Song Spotlight: “Sloop John B”

Sloop John B - Song Spotlight |

Mood: Upbeat Themes: Sailing, Caribbean Travel, Wanting to Go Home Tempo: Brisk Genre/style: 1960s Surf Rock During the recent heat wave in our part of the world, I have been integrating the recording of “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys into group music therapy sessions centered on the ocean and boating. Not only does this song provide beach-y musical…

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Songwriting Experience for June

Earlier this week, I posted a song spotlight on the song “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” and with that, I left you a little teaser about its potential for songwriting. As promised, here is a songwriting experience based on this song. With the elders I serve, songwriting seems to work best with a familiar…

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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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Song Spotlight: “Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy”

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy - Song Spotlight |

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the United States, and in discussing the particular place that music therapy has in hospice and palliative care, I have been looking at special songs that have led to significant moments in care at the end of life. Previous posts were dedicated to the spiritual song…

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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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