Over a decade ago I wrote a book about performing in “senior market”. These are shows at retirement homes, assisted living communities, etc. I don’t really perform in this market anymore, however I am in a couple of Facebook groups for people who do.
I’m constantly amazed at how much bad advice is given. The one that drives me nuts is when someone will ask what kind of tricks to do for these shows and someone says to use music like Glenn Miller’s In The Mood.or music from the 1940s or 1950s.
Whenever I hear that advice I want to tell them to do the math. Glenn Miller put that song out in 1939, which makes that song 80 years old…but for that song to be relevant in your life, like the music you would have listened to in your teens, you’d be 95-100 years old.
That age range is within the demographic for the senior show, HOWEVER it’s a small slice of the demographic. The average lifespan in the USA is just shy of 80 years old. That means your market for these shows is about 70-95.
Let’s redo the math. It’s currently 2019, we’ll subtract 80 years for the age of the people at the senior gig, that gives us the year 1939. However were going to add 17 years to put the music when they people where in high school and we get 1956. That math means if you want to reach people purely on a musical level, your need to use music that was released in 1956 or later.
A quick Google search and it appears Elvis was king at that point. Remember that year is the bottom rung of the ladder, and we’d be assuming they never listened to music past their 17th birthday. If you fast forward a decade to when these people were 27 years old, you get the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, the Rolling Stones. Jump forward another decade to when they were 37 and now you’re into Disco.
My point is if you assume senior’s are only into the music that was popular when they were young, you haven’t thought this through. How old are you? Do you only listen to music from when you were 17 years old?
P.S. You can get my book at www.perform4seniors.com