Music to spark a better life for older adults and preschoolers

Posts tagged ‘intergenerational’

Singable Stories: Take Me Home, Country Roads

John Denver's Greatest Hits

Image by thejcgerm via Flickr

Tomorrow I will be traveling back home after a wonderful family vacation. Though I will be flying, John Denver is running through my head. If you open the cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home Country Roads”, adapted and illustrated by Christopher Canyon you are greeted with this quote:

Music makes pictures and often tells stories, all of it magic and all of it true. And all of the pictures and all of the stories, and all of the magic, the music is you. ~John Denver

While this is a children’s book, I believe it would work well in an intergenerational group. Watch the clip to find out why.

What are your impressions of this book? Share them in the comments.

7 Link Challenge – Music Sparks Version

backlit house number

Image by cmurtaugh via Flickr

My friend, Michelle Erfurt put out a challenge on Music Therapy Tween for a 7 link challenge. This seemed like a simple challenge. The questions only apply to the dates of August 2010 – July 2011. So here we go!

  1. Your first post of August 2010: Music for All This was a short post sharing a link. Boy have my posts changed in the last year.
  2. A post you enjoyed writing the most: Right Down to Your Toes I love being barefoot. I love getting a pedicure. Finding this poem and turning it into a song was a joy.
  3. A post which had a great discussion: It surprises me that a couple tied: Time to Spring Forward and Singable Books: Patriotic.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d written:  Intergenerational Music at Cornerstone I wish I had a big hit post like this one on intergenerational music that was on my blog.  This may be a goal for this coming year. I wrote something that impacted the lives of those for whom I provide services.
  5. Your most helpful post: Brining Australia to Kansas This post brought comments from Australia that informed my sessions. The residents were very impressed to have music suggested from around the globe.
  6. A post with a title that you are proud of:  Yes, You Can! The title created interest and was a great summary of this video. We can each make a difference in the lives of those dealing with dementia.
  7. A post that you wish more people had read: Singing Bowl Meditation Doing meditation with a group of older adults with a variety of backgrounds and diagnosis can be a challenge. But, this seemed to work.

Now, it is your turn! If you are a blogger, share your list of seven.

Top Intergenerational Music Blogs

My last two top ten posts looked at music therapy and music with older adults. Here is list #3 – the top intergenerational music blogs. This took a little work as many are just news articles or single posts. So, I’m trying to share sites with the greatest information. You will notice there are only seven. Most of the items were news stories or offered only an overview of the program.

7. Our Big Earth

6. Sound Health Music 

5. EMBE Music Therapy

4. Darwin Intergenerational Music (This is a YouTube link)

3. Soundscape Music Therapy 

2. Music Together 

1. Cornerstone Music Community (A new blog I now follow)

What this tells me is not many blogs repeatedly address intergenerational music – an area which I greatly enjoy. It provides me some new resources for interview and conversations on the subject. In fact, I hope to have some posted targeting intergenerational music during August 2011.

Planning Made Easy with Themes

Pattern 02

Whether it is for a month, a week, a day, a session, I love building off a theme. It doesn’t matter if I am planning for a preschool music group, older adult music therapy session, or an intergenerational session, I love using a theme.  Why use a theme? Here are the top four reasons .

Themes provide structure to the session.  They help me determine sensory items to bring, songs on the topic, sound clips, pictures, questions.

Themes challenge me to try new things. Often themes push me out of my comfort area. Leading a session for older adults to expose them to different cultures, different countries makes me learn new information, new music, to think out of the box. I love asking for their ideas, too. Putting them in charge gives them purpose.

Themes make it easy to incorporate others materials. While I maintain my general format for groups, using a theme gives me an excuse to share something new with the members of the group. I use various tools/methods of presenting to make the most impact for that group. This was especially true when I worked full-time in Activities. I could find movies, word games, books, famous people, food, art work all on themes. It meant everyone could gain exposure to the theme by participating in their favorite activities.

Themes make planning easy. It means gathering a set of materials for use on that day, week, or month. I feel I get more bang for my buck if I purchase something I can use several times. Now that I provide services to a variety of clients (older adults and preschoolers) I can still find ways to connect many of the  materials. My aim with using a theme is to create continuity for myself and my clients. Themes have guided who I invited for guest presentations. I could go to one website and use the material in multiple ways.

I hope these ideas on themes have helped create some interest in the topic. My July 23, 2011 issue of SPARKSwill be dedicated to this topic. It will be filled with some of my favorite resources and lots of help for others wanting to try planning their own themes. Also, you can click to hear my conversation with Janice Harris, MT-BC on this topic!

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Singable Books: Neighborhood Sing-along

Singing has been a great way for me to meet and to interact with people my whole life. I’m guessing it has also been that way for Nina Crews – the creator and artist for The Neighborhood Sing-along. This would be a wonderful book for:

  • sharing standard sing-along songs with young children
  • a book for reminiscing with grandparents
  • developing a list of songs to use in an intergenerational group.

Here are some more insights on this fun book. 

Hope you enjoyed this installment of Singable books. Here are some past posts to keep you reading and singing with your child.

Singable Books: Patriotic

A child reading in Brookline Booksmith, an ind...

Image via Wikipedia

I grew up in a household of readers. We were required to read each day as children – especially during the summer. Those frequent trips to the library have resulted in a lifetime of reading. During my sessions, I love to share singable books.  This post is the first in a series.

Today’s books give a nod to the many US patriotic holidays that happen during the summer months. Published by Picture Window Books and illustrated by Todd Ouren, I have used these resources with a variety of younger children. The songs include:

  • America the Beautiful
  • America
  • The Star Spangled Banner
  • When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  • Yankee Doodle
  • You’re a Grand Old Flag

Watch this to learn more about the books. 

Be watching for future singable books. In the mean time here are a few others:

Who are my clients? (Part 2)

On Tuesday I shared a definition of older clients with whom I wish to work in Part 1. Today, I will share my definitions for preschoolers (or maybe I should say the adults in a preschooler’s life).

I do not want to work with you if you:

  • don’t want to join in the activities
  • expect your child to sit quietly for a half hour
  • think your child is too disabled to join in a group
  • don’t see older adults as having something to offer your child
  • don’t enjoy interacting with your child
  • don’t enjoy music

I want to work with you if you:

  • enjoying sharing your musical gifts (yes, we all have them) with your child and others
  • are willing to work with me in finding the appropriate placement for your child to grow
  • look at the abilities and growth potential of a child
  • share a vision of a world strengthen though the interactions of the generations
  • create music in non-session times of life
  • enjoy humor and laughter
  • realize life is sometimes noisy and sometimes quiet
  • enjoy seeing a child be creative

If you live in the Hays, Kansas area and this sounds like something for your child, click here to learn more about classes offered.

If you believe your child would benefit from personal music therapy sessions or adaptive music lessons, please contact me at: musicsparks@rocketmail.com .

If you would like some ideas for adding a little music to your child’s life or you are unable to join in these classes, I encourage you to sing up for my FREE newsletter – SPARKS!

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