I can’t believe it, but it’s almost time for my internship to be over. I am so grateful for this experience, and how much I have grown personally and professionally. My time at the Groovy Garfoose has been so special, and I have learned so much from the team in these past few months. 

Since I have created a ton of new components since virtual music therapy began, I thought it would be great to share some them including some songwriting, instrument playing, and movement activities.

“Zoom” Travel Song

This is a songwriting activity using an original song inspired by a client’s love of traveling. I share the screen below and for each blank I have 2 visual choices of destinations below that in the document if needed. If they choose on their own I have Google images ready to explore and leave the images page up, talking about them for a bit and singing the song as if we are there. If the client uses one of the choices I had prepared, I have some images ready to “zoom” to, shown below with the California example. I also have an adapted version where choices included beach, park, north pole, people’s homes etc. instead of specific states or destinations.

Songwriting: Home

This is a songwriting based on the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. I created it very early on when telehealth care began, bearing in mind that we needed to focus on what fun things we can do at home during quarantine. I’ve used it with almost every client I see since it can be adapted to be more simple or complex based on client needs. For almost all of my songwriting activities I make a copy of the blank version before each session with the client’s initials in the title, so that when I’m done I still have a blank version ready but can automatically save their wonderful song!

Movement/Instrument Play: “Dance Monkey”, “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)”

I’ve also found a variety of songs that can be great instrument and/or movement songs with a few changes. For example, I have of course used the chorus of the hit song “Dance Monkey”, and rewrote it like this: 

They say, tap for me tap for me tap for me , oh oh

I’ve never seen anybody tap their sticks like that before…

Could fill in: shake, dance, play fast, play loud, play up high, etc. 

I also remixed an old favorite song of mine called “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” by Foster the People. I use an instrumental music track on Spotify or Apple music to back me up, but the chords are unique and fun to play live, too. During the chorus I filled in:

Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop, shaking your shakers

Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop, tapping your sticks

Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop, waving up high

Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop, making some music!

Songwriting: “Ready for Summer”

This is another songwriting I made later this summer to talk about things we would *like* to do if we could travel. It’s a full rewrite using the melody of “Tired of Love Songs” by Lauv and Troye Sivan. This one is especially fun over Zoom since clients get to choose their own adventure, and I can delete the unused options for the final song.

Songwriting/Fill: “Going to the Store”

This original song was created with the idea of having more physical props for a more interactive zoom experience. This one seems to work better without screen sharing sometimes, so I provide some groceries (empty milk carton, cereal box, some bananas) as physical visuals to show on camera, but also have some choice boards prepared. This is also great with a client who uses sign language because we can utilize the signs for different foods.

Movement: “Wings”

This fun dance activity uses the girl-power song “Wings” by Little Mix and a blanket, towel, or any larger fabric to create wings to fly around with. I always have a loose plan of different moves to do, but the big focus is on spreading those wings and “flying” during the chorus where they sing “these wings are made to fly”.

To learn more about Telehealth Music Therapy, click here