We have found that the jamming approach works well when working with just one other person. A session can be brief and informal. There are many different times when a one-to-one jamming session can bring a great deal of joy and satisfaction into an individuals day. It only takes two to jam, and here are some of the times when this would be the best option to follow.
For some, groups just aren’t the thing
Sometimes a person is so uncomfortable with a group situation that they communicate this in ways that are unsafe for them and others around them. So, the circles of support have decided that a one-to-one activity is more beneficial to the individual. With good planning you can find ways that result in a joyful creative interaction with you and the individual. Making vocalisations together or playing a piece of percussion (shaky egg perhaps) to a track can be a very satisfying way of jamming together. Also, it is fine to just sit together and listen to music that the person finds relaxing, just being there is a meaningful way of connecting.
Try a bed jam
If someone is unable to get out of their bed you could still have a short creative moment with them. The person could be in bed because of being in the advanced stages of dementia, receiving palliative care or recovering after a fall but we all need some kind of texture in our day no matter how brief. You could turn their space into a creative one by simply placing a tablet on a bed table and play a video soundscape, video or a music track to move or play along with. You could offer a choice of percussion instruments, that have been pre-thought out as being, or made, accessible to the individual. The fact that you have protected time where you can focus totally on the individual can be a very special, respectful and valuable moment away from their daily routine – and a break from your routine too.
Finding new ways to connect and communicate
If an individual has communication challenges, a chilled jam could be an ideal way of creatively communicating with them. You don’t necessarily need to use words to jam along to music. Using vocalisations can open up a great way of interacting with each other and the music. Everyone makes different sounds and they bring their uniqueness to a session. Making ooohs and aaahs, and many more sounds, to a piece of music is a great way of expressing yourself. It can have a calming effect as it is a great way to release frustration. Don’t worry about trying to make what you’re doing fit with the music – let the video or music just be there to support your activity. Use your imagination, in a one-to-one session you can be like two free form jazz musicians complementing each others sounds by copying and varying what you come out with. You may surprise yourself!
To fill a little empty time
You may be at a loose end with someone that you are supporting one to one. Maybe there is a lull after breakfast or before tea. For something different or additional to the activities which you would normally do, why not have an impromptu chilled jam session. It’s a great way of building a relationship with someone that you are supporting because you are making something in the moment and discovering new things together. Before bedtime, a great way to chill is to make some sounds together to a sea soundscape – try whale and dolphin sounds. Just sound, no video or movement as this would hinder the journey to slumber by being too stimulating. You may well start laughing together . . . great for feeling good!
When you’re out and about
You don’t have to be inside to have a chilled one to one jam. You could be out on a country walk with your shaky eggs in your back pack (they don’t take up much room). You don’t have to play to music. If you stand and listen to the nature surrounding you, there’s plenty of sounds and rhythm to tune into. If anyone can whistle and there’s a blackbird around, copy it’s phrases. It sings the coolest tunes. This wouldn’t be strictly one to one but every duo can have a guest for one number!
I bet you guys already have amazing one to one creative moments and sessions. We’d love to hear about your experiences. Happy one to one chilled jamming.