What I’ve found in almost 5 years as a music therapist is you can never know too many songs. Just when I think I have enough repertoire under my belt, I take on a new client whose preferred music is a genre I don’t know well, or a song I’ve never heard.

Just this past month or so, I’ve been asked to play and sing:

“Mr Bojangles,” the great hit by Jerry Jeff Walker recorded by Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Dylan, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to name just a few

Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou”

“In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry (remember them?)

Andrew Lloyd Webber (client asked for “anything” written by this composer)

“Mary Did You Know?” recently recorded by the a capella group Pentatonix

“Cool Water” a great country/western song recorded by Eddy Arnold, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams and Sons of the Pioneers

Wow! This keeps my on my toes musically, that is for sure!

I have a huge notebook of songs divided into categories, thanks to my hospice work with Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Portland, OR. This notebook goes everywhere with me – adult family homes, hospitals, assisted living. I add new lyric sheets to this notebook on a daily basis as my clients and patients ask me for music not presently represented in the book.

I went to music therapy school at Marylhurst University from 2008 to 2010 and the repertoire learned for use with older adults was music from the 1920s and 1930s. As time passes, however, the music that people relate to becomes newer and newer. I rarely sing “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” or “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” or “Side by Side,” and I often sing, “King of the Road,” “Ac-cen-tuate the Positive,” and “On The Road Again” for my clients.

I am looking forward to a webinar later today offered by Music Therapy Ed’s Mindstorm Monday series (http://www.musictherapyed.com/mindstorm-monday/). It’s all about Music Therapy repertoire!

Check out Music Therapy Repertoire Challenge Blog: https://mtrep.wordpress.com/

Can’t wait to learn new songs to use with my clients and patients!

To learn more about how music therapy can help your clients and patients in the Clark County, Washington area, contact UpBeat Music Therapy at 360-607-8187 or email us at info@upbeatmusictherapist.com