As I sit to write this blog post about spring songs, I hear the sound of hail hitting my window! Maybe if we listen to spring-inspired music, it will help to will it into existence....? Worth a try!
Keep your eyes peeled for weekly playlist blog posts. Their purpose is to help inspire music therapists to add songs to their repertoire, and of course to inspire everyone out there to make their own purposeful playlists!
In a music therapy context, these songs can be used in such a wide variety of ways; from receptive interventions where the clients can close their eyes and listen to the music while imagining a spring day, to song-writing interventions, where they can work together to change the lyrics of a song. The use of songs depends on client's musical preferences and their goals/objectives.
Scroll to the bottom of the post for a spring time song-writing intervention for seniors!
1. Grazing in the Grass - Hugh Masekela
2. Come Rain or Come Shine - Ray Charles
Lyric: "Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in or we're out of the money
But I'm with you always
'm with you rain or shine"
3. Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Lyric: "When we were younger We thought everyone was on our side Then we grew a little And romanticized the time I saw Flowers in your hair"
4. Here Comes the Sun - The Beatles
Lyric: "Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here Here comes the sun Here comes the sun, and I say It's all right"
5. It Might As Well Be Spring - Ella Fitzgerald
Lyric: "You'll never know just how much I miss you You'll never know just how much I care And if I tried, I still couldn't hide my love for you You ought to know, for haven't I told you so A million or more times?"
6. It's A Beautiful Day - U2
Lyric: "And I know there’s no denying It’s a beautiful day, the sun is up, the music’s playing And even if it started raining You won’t hear this boy complaining"
7. Feeling Good - Nina Simone
Lyric: "Birds flying high, you know how I feel Sun in the sky, you know how I feel Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel"
8. Cherry Blossom Girl - Air
Lyric: "Cherry blossom girl I'll always be there for you That means no time to waste Whenever there's a chance Cherry blossom girl"
9. Singing in the Rain - Gene Kelly
Lyric: "I'm singing in the rain, just singin' in the rain What a glorious feeling, I'm happy again I'm laughing at clouds so dark up above The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love"
10. April Come She Will - Simon & Garfunkel
Lyric: "April come she will When streams are ripe and swelled with rain May she will stay Resting in my arms again June she'll change her tune In restless walks she'll prowl the night"
11. Younger than Springtime - Frank Sinatra
Lyric: "And when your youth and joy invade my arms And fill my heart, as now they do Then younger than springtime am I Gayer than laughter am I Angel and lover, heaven and earth Am I with you"
12. Springtime in Vienna - Tragically Hip
Lyric: "Instructions from the manual
Could not have been much more plain
The blues are still required
The blues are still required again"
13. Spring Fever - Elvis Presley
Lyric: "Spring fever, Spring is here at last Spring fever, my heart's beating fast Get up, get out spring is everywhere"
14. Birds & the Bees - Jewel Akens
Lyric: "Let me tell ya 'bout the birds and the bees And the flowers and the trees And the moon up above And a thing called 'Love'"
15. Concerto in E Major “La Primavera” (Spring), Op. 8 by: Antonio Vivaldi
Spring Song-Writing Intervention: Seniors
Because You're Mine in the Springtime!
I have used this intervention with groups of older adults in adult day programs and retirement facilities with medium - high cognitive functioning. It's helpful to have a white board or flip chart paper to write down everyone's contributions in a visually accessible manner for the group members.
Before beginning the song-writing, I like to first play the original song for the group, so they are aware which song they are changing the lyrics to. During this time, I often use instruments and take the opportunity to focus on self-expression through music making. In this case, the song we would play together is 'I walk the line' - by Johnny Cash. This is most often a very familiar song for this population.
Next, go around and ask each group member what they enjoy doing in the spring-time. Some typical answers you may get are going on walks, gardening, barbecuing, and lots more! If it is part of the group member's goal to share, reminisce, and connect with other group members, some tips for the MT are to:
- ask further questions: i.e., do you like walking alone or with friends? what do you like to garden?
- make sure the rest of the group hears each group members answers.
- make connections between those with similar answers.
- be aware of those who may feel badly about activities they can no longer do that they used to enjoy.
Next, explain that you are changing the chorus to 'Because you're mine, in the spring-time' - and plug in everyone's contributions.
Here is an example:
Joe: I like to plant tomatoes in the spring time,
Helen: I like to walk outside with my grandchildren
Lenny: I like to feel the sun shining down on me
Everyone: Because you're mine - in the spring-time!
Sharon: I like to see the beauty start to bloom
Henry: I like to smell the flowers in my garden
Joe: I used to like playing and splashing in the rain
Everyone: Because you're mine in the springtime!