SpiritCare needs pianists to accompany the services. At most services you will play 4 hymns, which may be sent to you before the service. You may also play music when the residents receive bread and communion wine as part of the service.
Sometimes you may play "Happy Birthday" for residents or a seasonal song, like the National Anthem, around July 4th or a carol, around Christmas. Pianists sometimes play before and after a worship service. If you are not able to play regularly, then you may want to sign up as a backup pianist for when our regulars are on vacation.
Guitar players add variety to worship services. If the piano is situated so that the pianist's back is to the residents, then it can be useful for the pianist or a other player to face the listeners by playing an instrument like a guitar. Other instrumentalists like trumpeters and mouth organ players have also participated at SpiritCare events.
Many care homes have karaoke systems. Leading or helping sing at a karaoke session can be fun.
Dancers may come regularly or for a special event. For example, a Hawaiian Luau may require hula dancers. Dancers may help residents
Sometimes a care home has an open day and needs special music or dancers. Then there's an opportunity to play classical music and songs. It is amazing for a young pianist to play old melodies that they may not know, and find that a room of elderly people is joining in the music.
Musical groups, dance groups and ensembles are also welcome to join SpiritCare. Ensembles may play regularly or they may play for a special event like a Volunteer Appreciation breakfast.
Experience in playing the instrument of choice
Ability to accompany services, setting the tempo and pitch with a solid introduction to songs and hymns
A sensitivity of the noise level suitable for each situation - for example, if a care home has experienced some recent deaths then it may not want boisterous songs
Ability to choose suitable dance music for a residence
Experience in dancing and setting up the schedule for a performance
Preparation with activities directors to understand the requirements and limitations for a specific environment or event
If the dance includes seniors, work with carers to know what steps work best
For both Musicians and Dancers
Flexibility if something unexpected happens, for example, a pastor may be delayed and you may have to play some music to keep residents engaged
Sight-reading is not essential, but occasionally there may be a need to play a different tune from sight
Ability to lower the pitch of high-pitched hymns that may be too high for people to sing comfortably
Knowledge of tunes and/or dances that seniors like
Typical Time Commitment
1 hour/month at a residence plus travel & prep time to full time. Rehearsal time may range from nothing to several weeks.