{Application of the Week} “If I Had a Hammer”

If I Had a Hammer | Music Therapy Application

This application is a great way for adults with special needs or older adults to work on sequencing, and/or cognitive and memory skills. The song’s natural flow and built in verse structure is an effective way to prompt clients to remember the order of objects sung about, and the fun melody keeps everyone anticipating what they are about to sing about next!

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • Sequencing
  • Maintaining memory skills

Music Used:

Seeger, P. & Hays, L. (1950). If I had a hammer. [recorded by The Weavers] On Banks of Marble [LP]. Hootenanny Records.

Materials needed:
none

Application:
The music therapist will sing the song “If I Had a Hammer” by Peter, Paul and Mary. The music therapist will sing the song once more and will prompt the clients to fill in the blanks for ‘hammer’, ‘bell’ and ‘song’. “If I had a___”.  The therapist can also introduce hand motions to provide additional cognitive/motor integration during the application.

Lyrics

If I had a hammer,
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening,
All over this land.

I’d hammer out danger,
I’d hammer out a warning,
I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a bell,
I’d ring it in the morning,
I’d ring it in the evening,
All over this land.

I’d ring out danger,
I’d ring out a warning
I’d ring out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

If I had a song,
I’d sing it in the morning,
I’d sing it in the evening,
All over this land.

I’d sing out danger,
I’d sing out a warning
I’d sing out love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

Well I got a hammer,
And I got a bell,
And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

It’s the hammer of Justice,
It’s the bell of Freedom,
It’s the song about Love between my brothers and my sisters,
All over this land.

{Application of the Week} Train’s A-Coming

{Application of the Week} Train's A-Coming | Instrument Play in Music Therapy

This application uses a simple call and response tune to facilitate an instrument activity that challenges clients to listen and follow along as the song gradually moves faster and faster!

I love how the music and lyrics naturally motivates clients to listen and move together, providing ample opportunity for clients to work on gross motor movement and other auditory skills.

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • gross motor and fine motor movement
  • discrimination of fast and slow
  • tolerating transitions

Music Used:

Jenkins, E. (1996). A Trains-A-Coming. [recorded by Ella Jenkins] On Jambo and Other Call and Response Songs and Chants [CD]. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Materials needed:
shakers

Application:
The music therapist will pass out shakers to each client. After prompting the clients to listen and move with her, the music therapist will begin to sing the song at a slow pace. (optional call and response can be added for added engagement).

As the song progresses, the music therapist will gradually increase the tempo, so as to imitate a train accelerating, prompting the clients to shake faster. Adaptions can include prompting clients to lead the change in tempo through visual aids of red lights, yellow lights, and green lights.

Lyrics

Trains-a-coming (trains-a-coming)

Train is a comin’ (train is a comin’)

Tell me how do you know (Tell me how do you know)

Trains-a-coming (trains-a-coming)

Train is a comin’ (train is a comin’)

I can see that engine puffing so

{Application of the Week} I’m Walkin’

I'm Walking | Music Therapy Application for Adults

This application is a fun way for adults with special needs or older adults to get active and try out different body movements together. The lyrics are set up perfectly to allow for various body movements to be added into the song, making it the ideal song for your next body movement application!

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • Positive social interaction
  • Gross motor movement
  • Coordination
  • Increase duration of body movement

Music Used:

Domino, F. & Bartholomew, D. (1957). I’m Walkin’. [recorded by Fats Domino] On Here Stands Fats Domino [LP]. Imperial Records.

Materials needed:
None (instruments may be added to motivate additional movement if desired)

Application:
The music therapist will sing the song “I’m Walkin'” by Fats Domino. The music therapist will then prompt clients to engage in various body percussion actions. The music therapist will insert the new action into the lyrics (i.e. “I’m [clapping] yes indeed…). For an added challenge, the music therapist can ask clients to think of actions of their own and change the lyrics to [I’m moving like [client’s name].

Lyrics

*Lyrics may be adapted from “for you pretty baby I’ll even die” to “For you, I’ll even cry” depending on the context of the group.

I’m walkin’, yes indeed and I’m talkin’
About you and me, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me, yeah-yeah
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’
For your company, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me
What you gonna do when the well runs dry?
You gonna run away and hide
I’m gonna run right by your side
For you pretty baby I’ll even die
I’m walkin’, yes indeed and I’m talkin’
About you and me, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me

I’m walkin’, yes indeed and I’m talkin’
About you and me, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me, mm-mm
I’m lonely as I can be, I’m waitin’
For your company, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me
What you gonna do when the well runs dry?
You’re gonna sit right down and cry
What you gonna do when I say bye-bye
All you gonna do is dry your eye
I’m walkin’, yes indeed and I’m talkin’
About you and me, I’m hopin’
That you’ll come back to me

{Application of the Week} Thank You

Thank You | Music Therapy Application for Social Skills

This application is a creative way for clients to express positive words and gratitude towards someone they appreciate. Whether it’s to a fellow client or to another person, this application helps individuals practice positive communication that can be a stepping stone in developing trust and key social skills in all contexts!

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • Social skills
  • Positive social interaction

Music Used:

Trainor, M., Johnson, J., Johnson, S., Lomax, M., Thomas, T., Thomas, T., Peterhof, O. & Federman, J. (2016). Thank you Ft. R. City [recorded by Meghan Trainor] On Thank You [CD]. Los Angeles, California: Epic Records & New York City, New York: Sony Music.

Materials needed:
Print out of the lyrics and print out of the ‘Fill in the Blank’ version

Application:
The music therapist will sing the song, “Thank You” by Meghan Trainor Ft. R. City. The music therapist will then prompt clients to write a personalized ‘thank you’ song of their own. The subject of the thank you song can depend on the context of the group, and how comfortable the group is with each other.

Examples of who clients can write about: close friends, fellow clients, role models etc. Once clients have filled in the song with their own words, the therapist can choose to sing the newly composed songs with the group. Additional steps can include recording the song and sending it to the person that the song is about.

Original Lyrics

[Verse 1:]
You keep me humble, keep me focused everyday
You know how to put a smile on my face
When I think about you, all my worries fade
You say you’ll love me ’til forever and that’ll never change

[Pre-Chorus:]
Oh, I hear your words
Oh, they don’t go unnoticed
Oh, I feel your love

[Chorus:]
You know without you I got nothing, I got nothing
Without you I got nothing, I got nothing
Forever you’re loyal and you know I adore you
Without you I got nothing, I got nothing

[Post-Chorus:]
So I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
Oh, oh, hey

[Verse 2:]
No one knows how to love me like you do (like you do)
I could bring a dream to life, oh, all because of you
You help me when I’m feeling low (feeling low)
You let me know I’m not alone (not alone)
You say you’ll love me ’til forever
So I’mma love you, too (I’mma love you, too)

Pre-Chorus:]
Oh, I hear your words (Hear your words)
Oh, they don’t go unnoticed
Oh, I feel your love

[Chorus:]
You know without you I got nothing, I got nothing
Without you I got nothing, I got nothing
Forever you’re loyal and you know I adore you
Without you I got nothing, I got nothing

[Post-Chorus:]
So I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you

//

Adapted Lyrics

[Verse 1:]
You __________________________________________________________
You __________________________________________________________
When I think about you, __________________________________________
You _______________________________________and that’ll never change

[Pre-Chorus:]
Oh, I hear your words
Oh, they don’t go unnoticed
Oh, I feel your love

[Chorus:]
You know without you, ____________________________________________
Without you, ___________________________________________________
Forever you’re ________________and you know I _____________________
Without you, ___________________________________________________

[Post-Chorus:]
So I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
I wanna, I wanna, I wanna thank you
Oh, oh, hey

[Verse 2:]
You __________________________________________________________
You __________________________________________________________
When I think about you, __________________________________________
You ______________________________________and that’ll never change

[Pre-Chorus:]

[Chorus:]

{Application of the Week} Drumming to “Hound Dog”

Drumming Application for Music Therapy

This week, we’re featuring an application that could be implemented for individuals in a rehabilitation setting. Employing paddle drums and an upbeat song, this application may be used to motivate clients to increase their range of motion, while also increasing duration of movement at the same time.

Possible Goals Addressed:

  • Increasing gross motor movement
  • Crossing midline
  • Increasing range of motion
  • Increasing duration of gross motor movement
  • Strengthening palmer grasp strength

Music used:

Leiber, J. & Stoller, M.. (1953). Hound dog [recorded by Big Mama Thornton]. On Night Mare [LP]. Los Angeles, California: Radio Recorders Annex.

Materials (optional):

Paddle drum
Paddle drum mallet
Small hand-held rhythm instrument that can be played with one hand (tambourine, bells etc.)

Application:

The music therapist will introduce the paddle drum to the client and demonstrate how it’s played. After handing out mallets to each client, the music therapist will begin singing “Hound Dog” while tapping out a beat with one hand playing a small rhythm instrument and with the other free hand, holding out the paddle drum to the clients. The music therapist will hold out the drum to the clients as a target for the client to hit.

Depending on the needs of each client, the therapist may vary the position of the drum or gradually move the drum from one direction to the other to increase the client’s range of motion.

Lyrics:

You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
Cryin’ all the time
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
Cryin’ all the time
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine

Well they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Yeah they said you was high-classed
Well, that was just a lie
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit and you ain’t no friend of mine