Thursday, September 24, 2015

Apple Songs

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree

A Bushel and a Peck

Button Up Your Overcoat

Ida Sweet as Apple Cider

In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree

My Favorite Things

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy

High Hopes

Apple Blossom Time

Aren't You Glad You're You

Stuck on You

When the World Was Young

You Took Advantage of Me

You Turned the Tables on Me

Talk to Me Baby

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Broadway Links

Weekend activity 8/1/15
I'll be singing a few of my favorite musical favorites. In addition to singing a few, I'd like to share some familiar voices/faces that residents will remember. Carol Channing, Julie Andrews, Ezio Pinza, Mary Martin, just to name a few. 

Hello Dolly

Carol Channing Hello Dolly

Sound of Music

Some Enchanted Evening Ezio Pinza/Mary Martin

If I Were A Rich Man Theodore Bikel

Bushel and a Peck Doris Day

Getting to Know You Mary Martin

The Impossible Dream Peter O'Toole

You'll Never Walk Alone Jerry Lewis

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do You Sing to Your Kids?

I was recently reading a blogpost from the #musictherapyblogger challenge that spoke about staying connected to your own music. I am very guilty of not listening to music outside of "work." My kids, wife, and extended family very rarely hear me sing or use my music unless they ask me to play or sing for a wedding, funeral or some other function. Not too long ago, we bought a house and as we were looking at houses with our realtor, we asked him if he ever watched "House Hunters" or any of the other reality shows about homes. His answer, "no, it's my job, why would I want to watch something at home that I do at work?" It totally made sense to me.

I often get asked, "Do you sing with your kids?" And I usually answer shyly that I usually do not, but my kids are very musical and I love to hear them play piano, clarinet, saxophone, recorder, drums or another else they find around the house.  But for me to sit down and sing something for my own enjoyment or "just because" would be very rare.

Why is this? As a Hospice Music Therapist, I felt emotionally spent at the end of the day. Now, that I am back in a geriatric setting conducting both activities and music therapy, I feel so much more relaxed in the evening. Tired, but not spent. I had been in a recreational choir for close to ten years and may try to look for another choir to join soon as I know the importance of enjoying music.

But for now, I'll be happy listening to the kids sing, play and joining in with them.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top Ten: Summer Songs

My list for the best ten songs to include in a Summer music therapy session with older adults. I do like to test the boundaries of music that I use and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. There are songs on this list from the early twentieth century and a few from the 60's & 70's. My residents have become so diverse in age that it is difficult to plan for large group sessions as the 100 year residents are in a different generation than the 75 year old residents. Using familiar songs that most everyone has heard at least once does help. Broadway tunes seem to be known by most along with songs from movies.

1. Those Lazy, Hazy. Crazy Days of Summer
1963 Recorded by Nat King Cole            

                     2.The Things We Did Last Summer
                             Originally recorded 1946.
                     Dean Martin version recorded 1959.

                                                             3. June is Busting Out
                                                    1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein 

                                                      4. Oh, What a Beautiful Morning
                                                      1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein

                                                                   5. Summertime
                                                                  "Porgy & Bess"

                                               6. Itsy Bitsy Tiny Yellow Polkadot Bikini
                                                                 1960-Bryan Hyland

                                                                  7. Summer Nights

                                                8. By the Light of the Silvery Moon
                                          Originally written 1909. Released in movie 1953

                                                       9. I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
                                                              Originally written 1919. 
                                              Re-released in "On Moonlight Bay" 1951

                                                              10. Beer Barrel Polka 
                                                                     Written 1927.
                                                      Became world famous during WWII.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Music Therapy Research

My, oh, my! How things have changed in the last 15 years. "Back in the day, I remember trudging through the halls at Alverno College to the library and looking through the periodicals and card catalogues."  I was looking for research to support my research project focusing on geriatrics and food intake. Today, I could easily find at least 25 scholarly articles within 10 minutes on the internet.

Maybe it is because of the history I have with the pains of finding relatable research that make me dislike it. I actually love the idea of doing a research project, but that initial step has made it easy for me to put research far, far back on the WAY backest burner.

I have to be honest, the closest I have gotten to researching something lately is looking for new ideas on Pinterest, heading to conferences or asking for advice on different social media forums.  Little did I know Pinterest is actually an awesome place to find research. Just searching "music therapy research" gave me a huge list of music therapy books that I had not been aware even existed.  More links to pediatric, hospital, geriatric and general music therapy were easily found.

Working within a geriatric setting, my main interest in research has been finding appropriate songs and interventions to engage my residents. But since beginning my new job in early May, I've also been intrigued by research on "Music & Memory." I know many music therapists have had questions or concerns about the program. Being a music therapist, I feel any opportunity to expose residents to music especially preferred music from their early adulthood, is a positive. Being in a position that allows me to observe 10 residents that participate in an established program, I've seen first hand the power of the residents preferred music. In Wisconsin, we have had approximately 200 nursing homes participate in the "Music & Memory" program. Even though "Music & Memory" is not overseen by music therapists exclusively, there are tips that are helpful for any caregiver caring for a family member.  Of course, within the "Music & Memory" program, facilities have been limited on who is eligible to participate and how many residents can participate. Our facility has a good amount of money set aside to add additional iPods and residents to the program.  After reading about success stories, I would love to do more research within this population.

Using familiar music, to "evoke emotions and influence mood and arousal is often relatively well preserved also in dementia." (Music and Medicinevol. 4 no. 3 153-162) So even though "Music & Memory" is definitely a hot topic, I'm hoping to do my own research since my floor is the pilot floor in my facility. I know iPods are not a replacement for music therapists, but I definitely also know that I cannot be in 10 rooms conducting 10 individual music therapy sessions daily. Until that day when I can, I'll be looking for more research and working towards the day I can provide live music therapy sessions are more beneficial providing the added personal touch that recorded music fails to provide.

Music, Emotion, and Dementia.Insight From Neuroscientific and Clinical Research. Teppo Särkämö, PhD, Sari LaitinenMari Tervaniemi, PhD, MA, Ava Numminen, PhD, MA,  Merja Kurki, PhD, MA, Pekka Rantanen, PhD, MD,  Music and Medicinevol. 4 no. 3 153-162

The Role of Singing Familiar Songs in Encouraging Conversation Among People with Middle to Late Stage Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dorit Amir, DA, ACMT
  • J Music Ther51 (2): 131-153.

    The #MusicTherapyBlogger Challenge - Week 4
    This week’s challenge is to pick a current research article or chapter of a book that is closely related to your target audience and summarize it.

    Summarize and cite the reading, then add your reflections upon it. You may want to discuss what surprised you, how the results can help your audience, why you picked the article/chapter, or what your “take-away” moment was from the reading.

    And there is an added bonus to this challenge: it keeps you refreshed on the growing literature in our field!

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Top Five Tuesday: Jim Reeves

    Jim Reeves is a treasured Country & Western singer from mainly the 1950's. He is one of those American legends that died much too young. Dying in a plane crash at the age of 40, his legend does carry on and has definitely made a mark within the geriatric population.  Those born in the 1930's, remember his songs fondly as they were popular in their late teens early 20's. One of my favorite Jim Reeves songs is "Four Walls." "Ramona" is also a favorite and I love to pick out Lady Name songs around Mother's day. Jim Reeves did perform many spirituals and hymns, along with many other performers of the era. Here's a few of my favorites I like to sing when I remember, a few hymns and a few catchy tunes, Bimbo has a fun repetitive little refrain, Mexican Joe also has a rhythmic, rhyming refrain.  

    1. Welcome to My World
    2. Where We'll Never Grow Old
    3. Bimbo
    4. Mexican Joe
    5. Take My Hand Precious Lord