Easy Karaoke Evening

by Frank
(New York)

We found having an easy karaoke evening is a big hit. I was surprised how many of our elderly residents loved to sing. And watch others sing. Our age group ranged from 70's all the way up into the 90's, and even some of them wanted to share the limelight! Some participated in pairs so they didn't have to sing alone. And often those watching in the "audience" ended up singing along. We keep it very informal, so it's lots of fun.

The group leader or activities director should be prepared to do the first song or two him/herself. Or have it planned for someone to start out. Just to get things warmed up and break the ice.

A really easy karaoke evening is to have a volunteer pianist (other musicians too if available) with a whole lot of songs. You'll also of course need a microphone. You can get lyrics to the songs online and print them out, in case someone doesn't know them by heart. Or print them out from the musician's music so the singer has something to look at. Whatever ideas you have to provide music - you may already have a music book. Then we put the names of the songs on pieces of paper and put them in a basket. Whoever in the group wants to sing can pull out a paper out of the basket to choose a song. (If they don't like that one, they can always put it back and draw another).

You can also get some favorite music on karaoke CD's from popular eras (you can find them online) that include the lyrics, and print them out in really large print. It's easiest to just play the songs in sequence, with a large print list, chart, or poster to let everyone know what's coming up next. Then they volunteer to be the singer at the microphone.

If you want to go high-tech and "official," another way to do an easy karaoke evening is to rent a karaoke system. You can look it up in your phone book - it's easy to find just about everywhere. They're easy to use too.

We've done a karaoke party with songs from different eras, and also hymns. Very popular.

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