The intention of bedside singing is to provide simple music for patients in hospice.
Bedside singing is done a cappella (voices unaccompanied by instruments) and always in teams of only two singers.
Our core repertoire includes songs of comfort and general blessing, as well as some familiar songs from popular culture. This range allows us to offer a choice of either relaxing or upbeat songs during visits so that we can match the kind of support that is needed at any particular time by the patient or their family.
Our Training Program
We are looking for singers who can stay on key, generally sing in a warm lullaby tone, and be able to smoothly blend their voice with one other singer. It is not necessary to have had any professional vocal training.
The ability to sight read music is not a requirement since most of our songs can be easily learned through repetition. We provide music notation to our singers and have also created a Training CD which you can use for your own individual practice.
You will be expected to regularly attend the scheduled Wednesday evening practices every month in order to become familiar with our repertoire and to get to know the other group members.
The goal is to memorize the repertoire to allow us to focus fully on the patient to whom we are singing.
New singers are mentored by experienced Bedside Singers during our regular Victoria Hospice shift schedule.
Other important requirements
You must have easy and regular access to email in order to participate in our bedside singing program.
All Bedside Singers will need to attend the VHS volunteer training course before you can sing on the inpatient unit.
We must protect the privacy of every patient who we encounter in our work especially by safeguarding the patient's name and any other personal information that we may receive.
You must be willing to get a flu shot to sing in health care settings (i.e. Victoria Hospice, Royal Jubilee Hospital).
Our next Bedside Singer Training will take place January – March 2017. Four or five spaces are available for this training. Please contact the volunteer office to learn more about this unique role. Applications should be submitted by Nov. 22, 2016.