Rowena Wilson is the Developer of Musical Reminiscence
– a unique, therapeutic interaction to engage and stimulate the elderly in an entertaining way. She has been developing this over the past 25 years of working with the elderly. Rowena also works elsewhere within the NHS (and has an enhanced CRB check for working with vulnerable adults) and has a keen interest in Dementia, so alongside her skills as a trained and accomplished musician, artist and teacher with a great deal of patience and empathy, she is more than qualified to devise and present this specialist work.
Having also been a teacher for many years, Rowena is available as a Consultant and Trainer for staff in elderly residential environments and related Companies wishing to learn about the benefits and methods employed in this form of therapy.
To book a session of Music & Memories with Rowena
Rowena’s Musical Reminiscence is brought to homes and other audiences in the form of her ‘Music & Memories’ booked events which are described below – click here to book
Performing a wide variety of pieces the way retired people relate to and delight in, she plays and sings from a repertoire of hundreds of Old-Time favourites which range from 1880-1960s and include Music Hall, traditional songs, dance tunes, war songs, film and show music. They have been researched and collated from the requests of retired people for over 20 years, hence Rowena is very experienced working with the elderly.
This beautiful music is lovingly reproduced, live, on Banjo-ukulele, accordion and violin; familiar artefacts from the pre-50’s years. Being soft, melodious and rhythmical, together with her lovely voice, Rowena makes an ordinary day an occasion to remember. These songs, sensitively sung, bring much joy and sometimes even a tear and are great for instilling community feeling.
The colour and texture of a vivid period costume brings the flavour of the stage to any lounge. This renowned performance is perfect for intimate sitting rooms or larger audiences and can become anything from a specialist therapy type session to Tea-dance entertainment, depending on the requirements of the occasion. Rowena encourages everyone to join in with singing and playing instruments she brings with her.
Memories are stimulated by Rowena’s unusual memorabilia boards, which are full of pictorial gems covering the leisure activities and general lifestyle of many past decades. Included are many signed photos of Music Hall stars. Reminiscing is a valuable and enjoyable experience for the elderly, but young and old alike are fascinated with these historical mementoes.
We believe you will find it an enjoyable and worthwhile experience whether you want a stimulating activity during coffee morning time, an after lunch sing-a-long or if you want a special birthday party celebration event to go with a real swing! All Rowena requires is a room to change into costume beforehand and an area for the residents to be seated where they can all comfortably see her.
“Rowena has a very pleasant, clear and easy to listen to voice and a gentle personality that the residents enjoy and shows a genuine personal knowledge and interest. She adds the flavour of the era with appropriate costume for added interest and pleasure” – Matron,The Birches, Notts
“Rowena is a most versatile performer, and plays a number of instruments exceptionally well and soon endears herself to one and all and with her uncanny way. She soon gets residents singing and moving their feet to the rhythm, which is just what is needed in a nursing home” – Mr S Brown, Chairman Branston Court residents Assoc., Staffs.
MUSIC & MEMORIES CD and Activities booklet
You can use this CD, which comes with an instruction booklet inside, as a tool to help you combine music and reminiscence yourself. Ideal for use by Care staff and Activities coordinators stimulating a shared experience in your community setting, or on a one-to-one with a family member. By following the ideas and suggestions inside, you won’t need to know about the music yourself. With it you will be able to help elderly listeners engage with you, the music and each other – it’s all there. Guidance on topics and relevant people to reminisce about, suggestions of pictures to find and show, lyrics you can enlarge to use yourself or with others, actions to participate with and generally a lot of key information about the songs themselves for you to drop into the conversation to see where it takes you.
Some of the music Rowena plays within her Music & Memories events may include…
.. …On Mother Kelly’s Doorstep…Lily of Laguna…Rosemary…Baby Face…When you’re Smiling… Slow Boat to China…White Cliffs of Dover… Sally… Olkahoma!.. The Old Rugged Cross…Cruising Down the River…Edelweiss… Daisy… Show me the way to go home…Alice Blue Gown…Oh what a beautiful morning’….AND MANY, MANY MORE!…