Tools of the Trade: Kokiriko

I have a lot of instruments in my collection now, all of which I share with music therapy clients. Most of them fall into two large categories: instruments you hit (drum, woodblock, marimba) and instruments you shake (maraca, egg shaker, tambourine). That means the instruments that don’t fit into these categories bring an extra element…

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Song Spotlight: “Beer Barrel Polka”

Beer Barrel Polka Song Spotlight |

Mood: Giddy Themes: Drinking Beer, Dancing, Having Fun Tempo: Upbeat Genre/style: Polka Quick question: Which country does the “Beer Barrel Polka” come from? Answer: Czechoslovakia. You’ll be forgiven, though, if you thought it came from somewhere else. The “Beer Barrel Polka” is the first polka song I ever learned, and it’s the most familiar polka among…

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Song Spotlight: “Solamente Una Vez”

Solamente Una Vez - Song Spotlight |

Mood: Sentimental Themes: True love Tempo: Moderate Genre/style: Mexican bolero A particular advantage of music as a therapeutic medium is that connections can be made across cultural boundaries and even language barriers. Sharing a song from another person’s childhood or homeland can be powerful, and even when conversation is not possible, you can still be…

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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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