Fun Birthday Song for children’s or elderly Music Therapy Group by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

This was a spontaneous, group song that happened during a group instrumental “jam.”

The teacher called out “It’s Luke’s Birthday today” while we were playing “Skinamarink” for Valentine’s day.

We suddenly joined in (WITH Luke’s permission!!) a verse of a birthday version of the old standard.  It went like this:

G

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

G………….. Am

We love Luke.   (Rhyme likewise for other people’s names.)

Am…………….. D7……………. Am……………….. D7

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

AmD7….G…G7

We love Luke.

G……………………………………………….G7

We love you in the morning and in the afternoon.

C………………………………….A7………………….D7

Happy happy birthday underneath the moon!

G…………………………………………………………E7

Skinamarinky dinky dink. Skinarmarinky duke.

A7…D7….G

We love Luke.

 

 

 

How to play a song by Ear aka: How to figure out the Chords by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

ON PLAYING BY “EAR”

This is a topic I’ve been very curious about and I’d love feedback from both trained and self-taught musicians, schooled, unschooled, classical, improv, other-taught etc

First of all, some people just have the “knack.” I started out on the clarinet at age 9 and played by ear two weeks later and was hooked.  Playing by sight is less natural and sometimes painful to me. People who can fluently do both may have it made in the shade.

Here are a few analogies that happen in my brain. I’d love to hear about yours. (No pun.)

 

In one way, it’s like walking. If I go into the spare bedroom, it’s a short walk and must be and is that way. The TV set is just further and to go there I have to cross a wide gap, but not as far as the garage.  It’s about mental placement.  Or it’s like sorting mail. The “A” letters go in this top pile because they just do.  The “Ms” go in the middle and they must. The “Qs” go a little further down the line.  Things have their place and they just must go there.  Spoons don’t go in the fork compartment.  Enough with that analogy.

 

Here’s how I approached picking out a chord progression from the radio before I took music theory.  Most songs just have patterns of chords. If a C goes to an F then a Dm, then there will probably be places where the same sequence of chords appears later in the song – –  Often over and over.  I guess my ear tried to pick out the bass notes and then used  the related chords (either major or minor); whichever the song sounded like. The Bass note is key here. The little bass decorative bass note runs are not in this mix. The louder, longer, more on (or nearest) the beat are the ones I’m talking about here. The bass line often plays the name of the chord.  A “G” chord will have a G bass note and so on.

 

After taking music theory and learning about I, IV,Vs and other chord progressions numerically, I saw the greater system.  This explained why Cs,F, and Gs were often together in songs just like As,Es, and Ds.  Most songs on the radio follow a 1,4,5,1 progression.  vi, VI, IV is also popular. Now, there are lots of  IV,V, vi,V in popular songs.

 

I’ll try to write about all those numbers later on.  But I don’t think in terms of numbers when listening to a song I want to figure out. I listen to the bass line. The introduction itself is like a little microcosm of the whole song. It usually contains both the majority of chords in the song and how they are strung together.

Once you have the intro figured out, most of the song will  be those very chords played over and over – or at least the chorus. Then you will have the sequence of verse-chords which stay pretty much the same from verse to verse.  Songs often have a “bridge” portion; that interest piquing different part after two verses that brings you back home to your beloved chorus.  Those chords may be different from the chorus or verses.

 

I sing along with the bass line then take it to the guitar or piano.   Those notes are usually played over and over and they often carry the (name of the ) chord. And that is your song.

Internet site song chords are often correct for the most part, but some leave a bit to be desired.  Try singing the bass notes to see if the chords are on the correct words and are based(!) on the correct note.  Fiddle around with some different related chords and that may bring the song to life for you.  Try using a chord from further on down the song.

 

[Shoot; that’s a whole other topic. How do you know when to even switch the chords if they are poorly placed on the screen? The new chord is often on the first beat of the measure or on the emphasized or longest word. Sometimes at the beginning of the sentence. On the word that the sound becomes different or moves. My ears just hear it. The color of the picture changes. Suddenly, there is a new shape, or texture.  One is a glass, one is a plate. Things just shift. How would YOU describe this?? Margie is curious! ]

If I’m really stumped by a chord I just find the bass note and play around with any chord containing that note.

I’d really like to hear how you all figure out melodies and chords. How do you get the job done??  What mental pictures can you sort of use to help explain your method?  Do you prefer reading or playing by ear?  And what do you use your music for/ to accomplish?

What’s your end result??  What technique do you use to improve your skills? And all that Jazz??  🙂

 

 

 

Submitted by Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes. com.

How to play songs by ear, playing by ear for musicians and “non-musicians” and is there such a thing, really…..

“St. Patrick’s Day Group Dance” a great music therapy idea for all ages

Just letting you know that I have a great video of a standing or seated Saint Patrick’s Day dance taught on this video. The song is SIAMSA from The Lord of the Dance. This should be written up under activities for adults.  Change the words to reflect the needs of the group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijNW-gd0SU4

 

 

Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes

Margie’s preliminary collection of music therapy activity ideas

http://musictherapytunes.com/AAA/Lesson%20plans%20for%20site%20August%202011gillbold9%20pt%20font.pdf   You may have to select this link,  right click and then press go to…..

“You’ve Got to Move” great movement activity for kids, adolescents, adults and geriatrics in music therapy

-Age: All ages depending upon tempo and strum/vocal style
-Goal Area:  various
Language skills:  include expressive and receptive language
Social skills:  sharing ways to move, taking and relinquishing turns, following directions
Motor skills: coordination, range of motion, muscle strength,
Cognitive skills: change the words to reflect knowledge of colors, numbers, letter sounds..
-Objective:  People perform the movements mentioned through song lyrics
-Materials: music and people
-Method:  I’ll leave this up to you.  Simply change the words to reflect the needs of your group or individual.  
-Adaptations: as  below. Change the words as need be.
Examples: for Language: How can we move Johnny? “tap our heads? ok You’ve got to tap like Johnny says…..
Social Skills:  You’ve got to share: Leroy and Ray…..
Motor Skills:  Circle your shoulders round and round…
Cognitive: Shake that maraca soft under your chair…..
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.
-Melody:  http://youtu.be/1V6uWfpbNvQ by the Blind Boys of Alabama
(5 time Grammy Award winners!)
-Words and chords:

 

Chorus:
A
You got to move.  You got to move.
…………………….D                                     A
You got to move, child, You got to move.
…………………………A            D
But when the Lord Gets ready
A
You got to move.   (E7)
Verse 1
A
You may be high  You may be low.
…………………….D                                        A
You may be rich, child  You may be poor.
……………………….A               D                                  A          E
But when the Lord gets ready  You’ve got to move.
Verse 2
You see that woman..  That walk the street.
You see the policeman..   Out on his beat.
But when the Lord gets ready..   You got to move.

 

http://youtu.be/1V6uWfpbNvQ

Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes