Music Café—A Café filled with sound exploration
The Music Café contains activities for a large or small group of people with dementia or Alzheimer's at a memory cafe, in an instutional setting, or at home with a small or large family consisting of people of all ages.
We had a special guest Melissa Mills come and play ukulele and sing for our guests with a ukulele.
- Large music note & instrument cutouts (At Amazon:Gold Foil Musical Instrument Cutouts (15/Pkg))
- Inflatable multicolored guitars (At Amazon:Kangaroo's Inflatable Rock 'N Roll Electric Guitars, 18-Pack)
- Plastic maracas (At Amazon:Add Life To The Party! 12 Maracas Bright and Colorful Party Favors, Noisemaker for New Years Party, 5" Glitter Maracas For Mexican Fiesta, Cinco De Mayo Party- Preschool Musical Instrument - 6 Pairs)
- Mason jars (At Amazon:Ball Quart Jar, Wide Mouth, Set of 12)
- Food coloring (At Amazon:Neon Purple Green Pink Blue 4-pack Food Color)
- Rubber music mallets (At Amazon:Rhythm Band RB2315 Medium-Density Rubber Mallets 8 1/2" Long, 3/4" Diameter, Abs Handle)
- Laptop, microphone, speakers
- Video screen (At Amazon: VIVO 100" Portable Indoor Outdoor Projector Screen, 100 Inch Diagonal Projection HD 4:3 Projection Pull Up Foldable Stand Tripod (PS-T-100))
- Video projector (At Amazon: DBPOWER T22 HD Video Projector 2400 Lumens Support 1080P with Free HDMI AV Cable for Multimedia Home Cinema Theater-White)
Shopping links are provided by Amazon, which makes it easy to see the type of product that we are talking about. Clicking any of the links will take you to Amazon. Please note that the Caregiver Program collects fees from Amazon for referring users if they purchase there. We use 100% of these fees to fund our Caregiver Program, including this website and our caregiver apps. You also can purchase any of these products at local shops as well.
We usually incorporate a themed snack whenever it is possible or if it applies.
We had our regular spread which consists of:
- Coffee, tea and water.
- Consider the time of your café, and any safety and dietary restrictions that may apply to your particular group.
We used specific playlists for the activities below.
Guests were invited to take a maraca and plastic inflatable guitar.
Coffee, snacks and socializing. During this time we played oldies music on youtube.
Name that Tune.
While guests sat we played “Name that tune.” During this activity I chose 10 recognizable songs and played them on youtube while covering the screen. Here is the Playlist.
Guests were encouraged to guess the song. They were told that if they didn’t know the title, perhaps they could say the name of the artist or sing a line. Many participants sang along as each new song came up.
. Next we made water xylophones with the group. I found this activity on pintrest and it was cheap and easy to set up. I bought a case of large mason jars and set 4 jars down in front of each small group (we broke into four groups). Next I filled each of their set of water jars to a different level. Water levels ranged from ¼, ½, ¾ and almost full. I came around with food coloring and let our guest squeeze the color of their choice into one of the jars. Soon we had four jars with varying amounts of water and all a different color. We arranged the jars in descending order. I gave each group a rubber mallet. Before striking the jars we asked if anyone could guess which jar would make the lowest pitch (the one with more water) and which jar would make a higher pitch (less water). Finally, we told them to go ahead and play the jars. You can create songs or simply run the mallet back and forth over the jars.
Musical Guest. We had a special guest Melissa Mills come and play ukulele and sing for our guests. Melissa is a trained singer and she sang Smile by Charlie Chapman and other classic oldies. The group listened closely, cheering when she finished.
Next we did our own karaoke. The leaders sang songs to get the crowd going and then we invited them up to sing. Only a handful of people “took the stage” but many guests sang from their seat, clapped and cheered us on. I also lead group songs where all the staff sang and we walked around with the microphone encouraging guests to sing a line. Here is the link to the karaoke playlist
. I would recommend choosing songs that have low vocals instead of absolutely no vocals as they were more challenging for guests. It seems that due to timing and tempo, traditional karaoke with no words can be a little too difficult.
We wrapped up by telling the guests what next month’s theme was and staff cleaned up.
Pictures and Video