HEARTS OF THE COMMUNITY: Bringing sunshine to the community

Frank Watson, who recently won a Hearts of the Community Volunteer Award on Tuesday, has been spreading joy to many through music for years.

Frank Watson was recognized for his musical contributions to the community.

Frank Watson, who recently won a Hearts of the Community Volunteer Award on Tuesday, has been spreading joy to many through music for years.

Having been with the Sunshine Singers for 15 years, Watson takes part with the group every month, bringing music to residents of Rest Haven Lodge, Sidney Care, Abbeyfield St. Andrews House and the residents of  SHOAL Assisted Living.

He said he tries to bring music that engages the residents.

“The idea is not performance but more like trying to get participation.”

A lot of the time he said there is dementia involved in the places he visits. He made reference to Daniel Levitin’s This is Your Brain on Music, where he said the last thing that goes for people with dementia is the music and that our favourite music is the music we listened to back when we were 16.

And so Watson said they try and figure out by asking the activity coordinators the age ranges of the residents and ask what they were listening to at age 16 — and that’s the kind of music they do.

“There’s a great connectedness to music…” Watson told the PNR.

Watson also took over the Sidney Wednesday Night Acoustic Jam, which has grown to a group of almost 75 members.

They have jams on Wednesday nights with all kinds of instruments including, ukeleles, banjos and more.

So why does Watson volunteer?

“There’s a need,” he said, adding he gets a lot of enjoyment out of it all as well.

“I also get a lot of enjoyment because I meet such wonderful people here, they’re a great bunch.”