Easy Songwriting: “Rattlin’ Bog”

Green, weedy bog

Songwriting can be a great way to foster joy and self expression. Here’s an easy songwriting experience using a traditional Irish song. (Click here for a video explanation.) “The Rattlin’ Bog” is a traditional Irish folk tune that has over 120 different recorded versions. Since it has been passed down through time by oral tradition,…

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Gardening and Garden Songs for Self-Care: Focus on the Growth

An upturned hand holding a plant, with leaves, stem, and roots visible. More green plants in the background. Label reads "Focus on the Growth"

More than a year into the pandemic, you may be feeling extremely fatigued. We’ve all adapted to a “new normal,” but many of us are looking for any sign of hope we can find. Although many things are slowly becoming more “normal,” there are still many unknowns that we face. How can we cultivate a…

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Song Spotlight: “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone

A flock of black birds rising up, with a sunset over the sea in the background. Label reads "show tune/jazz"

Mood: Slow, Positive Themes: 60s songs, Feeling good Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Showtune, Jazz In life, we can easily identify when things are going wrong and are challenging for us and others. Those prolonged periods of turmoil can leave us feeling drained and down. When going through those tough times, it can be hard to take…

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Song Spotlight: “I Can See Clearly Now”

Sunshine and wispy clouds over a calm ocean. Label reads "reggae and soul"

Mood: Slow, Hopeful, Optimistic Themes: 60s songs, Showtunes Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Reggae and Soul Written in 1972, Johnny Nash’s song “I Can See Clearly Now” shows a person beginning to see clearly the problems that they are facing while also looking towards the future.   Nash collaborated with Bob Marley early in his career. He took…

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For Covid-19 Commemoration: “Auld Lang Syne”

We often think of “Auld Lang Syne” as a song for New Year’s Eve. Traditionally sung at the stroke of midnight among cheers and clinking glasses, the song provides an opportunity to say goodbye to the old year with fondness. This song may also feel strangely appropriate in March 2021, one year after the Covid-19…

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Making Grief and Memorial Playlists

Lit candle in the foreground with sparkling lights on a dark background

Grief and mourning are two different experiences that accompany loss or change. While grief is a personal, internal experience, mourning involves the things we do to recognize a loss or express our grief. What is grief? Grief is the collection of thoughts and feelings we have internally when we experience loss. These feelings vary over…

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Easy Songwriting Activity: “Winter Wishlist”

Glass ball reminiscent of a snow globe with what looks like frost in the bottom, and a reflection of the sun in the top left corner. Words read: Show Me Hope Missouri - Winter Wishlist

Looking for something new and fun to do during these bleak winter months? Want a break from the heaviness all around us from the pandemic and political unrest? Trying out some songwriting can be a fun and creative way to discover your friends’ and family’s favorite winter activities while also acknowledging some of the things…

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You’ve Got Options: Holiday Music in the Pandemic

Sparkly background with the text on top reading "You've Got Options: Holiday Music In The Pandemic"

We often think of the winter holidays as a lively, joyful, and exciting time in our families and communities. That’s what Hallmark shows us, right?  Sometimes, though, the holidays can bring a combination of joy and stress from trying to coordinate and plan for all of the familial traditions. And in some years, we can’t…

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Song Spotlight: “Buon Natale”

Close up of colored Christmas lights and tree branches with snow on top. Label reads "holiday."

Mood: Cheerful, Celebratory Themes: Holidays, Winter Tempo: Moderate Genre/Style: Holiday Nat King Cole is well known for his popular hits like “L-O-V-E” and “Unforgettable,” but his music has also become quite the holiday musical staple, with his holiday tunes reemerging on the Billboard charts year after year. It’s a helpful reminder that even though things…

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Song Spotlight: “A Change Is Gonna Come”

Raindrops on a window. Outside are shadows. Label reads "60s soul"

Mood: Slow, pensive, hopeful Themes: Civil rights, song of change Tempo: Slow Genre/Style: Soul, R&B Sam Cooke is considered to be the King of Soul. The subjects of his songs range from light to serious, and he knew the power that music has to address difficult subjects and create a sense of unity within a community.  Sam Cooke…

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