“Together we survive. Together we walk hand in hand.”
These are some of the lyrics to the motivational song, “Alive,” created by Ricky Peña, vice president of life enrichment activities for New Jersey-based Marquis Health Consulting Services, and his colleagues.
Marquis provides program and operational consulting services to nursing homes in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Florida, and its employees this year turned to song to encourage the staff and residents of facilities it supports.
Life directors collaborated over multiple Zoom sessions throughout most of January to write the song collaboratively. Residents were also able to participate in the Zoom sessions to follow the process of creating the song.
“The directors loved the process of making something impactful,” Peña told Mcknight’s Long Term Care News Tuesday.
Peña, who served as overseer of the process, is also a pianist, drummer and singer. He developed the melody while working with life directors to come up with impactful lyrics.
Life enrichment directors also recorded the song at a studio close to Peña’s home, an experience that he described as “a good morale-booster” for the directors, most of whom had never been in a recording studio before.
Residents, staff and life enrichment directors enjoyed seeing the song come together. It officially launched in May and received an “amazing reception,” according to Peña. The song is available on Spotify as well as on Marquis’ official Youtube channel. The video so far has garnered nearly 2,000 views on its channel.
“People are still playing the song on repeat” and “even wanted us to perform it live,” Peña said. “This was a great, feel-good event.”
Music was a welcome change of pace for residents and staff especially during the pandemic last winter, according to Peña. He plans on recreating the song-making process next winter in time for the holiday season and hopes to get more staff members involved in the process.
“Everyone loves music,” he added. “Music does wonders, it brings people together in a positive way.”