Due to Valentine’s Day, love is a hot topic during the month of February. I figured for my blog post this week I would share something that I love, songbooks! With the internet, songbooks are not as necessary as they formally were. However, I find songbooks to be incredibly great resources for discovering and learning songs. Following are some of my favorite song books that I love to make use of during my music therapy work.

The Daily Ukulele

The Daily Ukulele is wonderful. This book has an amazing range of genres, ranging from jazz, musical theater, rock and roll, and country. The songs in this book can be used with children through older adults. It is one of the first books that I reference when looking for songs and is one of my favorite songbooks.

The Big Book of Nostalgia

The Big Book of Nostalgia is another book I like to reference when I am looking for songs. This book is full of classic songs from the early to mid 1900s. It also gives a short explanation of all of the songs, along with a chart of when the song charted in the United States. I have found this book greatly supports my work with older adults

The New Decade Series

I currently own three of the books in this series; Hits of the 1940s, Hits of the 1950s, and Hits of the 1960s. This series of books runs from the 1920s-2010s. I have found that they are a great resource to find what the top songs of each decade were for the past 100 years. Additionally, these books come with a code to access recordings and accompaniment tracks for each of each song. I have used these books in my work with older adults and with the clients I work with at SPARC.

The Guitar Songbook for Music Therapy

This was the first songbook I bought as a music therapy major my freshman year of college. It is not a very big book, but it is a wonderful resource for folk songs, spirituals, and children’s songs that are often used in music therapy work. Additionally, the book gives ideas on how to implement many of these songs into your music therapy sessions.

The Tune Book

The Tune Book is the most peculiar of all of the songbooks I own, but is also one of my favorites. I found this book during a music library sale my freshman year of college. The book appears to be from the 80’s or 90’s. It has the strangest set up of any music book I have ever seen, with the publishers cramming as many songs as they could on each page. It’s song range is very allectic as well, ranging from folk songs to hymns to country to reggae to classic standards. I have no idea what audience this songbook was intended for, but it has become one of my favorites and greatest resources as a music therapist in training.

That is only the tip of the iceberg of my songbook collection. These books have been such a great resource to me as a music therapist in training! What are some of your favorite song books?