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Magic of music elevates aged care facility during Big Band Day In

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The uplifting sounds of live music and soulful singing echoed through the hallways of Arcare Burnside last Wednesday (April 27), as Paul Gillett’s ‘Big Band Day In’ performed alongside residents for a very special musical performance.

Formed during COVID, Big Band Day In came together with intent of brightening the spirits and lives of aged care residents through the power of music.

The group comprises five professional musicians who have been visiting aged care residences, including Arcare Burnside, to perform alongside residents who are interested in music, and those may have performed or played instruments previously.

Irene was thrilled to be invited to perform. She has such a beautiful voice, and with the whole community getting behind her, it’s really lifted her confidence to perform again in the future.

Arcare Burnside lifestyle coordinator, Jamie Gillies

Armed with their sheet music and lyrics, the musicians journeyed around the Arcare Burnside residence to get to know the community and rehearse with any interested residents for their debut performance in the afternoon.

Eighty-nine-year-old Burnside resident, Irene was one of the residents selected to perform alongside Big Band Day In.

As a young child, she taught herself to play the piano accordion, and these days gets a real kick out of attending the community’s singalongs and live entertainment.

“I have always loved listening to music, especially Andre Rieu,” Irene, picture above with the band, said.

Irene’s beaming smile lit up the room, as she performed two songs in English and her native German, before being cheered on by the community for an encore.

“Irene was thrilled to be invited to perform,” Arcare Burnside lifestyle coordinator, Jamie Gillies said.

“She has such a beautiful voice, and with the whole community getting behind her, it’s really lifted her confidence to perform again in the future.”

Former music teacher and choir singer, Hazel, pictured above, was another resident who was selected to perform in the concert.

The 81-year-old’s passion for music and dancing remains undiminished, as she sang You Are My Sunshine and Boney M classic, Rivers of Babylon, getting the whole community up on their feet for a dance and singalong.

“Hazel loves to sing, but she was a little anxious about getting up and performing in front of everyone.

“It was great how Paul and the group made her feel comfortable to come out her comfort zone and perform for everyone,” Gillies said.

The Australian Music Therapy Association has found that music therapy for seniors can help improve their self-esteem, quality of life, mood, cognitive skills, and mental health.

“We hope that we can do another concert again in future with Paul and the Big Band Day In musicians, as our residents loved getting involved in with their music,” Gillies said.

Arcare Burnside offers permanent aged care accommodation and dementia support across its 88 private suites.

Housing an onsite café, hair salon, movie theatre, worship room, intimate dining and lounge spaces, a private dining room and manicured courtyards and gardens, Arcare Burnside is the perfect community to call home.

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