As part of a scheme of live piano music in residential homes, the Piano Shop Bath invited pianist Robb Lawton to play for the residents and staff of Bridgemead.
Our last concert was a resounding success, so the staff and residents were very keen to continue the programme of recitals. Robb Lawton is a fantastic pianist and an active supporter of taking music into residential homes. When we broached the idea to Robb he was delighted at the opportunity; here are his thoughts on the recital:
How lovely to be invited to play piano at Bridgemead residential home in Bath, June 2013. One reads quite a lot about homes for the retired, so when I was asked to play piano I thought I must visit and see what music I could entertain them with.
Most of the folks are in their 70s and 80s and so were very familiar with music from the 1930s and 1940s. They clearly all appreciate live piano music, having lived through an era when it was the ‘norm’ to hear live music from a piano. I was raised in a family that sung 1930s and 1940s songs around the piano in the post war years, so I knew so many of the songs that they would be familiar with.
After 30 minutes of reciting some popular music from the shows, which I think they all knew, I asked Sue (Bridgemead’s excellent events co-ordinator) to distribute a handful of World War Two song sheets that I’d printed off in anticipation of a sing-song.
As soon as I started playing I knew that I’d done the right thing as so many of them joined in singing, already knowing the lyrics. Sue did a stirling job as she has a strong tuneful voice that helped drive the singing along. I’m sure it was well appreciated as I was given some requests to include the next time I play …. which I hope will be sooner than later …
The staff and the residents at Bridgemead had a great time and are already looking to book the next recital. At the Piano Shop Bath we are very grateful for Robb giving his time and look forward to working with him in the future. We want to build relationships with residential homes in Bath, linking them with talented local pianists and providing a piano where none is available. The Piano Shop Bath welcomes pianists to get involved with the recitals; perhaps if you are a teacher with a roster of students you could organise a program that gives them all the chance to play to a very willing and supportive audience! We are open to suggestions and look forward to building on the scheme.