Early session – no art before so started at 9.00. Phil and Janet both seemed happy to see me. Sat in dining room again, around the table. Chatted a while, mainly led by Phil.
We sang the Welcome Song from SftB – using the names, Janet, Phil and Helen (Phil couldn’t remember my name). I asked Janet for pictures of Hannah and John – she brought ones of both of them with their partners which instead of getting Phil focused on his children, he was off telling stories about the 2 of them, triggered, I guess, from seeing the photo of the 2 of them together. So Janet brought photos of Hannah and John on their own. We sang the Welcome Song again, including Hannah and John and also Nye, (Hannah’s son, P and J’s grandson), whose photo Janet got up on the iPad.
I tried the MIT technique again but rushed it and Phil didn’t really get it. He could copy what I was doing but I don’t think it was coming from him – I think it was completely imitation. He still has problems remembering Hannah’s name from a standing start, but he’s better with John – although he always has been in these sessions. ‘Nye’ causes him problems too. We repeated the falling minor 3rd many times, singing. ‘Daughter Hannah’ and ‘So-n Joh-n’ and ‘Baby Ny-e’.
I led the singing of the ‘Travelling’ song from SftB, which I chose because it is short and repetitive and the rhyme makes it easier to remember. Phil wasn’t word perfect but was able to sing most of it.
‘We’re travelling and a-travelling, we’re travelling along
And all the time we’re travelling we’re singing a song.’
We sang ‘Lady Come Down’, also from SftB. Again Phil recognised it and was able to sing most of it. I had considered changing ‘plum tree’ to ‘Christmas tree’ to make it more seasonal; I hung back the first time we sang it just in case it would be appropriate to make the change, but when I saw Phil making the ‘p’ shape with his mouth in preparation for the word, ‘plum’, I left it as it was.
‘Lady, come down and see,
The cat is in the plum tree.’
Then ‘White Swans’ – again, short and repetitive – ‘White Swans are sailing away, sailng away, sailing away.’ Phil got distracted – (or inspired?) and started telling me about the boating lake at Kettering where he grew up. This happened several times today when the words in the songs triggered thoughts and memories about places and incidents from his past.
I had brought the words from 2 English folk songs that Phil had been familiar with from going to folk clubs in the 60s and 70s – ‘The Wild Rover’ and ‘The Leaving of Liverpool’. He read the words aloud, unprompted by me (I think! I asked him if he knew them and he started reading the lyrics aloud – maybe that’s what he thought I had asked him to do?). He made quite a few mistakes whilst reading, but didn’t pause to think or correct – he either mumbled or inserted an alternative word. When he sang, however. He was confident, quite loud and completely in tune, especially on ‘Wild Rover’. I was surprised as Janet had been less than complimentary about his singing! I recorded the sound but didn’t video, which is a shame as it would have shown how much he was enjoying it.
Interesting – he often looked up from the words to catch my eye as we were singing: he then seemed to lose his place with the words when he looked back – Janet pointed to where we were up to but he didn’t like it. He stopped singing to say, ‘I know!’ quite defensively. He didn’t seem to sing with Janet, but Janet seemed to enjoy singing these songs too.
I tried the names with the photos again – again, problems with ‘Hannah’ and ‘Nye’. I tried
‘Hannah put the kettle on, Hannah put the kettle on,
Hannah put the kettle on, we’ll all have tea.’
He could repeat it but not lead it. Janet is going to try it in the week, especially when they visit Hannah on Weds.
We also sang ‘Diddle diddle dumpling, my son John’ and ‘Nye, Nye, Nye, Delilah’ !
As I was leaving, Phil said, ‘Nice to see you’ – and I think he meant it.