Burn out refers to overuse or stress. Face it, there are some songs that get over used in senior living. (If I had to place a guess, one is “You Are My Sunshine”.)
There is nothing wrong with singing participants’ favorite songs just like there is nothing wrong with serving a favorite food. HOWEVER, too much of something isn’t good for you. Plus it can change that from a favorite to a less than favorite.
Then there is the fact YOU are singing this song over and over with groups, day in, day out. AAAAAHHHHH!
So, here are the 4 steps to help you step away from the rep burn-out.
#1. Monitor which songs you are using and why
Before we can address the repertoire burn-out, we need to know what is being used and how much it is being used.
Look at last month. Which songs did your plans include? If you can brace for brutal honesty (and be patient), take a month and keep a data base of the songs you sing in sessions and the number of times you use each one.
Then dig in.
- Did you include them because you THINK they are ones people like?
- Did clients request them?
- Have you been told “everyone knows it” so you include it?
- Were you using it to meet a goal?
- Were you repeating it so it could be learned for a specific reason?
#2. Explore for other songs that relate to the “why”.
Some of those “whys” are more significant than others. Client request IS significant. Because it works towards MEETING A GOAL counts.
But, you need to use that to EXPLORE more deeply. Find other songs that relate:
- in same style,
- the same genre,
- recorded by the same artists,
- popular during the same time period,
- lyrics on the same topic….
How can you expand the music list?
#3. Explore your own and your clients’ music preferences.
We know music preference matters. There are many songs you’ve learned because a client requests them, NOT because they are a your music preference. Maybe some of these songs have become favorites of yours for work or in your own life.
HOWEVER, you may find it isn’t overuse but lack of making time for your own preferences. Make time in your weekly schedule for YOUR music, finding new music FOR YOU. You entered this field because of your connection with music. FEED that connection.
Plus, you need to really did into your client’s music preferences. Maybe that initial assessment was limited due to their low energy, change in life situation, or it being something they hadn’t considered for a long time.
Reassess! You may find your clients have a broader interest than you thought.
All those other songs you’ve now identified need to be incorporated.
- Plan sessions and potential music you will use.
- Set aside time to find the music.
- Set blocks of time to LEARN these new selections.
Once you introduce them, assess the response to them and their effectiveness in the situation. Remember, sometimes it takes more than one time for things to click so be sure you repeat those songs that hold promise.
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