Spring Caroling

Posted: May 31, 2011 in Music Therapy

After the success of our Christmas caroling venture last December, I started pushing for our day services group to make another visit to the local nursing home to do some more singing before Christmas rolled around again.  Today was it.  We’ve been practicing some songs for several months, and finally got to perform.  We chose a bunch of well-known folk songs, patriotic songs, and a couple of older popular songs to take with us.  Here’s what we sang:

  • The Star-Spangled Banner
  • Take Me Out to the Ballgame
  • Home on the Range
  • You Are My Sunshine
  • God Bless America
  • Oh Susanna
  • If I Had a Hammer
  • My Country Tis of Thee
  • This Land is Your Land
  • I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
  • Yellow Submarine
  • Little Liza Jane
  • On Top of Spaghetti
  • America the Beautiful

The whole thing went very well.  The songs were all relatively easy, and we did have lyric sheets for reference.  I didn’t make enough for everyone to encourage them to not rely on the paper, and so more people would be able to look up at the people we were singing to.  I’ve been encouraging everyone to sing loud and to have fun with it, which they did.  Some of the more outgoing personalities among our consumers added their own touches to the songs.  For example, we had a nice shouting match between Cub and White Sox fans during Take Me Out to the Ballgame (specifically, the “Root root root for the __________” line).  We added some instruments to If I Had a Hammer (a drum and a bell).  During I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, we had some good imitations of Dinah blowing her horn.  Sneezing was added to On Top of Spaghetti.

It was a blast to put this all together, and really a ton of fun to perform.  I felt our energy level was higher than it was at Christmas, and I think our audience really responded to it.  I don’t know what the stats are for people coming and singing when it’s not Christmas, but I bet they don’t get that kind of thing often.  So I’m really glad we were able to do it.  I think it was great for our consumers to be able to give back to another group of people, to be able to work towards such a fulfilling activity.

At the same time, I’m a little sick of some of the songs now, particularly Yellow Submarine.  I think I’ll retire it for a while.

Thanks for reading!

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