Springtime Fill-In-The-Blank

fill in the blank spring (1)

It’s a rainy day here in Portland, Oregon but we’re getting more and more days filled with sunshine and blooming flowers. Springtime is in full swing and summer is just around the corner! With that in mind, here are four spring/summer themed fill-in-the-blank songwriting activities that you can use in sessions:

 

1. Down in the Valley  – Addresses self-expression, creative musicking. Use the song “Down in the Valley” as a template. First invite clients to make the sound of the wind blowing. The way to do that can be open to interpretation, but I usually model blowing loudly or whistling. Once they are familiar with the format, invite clients to share what kind of things they hear in nature (Or present choices from a field of two), then cue them to make the sounds.
Down in the valley, the valley so low,
Hang your head over, hear ____________
Hear ________, dear, hear ______________.
Hang your head over, hear ____________.
I                                            V7
Down in the valley, the valley so low,
I
Hang your head over, hear the winds blow.
V7
Hear the winds blow, dear, hear the winds blow.
I
Hang your head over, hear the winds blow.

 

2. What a Wonderful World – Addresses orientation to environment, encourages positive thinking. This song is beautiful all on its own, and it makes a lovely template for songwriting. Invite clients to share what they see around them, or to share what kinds of things they see during springtime.

I see _______, _________ too
I see _________ and ________
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Etc.

C             Em      F
I see trees of green, red roses too
Dm                C                 E7           Am
I see them bloom, for me and you
G#                         G7                                C
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
link to whole song here

 

 

3. When the Saints Go Marching In – addresses naming leisure activities, self-expression. This one comes to us from one of our interns. She says: “I like how it’s a familiar tune, so all populations can benefit from it.” Clients can either give spontaneous responses OR chose from a field of two (ex. fly a kite, have a picnic, grow a flower, skip a stone, go to the beach, go fishing). This song is versatile and can be adapted for any season! The lyrics, sung to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In” are as follows:

I
Oh when it’s time, to ________
V7
Oh when it’s time to _________
I         I7                IV                                                     iv (optional)
That’s how I know it’s [spring/summer/fall/winter]
I          V               I
When it’s time to ________

I
Oh when the saints, go marching in
V7
Oh when the saints go marching in
I                                 I7                              IV               iv (optional)
Oh how I want to be in that number
I                                      V               I
When the saints go marching in

4. Down by the Riverside – addresses naming leisure activities; prompts reminiscence. This is another tune that usually works across populations. I have great memories of sitting around a fire with a few friends who are music therapists and having a ridiculously good time making up lyrics for this song. The prompt I like to use for my clients is, “If you went down to the river today, what would you be doing?”

I’m gonna _________________, down by the riverside
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside
I’m gonna __________________, down by the riverside
Studyin’ war no more

I
I’m gonna lay down my burden, down by the riverside
V7                                         I
Down by the riverside, down by the riverside
I
I’m gonna lay down my burden, down by the riverside
V7                            I
Studyin’ war no more