Aging is a common theme that can emerge in therapy when working with many age groups, including:
- children who may have adult-like responsibilities to manage
- adolescents going through changes, feeling somewhere between childhood and adulthood
- adults beginning to take on their career and/or building a family
- adults transitioning into parenthood
- adults transitioning into becoming grandparents
- adults transitioning to retirement
- older adults experiences overall emotional difficulties related to aging
- older adults experiencing physical challenges/decline related to aging
- older adults transitioning into retirement and long-term care who may be losing some autonomy
- older adults with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
These are just some examples of life transitions where aging can become a core theme in therapy sessions. We hope you enjoy this playlist of songs related to getting older.
Scroll to the bottom for a music therapy intervention idea!
1. The Story - Brandi Carlile
Lyric: All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been
And how I got to where I am
2. When I'm 64 - The Beatles
Lyric: When I get older losing my hair Many years from now Will you still be sending me a valentine Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
3. Time - Pink Floyd
Lyric: Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English wayT
he time is gone, the song is over, thought I'd something more to say
4. You're Gonna Miss This - Trace Adkins
Lyric: You're gonna miss this
You're gonna want this back
You're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast
These Are Some Good Times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you're gonna miss this
5. Grow Old With You - Adam Sandler
Lyric: I wanna make you smile whenever you're sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
All I wanna do is grow old with you
6. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
Lyric: Well, I've been afraid of changing'
Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too
7. Stop This Train by: John Mayer
Lyric: Stop this trainI wanna get off and go home again
I can't take the speed it's moving inI know I can't
But, honestly, won't someone stop this train?
8. Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen
Lyric: Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture a little of the glory of,
well time slips away and leaves you with nothing mister
but boring stories of glory days
9. My Little Girl - Tim McGraw
Lyric: Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
Gonna tell you how much I love you, though you think you already know.
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm.
You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born.
10. I'm Not Gonna Miss You - Glen Campbell
Lyric: I'm still here, but yet I'm gone
I don't play guitar or sing my songs
They never defined who I am
The man that loves you 'til the end
11. Rockin' Alone - Everly Brothers
Lyric: Her hands were caloused and wrinckled and old
A life of hard work was the story they told
And I've thought of angels as I saw her there
Rockin' alone in an old rockin' chair
12. Never Grow Up - Taylor Swift
Lyric: Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little
Oh darling, don't you ever grow up
Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple
13. Father and Son - Cat Stevens
Lyric: It's not time to make a change
Just relax, take it easy
You're still young, that's your fault
There's so much you have to know
Find a girl, settle downIf you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy
14. Old Man - Neil Young
Lyric: Old man look at my life,
Twenty four and there's so much more
Live alone in a paradise
That makes me think of two.
15. Young Forever- Jay Z
Lyric: Forever young,I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever
Life Stages Improv
This is an example of an intervention for a young adult who is becoming overwhelmed with the responsibilities and pressures of adulthood. This can be adapted to match many circumstances and age groups.
First, the music therapist should select the instrument(s) for the improvisational intervention. This selection depends highly on the client, their physical abilities, comfort level with various instruments, music preferences, and much more. For the purpose of this example, we will have the client and therapist sharing the piano for the improvisation.
Instructions for the client:
1. Play how it felt before you had all of these responsibilities and pressures.
2. Play how it feels now
3. Play how it would feel to tackle/handle all of these responsibilities and pressures.
Next, depending on the emotional state of the client, the music therapist would decide how much structure to provide to the client within the clinical improvisation, and would accordingly select various techniques such as matching and holding. During the improvisation, the therapist would be listening for themes and metaphors that arise within the music and even within the musical transitions between parts 1,2, and 3.
From there, depending on the nature of the therapeutic goals and the client, the music therapist might:
- have the client verbally reflect on themes that emerged through the improvisation, offering support and insight/observations to further enhance the process
- have improvisation recorded for the client to listen back to and draw reflections upon.
- point out a theme that emerged and see if the client in fact heard/felt the same
- name the improvisation and use the name as a marker for the theme
I hope this gives you some food for thought.
Have a lovely, sunny week!