Song Spotlight: “Que Sera Sera”

Que Sera Sera - Song Spotlight |

Mood: Carefree Themes: Parenting, Advice, Anticipating the Future Tempo: Easy waltz Genre/style: 1950s popular Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, so I wanted to share with you one of my favorite songs for encouraging discussion about mothers and motherly advice: “Que Sera, Sera.” Made famous by the inimitable Doris Day (see her version on YouTube…

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Integrating Music into Grief Rituals

Integrating Music into Grief Rituals |

Even though formal music therapy has become an important part of hospice care only in the last couple of decades, music has been an important part of celebrating life for centuries. At the music therapy conference I attended earlier this month, music therapist Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk from Drury University spoke about the role of ritual…

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Song Spotlight: “That Tumbledown Shack in Athlone”

The Glory of Love - Song Spotlight |

Every so often, I get to work with a client in music therapy who really challenges me to learn new music. I can credit specific individuals with getting me to beef up my repertoire in western songs, Filipino and Russian folk songs, songs in Yiddish, and songs performed by Bing Crosby and Patsy Cline, among…

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How Can I Keep From Singing? Profound Musical Experiences

I stopped to visit a woman in the nursing home. She never makes any outright requests for songs, perhaps out of politeness. I did know from previous sessions that she likes Christian hymns, though, so I suggested “How Great Thou Art”which she accepted. She listened quietly as I sang two verses. When I finished, I…

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Song Spotlight: “The Glory of Love”

Valentine’s Day is coming up next week, so that means it’s time a for a spotlight on one of my favorite love songs: “The Glory of Love.” This song was written by Billy Hill in the 1930s and made famous by Benny Goodman. It has since been covered by many singers, including Dean Martin, Otis…

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Song spotlight: “Home on the Range”

Home on the Range - Song Spotlight |

Today is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the state of Kansas, and having been born and raised in several towns and cities in this state, I am pretty excited to be celebrating the sesquicentennial! In honor of this momentous occasion, I wanted to spotlight a favorite song of many folks, Kansans and non-Kansans…

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Song spotlight: “Button Up Your Overcoat”

Button up your overcoat - Song Spotlight |

The temperatures are below freezing here in the Kansas City area, and there is snow and ice on the ground. Thus, our theme song for the week: “Button Up Your Overcoat.” The song starts out with these lyrics: Button up your overcoat when the wind is free Take good care of yourself – you belong…

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Self-disclosure: How much should I share?

Since I am returning to music therapy practice after two months of maternity leave, one clinical issue that I have thought about a lot recently is the issue of self-disclosure. I have had some major events happen in my personal life, and it is sometimes tricky to figure out how much of my personal life to…

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Music for Bridging Cultural Boundaries

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the United States, so I am focusing a few posts on the music used in hospice music therapy. In my last post, I shared the

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The Power of a Song: “The Beautiful Garden of Prayer”

The Beautiful Garden of Prayer - Song Spotlight |

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the United States, so in reading a lot of recent posts and articles on the subject, I have been thinking a lot about how music therapy contributes to the care of patients at the end of life. In my work in hospice, perhaps the most frequent…

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