today's folk music is mixed with influences of Rock, Blues, Americana, Jazz, Country, Pop, Folk, Gospel, R&B, and many more genres.

Compiling a song collection and assigning a genre can be a daunting task when each song has it's distinct personality, style and genre influences.  The order of the CD song list can affect the genre of the entire CD. I had ten very different songs but were all brilliantly produced and well written songs.
In the past, big labels would hand select songs and try to make an album fit within a genre for marketing purposes.  As a songwriter, I enjoy letting the song develop into what it wants to be, not make it fit into a plastic box.  Most of my songs develop into contemporary folk songs and I would feel comfortable  attaching the folk label genre to most of them. For the sake of this story I'm purposely going to slap some genre labels on my own songs from my last album.  There are a few songs that definitely would not fall under the folk music umbrella. 

Edge of Twilight by Sandy Hathaway was released in January 22, 2014 at The Sail Inn, a venue that cultivated some of the best live music in Arizona.  Robert Lang at Big Bug Sound was the producer and he was determined to make the songs each sound the way I imagined they should sound.  In some cases I trusted his expertise enough to have him imagine how the song should sound.   Here is the breakdown of the songs on the album and what the actual genre is for each song is closest to. The album is marketed as an Indie/Folk album because there is genre fusion happening here. Labels are difficult but I labeled each song according to the genre that best suited the production and here is what I ended up with:  


Here is how the album stacked up in terms of genres:  Only three of the ten songs were actually Folk songs.  Three were Folk/Rock songs, one Blue Grass/Country song , one was Classic Rock, one Pop/Rock and one Rock song. 

Photo and Art by Sandy Hathaway
Radio Days -Classic Rock -What made Radio Days so special was that it was written, recorded and mastered as if this was a 70's song.  The video link here: Radio Days is available on Youtube. 

Ray of Hope - Folk/Rock- Ray of Hope was written in a drop D tuning.  This is a song that speaks of community, faith, hope and many people hear Joni Mitchell influence in the alternative tuning.

Dirt Road To Nowhere - Folk- This is a song about where I grew up, we had a dirt road that was a dead end at the bottom of our dirt driveway.  This song is planted in folk tradition. 

This Gallery - Folk/Rock- Talk about creative percussion, this song is full of texture and credit to James Thorp-drums and percussion as well as Robert Lang who produced the song. This Gallery is written in DADGAD tuning.

Ghosts - Folk/Rock - This song brings ghosts to life!  Michael Levin -cello, Patty Arnold - flute and Kevin Mauch-bass make the ghosts "dance under the covers."  Not a typical folk song or folk arrangement. 

Don't Look Back - Pop/Rock - This song was written as a pop song with a contemporary pop song sound.  Robert Lang even recorded vocal backup at my request. 

Daisy - Blue Grass/Country-I sing popular country music but prefer Blue Grass to Country for listening.  This song is about my paternal grandmother who lived a very humble life in the country.  If my grandma had a genre it would be Blue Grass. 

Seasons - Folk - The first song I wrote and recorded that was well received.  This is a simple song that describes the land where my maternal grandmother lived.  This was originally going to be about her but evolved into a description of her farm.  

Hannah - Rock- Hannah is near the end because it is definately a rock song.  Straight up three-piece band rock music, this song is like one of the last chocolates in the box that tastes wonderful. 

Heaven's Skylight - Folk- A beautiful melody written in DADF#AD tuning.  This song was written for Betty Rose, my mom.  I noticed that through her illness there were many abilities that she no longer had such as driving, shopping and even eating.  This was played at her funeral in 2005.  

Writing and listening to music has taught me to enjoy a song for what it is and not try to pigeon hole it into a genre for marketing purposes.  I love traditional folk music but do not want to be labeled as a one genre artist.  Coutry music is moving and wonderful, but I don't want to only sing one genre.  Many artists who wanted to "make it big" moved to Nashville and worked to churn out more and more songs that fit into one genre.  I make music because I am inspired, not to make it big in music.  There are stories to be told and new tunings to try.  Sharing the music is important and I work diligently to promote my own music. In this digital age in history I am grateful to create music the way I want to make it and share at my live shows and on the Internet.  I still sell more records at my live shows than online.

My live music schedule is posted on my home page: sandyhathaway.com

Sandy Hathaway

References:

http://www.bobdylan.com/us/home

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_music

http://themim.org

























































































































Thursday, June 12, 2014

Chiclets, Widgets & Links



Chiclets, Widgets & Links
Never underrate the significance of social networking tools 

Musicians ask me about social networking and using web tools to manage the sites.  Many musicians rarely update their own websites. Most focus on music and don’t have an IT (information technology) background. When terminology begins to sound foreign people become intimidated and find an expert that will charge them money for consulting and work. I have been building my own website for 15 years and have been able to update my own content as I grew my music business. Now that I have an IT degree and work in the IT field I have more understanding about the web applications. 

Today there are companies that host and offer affordable, easy software interfaces that allow business owners to make their own web updates.  This blog doesn’t promote any specific social networking site but I will mention several as examples in this article. GoDaddy is relatively affordable and has an easy-to-use web design application interface available.  A website owner can choose from many different designs and templates. 

Local musicians are hard working individuals and groups that spend hours on the booking, study, and technical aspects of the music business.  I have always managed to have a day job and spent the balance of my time away from that job working on my music business and spending time with family.  The best local musicians I know have not updated their personal websites or joined the list of valuable sites that small businesses need to survive in a competitive business today.  Musicians know about competition. We compete for local music work but those of us who have been local musicians for a long time know that we are a family.  Interdependence has always been good for business as well as personal social growth.  When I help my fellow musicians grow their business I am helping myself. 

Start by analyzing your social network sites that you currently work with like Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, CDBaby, Blogger, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and so many more.  Compare your list of social networking sites to those of your other musicians’ sites. You could do this on paper, but since we are talking about links to website a Word or Notepad application my be a good way to store the information. You will copy-and-paste the website URLs to your document as in the example below:


First:  Open to a new MS Word document or Pages on a Mac and copy your links into the document.   

Chiclets: Chiclets are the little square icons that are all strung together to link your social websites to your personal website.  You may also have chiclets on many of your social websites as well.  They are created using a tool called a “Widget”and written in html code.

Widgets: Widgets are used for creating more than just chiclets.  A widget is a tool that converts the information into the http protocol or web language that is needed to create the various elements of your website information. You don’t need to understand the protocol in order to create the scripts you need to add to your website.

Easy Tools:  One of the best social networking site that I use as a musician is Reverbnation.  The site offers tools and advanced tools like EPKs Electronic Press Kits.   One of the main reasons I like this musician site is because widgets can be added to the musicians’ website so the musician only needs to update schedules, music and other information at  Reverbnation’s site.  The widgets automatically update the information on your personal website.  Ten years ago we were dependent on a website designer to make updates.  We either learned how to create and update our sites or had to pay someone.  Most of use used our email and created email lists.

Fan Mailing List: The email fan list is still important for growing a fan base.  Musicians may have hundreds of friends on their Facebook  page but this is not have the same personal touch that email can offer.  Reverbnation allows musicians to build fan lists right from the site.  Email is a sure way to deliver your news in a more personal format. If musicians have not paid for advanced features at the site they can collect the contact information that is available and add the users to their original email mailing list. Pay attention to new fans, you can reply to them and thank them as well as ask them to follow you on Twitter.

Promoting Music and Videos: Most of us have invested money and hours of development time for our music, recording and production.  The Internet is the best way for use to promote our work without having to tour and visit radio stations like musicians of the past needed to do. Anyone can promote their work and become an overnight success!  Most of use have been working for many years as local musicians and are not necessarily looking for overnight success but want to share their art with listeners who will appreciate their creative designs. The Internet opens up new opportunity to musicians and small business owners that was never available.  You will want to analyze the progress of paid EPKs and paid websites; if they do not show results as promised discontinue the campaign. 

Video: Creating a Youtube channel is important for spreading the word about your music to the masses.  Videos don’t have to be perfect in order to go viral.  Many homemade movies have spread to millions of users overnight.  Youtube does get very strict about licensing even when you promote your own music you sometimes need to prove that it is your own. One of my favorite artists is Sungha Jung whose homemade video exploded on Youtube overnight.  He played With Or Without You” by U2.  I saw him perform with Trace Bundy at the MIM (Musical Instrument Musium)

MonetizeIf you wish to monetize your video be sure the songs you use are either licensed or your own original music and lyrics.  When you monetize a video you allow Youtube to put commercials in front of your video.  You can also monetize your blogs at Blogger.  If you are the owner and have a site such as CDBaby managing your royalty license Youtube may require that you prove the song is yours.  I have done so by simply stating that I am Sandy Hathaway and I wrote the music, lyrics and recorded the video for Radio Days.”

Organize:  Take the time to add each of your social networking sites up into the bookmark bar of your web browser. A web browser is the application that opens up to the Internet web  pages you want to go to.  I like to keep my social website bookmarks altogether because I often cut-and-paste from one source to another. I like to write so I blog once a week.  

Posting and Scheduling:  Posting once a week at each site should be adequate for updates unless you have an important, last minute event. Blogs can be posted weekly, bi-weekly or monthly depending on how prolific the writer is. When I book a live show or event I post it to Reverbnation immediately.  I have the widget on my homepage so the updates sync automatically.  When the event is near I can go into the calendar on Reverbnation and Share the event on Facebook, Twitter and Email by clicking on the Share button next to the event. 

EPK Electronic Press Kit: There are many EPK options to choose from.  Musicians can direct booking managers to one site or provide a variety of links with multiple EPKs.  Reverbnation and Sonic Bids offer easy to use EPK options. Remember to update the EPK when you update your Bios, photos, videos and music.

Blog:  Blogging is a good way to express who you are to your fans and to acquire new ones. I have a few different blogs but most of the time I simply cut and paste the same blog material from one blog to the other blog. My primary blog site is Blogger, I like this site because I can create multiple blogs and have no trouble entering multi-media objects like MP3s, Podcasts Photos, Videos and links into a blog.

Never underrate the significance of social networking tools like Twitter, Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, CDBaby, Blogger, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Email, and Personal Website

I have a board on my Pinterest account called Songwriters” and was so excited when one of my favorite Singer Songwriters, Lucy Kaplansky followed me! 

You can try adding a new site or organizing your Email list each week until you have a well organized social network system.  You will be able to sell your songs online, manage live events, distribute this information to everyone and interact with your fans.

Please Follow, Subscribe, Like and continue to support live music.


Sandy Hathaway



References:

Facebook.com

Reverbnation.com

CDBaby.com

Instagram.com

Youtube.com

Twitter.com

pinterest.com

wikipedia.com

Sungha Jung:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjWRi2qaGtKjQyoQLc4OGkw

Trace Bundy:
http://youtu.be/lcr392cIvYE

Lucy Kaplasky:
http://www.pinterest.com/lkaplansky/










Monday, June 2, 2014

Deconstruction Of Dirt Road To Nowhere

Photo by Tammy Crouch
The dirt road really did lead nowhere.  We were at the wooded end of 104th Avenue.  Our house was about 1/4 of a mile from the main road. The school bus picked us up at the main road each morning and dropped us off in the afternoon. We did have to walk up hill, but not both ways. The road came to a dead end at our driveway. We walked the length of the road to check the mail, go to school, and visit with the closest neighbors. 

The song "Dirt Road To Nowhere" was inspired by this road. Robert Lang, the producer at Big Bug Sound produced the song before I ever recorded at the studio. There are crickets in the introduction, I thought this was so close to how the woods sounded at night. Robert explained how there was a rogue cricket that kept chirping so he decided to incorperate the sound. The sound track was mailed to me and Robert said I could come in and record the vocals when I was ready. This was the beginning of expressing my songs the way I wanted to.  I finally found a producer who understood that emotion, feeling and expression were primary elements of excellence in recording.

"Our lives were full of color, Blues and greens, I remember yellow sunlight shining through the trees."

Our house was on a hill, we had two barns. One barn, the old barn, had farm equipment and tractor.  We had a cement block barn that housed chickens, ducks,cow, sheep, pig and rabbits. We worked hard on that farm in Hart, Michigan. I remember realizing that my friends at school did not have to work as hard as the Merrill kids did. When we got home from school we stacked wood, attended to chores for the animals and did household chores. We had occassional cars that did drive up the road but the road ended here and they would need to turn around.  My newer song My Dad tells this story about the farm in depth.  

"And the trees were so tall that there wasn’t any sky, On a dirt road to nowhere 
With no cars passing by, a dirt road to nowhere with no cars passing by."


Photo by Betty Rose Brandon
When we had time to play this was a 40 acre playground. The black and white photo that inspired "Dirt Road To Nowhere" is of my older sister Tammy and me. The sky did not appear in the photo, only trees behind us and my Dad's prized Buick. I remember it had push button radio buttons and we ran the battery dead playing the radio once. 

We had neighbor friends at the end of the dirt road and sometimes we were allowed to walk down to visit the Bowmen girls or Peters farm.  Most of the time we Tammy, Billy and I played together.  There were swings all around the property.  One of my favorite swings was in a tree to the left of the Buick in the photo my Mom took. 

"But it’s all in black and white, in photos that I keep
and the smiles are locked behind the frames that hold them"

The dirt road had so many surprises along the way.  We were easily distracted walking home from school with a creek, frogs, wild flowers, animals, dead logs, wild berries, mushrooms and shortcuts home. The shortcuts were always longer but they eventually lead us home. 
Devil's Paintbrish

"Queen Anne’s Lace and Devil’s Paintbrush grew wild there, past the cars in the backyard that never went anywhere. The pink from the roses drips down into my dreams just like a painter with a pallet who takes things to extremes"

My mom had a large patch of roses that were the prettiest shade of pink, the flowers on the farm were great sources of pleasure for farm children with very few toys. We would pick them for our Mom and she alway raved about how lovely they were. We didn't know that they were why she sneezed so often when they were brought into the house. The Devil's Paintbrish had a butterscoth type of fragrance that I loved. They seemed to grow in sandy soil where strawberries and Queen Anne's Lace grew. We would pick Queen Anne's Lace and put them into colored water so they would change to that color. 

When we were children my brother and sisters expereienced depression associated with my Dad's mental illness. There was a lack of social interaction because Dad wanted the seclusion of the woods. He was an organic farmer who raised free range chickens and grass fed cows and pigs.  The song "My Dad" tells about the good times I remember about being with our Dad.

When we were kids we thought that we were poor because we had to work so hard and we didn't buy all of our food from the store.  Now I understand the rich life we had and the lessons we learned in the soil, grass, the woods and on that dirt road to nowhere.  

My Dad Video by Sandy Hathaway
Music and Lyrics by Sandy Hathaway
Dirt Road To Nowhere -Music and Lyrics by Sandy Hathaway



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Hospice Volunteer Interview -Podcast 2

Hospice Volunteer Podcast with Sante Hospice Volunteer Director, Robert Decker.      Click the link below to begin downloading the podcast.  Robert explains how to become involved in this important volunteer work. If you are interested please listen to the podcast and contact Robert or myself.  The contact information is listed below the link.

Hospice Volunteer Podcast Interview Robert Decker

Robert Decker
Email:  SanteVolunteering@Outlook.com
Phone:  480-386-4430

Sandy Hathaway
hathaway_music@yahoo.com


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Music Hospice Companionship Volunteer

When my grandmother was in the hospital after suffering a serious stroke I was at her bedside. She told my aunt that she wanted to have music while she was beginning her journey from this life.  There was no radio that I could turn on so I sang Bette Midler's song, "The Wind Beneath My Wings," softly to her and as I did she slipped away. This was a beautiful moment that strengthened me. The song Seasons was written for my grandmother Bernice.  
Bernice Brandon

Work as a music volunteer for a hospice group began in Ahwatukee, Arizona in 2007. I found the ad on Craig's List and remembered that day with my grandmother. I have always been compelled to offer my talents as a musician for good causes. When I saw the ad for a Music Hospice Companionship volunteer I knew this was a great cause. I contacted Robert, the director of the group, and met with him at my local coffee shop.  Robert is very organized and was able to schedule regular performances close to where I live.




First things first- there was training involved for this job, about 12 hours of training. This training included HIPAA, Hospice and TB test. Robert was accomidating about training at a convenient location like the coffee shop. This volunteer job was easy, I just bring my guitar, no amp or mic and sing songs I already know. On my way to my first assignment I wondered how long it had been since the patients have been out to hear live music. Robert was always there each time I volunteered.  He taught me the proper etiquette and HIPAA requirements before the first performance. He was able to answer important questions I had about what was acceptable. Photographs of patients was not permitted. This protected the patients rights and preserves the dignity for the patient.  

The patients appreciated the songs that I play when I do gigs at restaurants and events. I was a seasoned musician and after a week or two I felt like I needed to connect with the listeners in an more intimate way. We simplified the songs and tried to develop a song list of old-time favorites and even nursery rhymes that the patients could relate to. The first week we did this something amazing happened! The patients perked up and began singing along. "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window" was a favorite and one special man would bark at just the right time in the song. Many of the patients I sang to had Alzheimer's disease. When we sang songs from their early childhood their long-term memory kicked in and happiness beemed from their beautiful faces. Our songbook was small, we repeated songs if the group wanted to and we didn't outstay our welcome.

This volunteer work was as fulfilling for me as it was for the patients. A couple of years ago the group I worked with closed their doors but this was a rewarding  experience for about three years. Robert is beginning a new program this summer with his own company VPD (Volunteer Program Development). Robert will be recruiting musician volunteers who are interested in this humble but very important work. We will be making a podcast in a week or two and I will interview Robert Decker M.A. about this work.  

Please consider becoming a Music Hospice Companionship volunteer and listen to the podcast we post within a week or two.  

You can email Robert Decker at vpd_lic@outlook.com or call 480-386-4430.  You may also email me at hathaway_music@yahoo.com for more questions. 


References:

ALZ.org http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp

Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" http://youtu.be/5kbc_F_uMsw

Craig's List http://phoenix.craigslist.org

Sandy Hathaway-"Seasons" http://www.reverbnation.com/sandyhathaway/song/19338480-seasons


Sandy Hathaway