For several years I have been a Volunteer Visitor for Elizabeth Finn Care when the opportunity to visit musicians came up from Help Musicians UK. I was drawn to this as I love all types of music – much of it depending on my mood at the time, but there is always something on in the background at home, and this is rarely the TV.
Many years ago at school I played the violin and was a member of the West Sussex County Youth Orchestra. My claim to fame one year was at the final concert every string on my violin went one by one at the throughout the performance, so I did get a special mention. Although I do not play the instrument now it is still wonderful to hear so many wonderful violin pieces - my favourite probably being the double violin concerto by Bach. Here we have two instruments at one with one another.
The joy in visiting musicians is that they have so much to tell you about their musical life. On a recent visit I was even treated to the musician playing a special piece on the violin to me.
Many years ago I thought it would be a good idea to have a violin again, but every time I attempted to play it my late dog would sit and howl alongside me – so I took the hint!
At some stage in our lives we came across difficult times and it is good to be able to assist the process whereby musicians can be helped. I always try and paint a picture of the current circumstances and what the individual would feel could be helpful to them. No two cases are the same so that keeps the mind active. Often your own experiences of life can help as empathy is so important whereas sympathy could mask you being objective.
An added bonus when visiting musicians is if they have pets. Up till now (touch wood!) they always come to be in a most friendly way and it is not uncommon for then to end (or try to end up) on my lap – the pet that is! One beautiful retriever was quite determined but we found a compromise and my feet became very warm.
Would you like to give your time to visiting musicians? Find out more about becoming a volunteer.