Quick Hits, vol. 2

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Music Therapy

Occasionally, I have a lot of things I want to say, but not really anything I want to dedicate an entire blog post to.  So, we get Quick Hits.

  • First of all, it is too stinkin’ hot out there.  Remind me again why people like summer?
  • Here’s an update on D – after a couple of weeks where he reverted to not wanting to play anything, he played three different instruments today (the quacker, the cabasa, and the lollipop drum).  At first, I thought it was going to be more of the same because he kept picking up the instruments off of the tubano and throwing them on the couch.  I told him we needed to keep them there, and eventually he started playing them.  Progress!
  • I have a client, K, who is another one that doesn’t do much in therapy sessions.  However, he’s always been willing to play instruments for a little bit, maybe 3-4 measures of a song.  He’s more likely to play when no one else is playing.  Anyway, that’s not exactly related to what I want to say about him.  Recently, I’ve discovered something odd.  When I was singing “Born to be Wild” a few weeks ago, he raised his hand and shook it on the chorus – you know, “Born to be wiiiiiiiiiiiild”.  He did that every time I sang that phrase.  I’ve tried it again on subsequent weeks, and have gotten the exact same reaction every time – same hand, same facial expression (kind of a grimace).  It’s very interesting.  His house staff has no idea what his connection to the song might be.  There’s got to be something.
  • I’ve been doing world music with my adult groups recently.  It’s been fun, particularly the Latin music lesson (we danced the cha-cha and the rumba).  I’m starting to transition into the next unit, which will be preparing for our next trip to the nursing home to sing.  We’re going to do oldies this time, so (with the help of a music therapy student who’s working here in day services over the summer), I’ve been trying to get together a list.  So far, I’ve got Lean on Me, Build Me Up Buttercup, Rockin Robin, My Girl, How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You, Georgia on my Mind, Bye Bye Love, Henry the 8th, Hound Dog, Twist and Shout, Doo Wah Diddy, La Bamba, Rock Around the Clock, I Get Around, Walk Like a Man, My Guy, Hey Baby, I’m a Believer, The Locomotion, Going to the Chapel, Stand By Me, Yakety Yak, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and The Banana Boat Song.  We’re absolutely not going to do all of these, but I’m open to any further suggestions.
  • I’ve been working on an idea, inspired partially by this video.  I want to put together a kind of performance group, adolescents or adults who are working together with the specific goal of putting on a concert (and possibly making videos).  But I want the concert to be more than just them, since putting together a full set would be a TON of work, and a lot of pressure on every one.  So I’d like to open it up to a lot of the people we work with, and use it as a fundraising benefit for Autism month (April) next year.  I’m still working on the details, but it’s an idea I’ve been playing around with.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Dad says:

    I don’t know if you remember the Celebration Singers of Burlington, who performed widely. A quick web search found several references and a two year old news story, but no home page. They were centered around a group home, but had members from all over Alamance County, and possibly beyond. After we moved here, I went to a performance in Raleigh, which was pretty cool. That’s probably another level, but who knows? Moving toward performance and video would be great goals in themselves – getting to be part of something larger than the room!

  2. JoelK says:

    just curious about the “Born to be Wild” gesture…do you remember if he did it the very *first* time you sang the song with him? If he did, that would support the idea of a previous connection with the song. If it’s something he started doing after hearing you sing it a number of times, it might be the built-in charisma of the way you sing it and the way that hook is written that are catching his attention and provoking a response.
    Thanks for writing about your work. It’s great to read once in a while about MT outside of my world of dementia care.

  3. themtguy says:

    Yes, he has done it every time I’ve done the song. He’s very consistent with his responses to songs – there a couple that I’ve done that make him upset every time (I don’t do those any more), and others that make him very excited (particularly stuff by Elvis). This particular response was just unique enough that I thought I’d share. I’d really need to dig further into his background to find out where it comes from, but unfortunately, that would be extremely difficult due to the number of facilities he has been in and his family’s absence from care.

    Thanks for reading, and thanks for your kind words. I enjoy getting to write a little about what I’m doing, and it’s always nice to know that I’m not just talking to myself. 🙂

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