Tag Archives: instruments

Organizing a Nursing Home Program

a-nursing-homeThis past Wednesday, we met together with a few other homeschooling families and put on a program at a local nursing home. We had a 30 – 45 minute time slot, so the children took turns playing instruments, singing, dancing, and reading scripture. When they had finished, they had about ten minutes to walk around and talk to the residents. The residents really seemed to enjoy it.

Organizing a program like that may seem like a lot of work, but it didn’t take much time at all. This is all I did:

1. First, I called the nursing home to set up a time. Wednesday was their best day, and the morning worked well for us.

2. I then sent out an email to homeschooling families we know and asked if any of their children would like to participate. If so, what would they be interested in doing? Would they want to do a solo performance or sing with the group? The children could also recite a poem or read a story they wrote.

3. Next I compiled the responses into a list of who would be doing what. I decided to have our group perform in age order, as it’s harder for little ones to wait for their turn. We started off with Luke, age 5, singing “I Had a Little Turtle” and ended with Andrew, age 16, singing “Puttin’ On the Ritz”.

4. I included a group song (“Jesus Loves Me”) at the beginning and another at the end (“This Little Light of Mine”). I had a few other group songs planned, just in case we had more time to fill.

5. That’s it!  I printed out my list a few times and gave it to the other moms when we met at the nursing home. Some of the performers were a little nervous, but they did a good job. All in all, it was an easy activity to plan, a good experience for the children, and a blessing for the residents.

Photo by Bill in Ash Vegas

A Week of Recitals

This week happens to be a week of recitals for our family. On Wednesday, we’re joining with other homeschooling families to perform for the residents of the local nursing home. The children will play musical instruments, sing, and recite scripture and poems. On Friday, we’ll go to the local college, where Cassie’s flute teacher (a music major there) will accompany her as she plays her solo in front of other students at the school. Saturday is the big piano recital at a nearby church, where John and Lillie will each play two pieces they’ve been working on for the past few months.

I’m not sure how all of these events made it into the same week, but I am sure that I want my children to participate in all of them. Ever since they were small, I’ve tried to take advantage of any opportunity to have them stand in front of an audience and perform. They’ve sung in church on Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and any other day the pastor has asked the children to sing. They’ve recited poetry at talent shows and 4-H Fun Day. They’ve performed in skits and plays.

Do they enjoy it? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, sometimes they whine and want to quit, but I have them do it anyway. I was involved in music in school, and I understand what it’s like to be anxious when you have to perform in front of others. Even today, I become nervous when I have to speak in front of a group, even a group of people I know well. But I also know it’s a great life-skill to have, and that the more you do it — the more you practice — the easier it is to do. Sometimes the children will mess up. Sometimes they’ll make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll perform perfectly. But every time is a learning experience.