We invite you to watch this video to learn more about the Bed Side Singers.
It was made at no cost to us by the wonderful students in the Beacon Community Services’ STARTE (Skills Training and Readiness to Employment) Program, 6-week skills training initiative to prepare Victoria area students for possible jobs in the film industry.
Volunteer Bedside Singers at Victoria Hospice sing songs a cappella (without accompaniment) for patients, their families, and loved ones at the end of life.
Bedside singers always sing in teams of two, offering a range of music to patients during visits to match the kind of support that is needed at the time. The songs can be comforting, uplifting, and they can bring back wonderful memories.
When we recruit bedside singers we look for those who can:
- Stay on key
- Sing in a warm lullaby tone
- Be able to smoothly blend their voice with another singer
Please note: We provide music notation and a training CD to our singers. It is not necessary to have have had professional vocal training, or be able sight read music. Most songs can be easily learned through repetition.
Bedside Singers are expected to regularly attend evening practices on the second and last Wednesday of each month in order to become familiar with the repertoire and group members. (Practices do not occur during the summer.) 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. Volunteers need to commit to 2 shifts per month.
You must have easy and regular access to email in order to participate in our bedside singing program. You will need to attend our 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 healthcare settings.
For more information or if you have any question, please contact the volunteer office.
Volunteer Office: 250-370-8727
Email: [email protected]
“Being present with patients in the final stages of their lives is an incredible privilege,” says Suellen, a veteran Bedside Singer at Victoria Hospice. “People often assume it is depressing, but I have found it is often uplifting. I have experienced a lot of gratitude from patients who appreciate all the support they are being offered. Some experiences are unforgettable.”