Love in a Music Therapy Session

I found myself sitting at my desk last friday and thinking “wow, it’s already January 20th,” which was followed directly with “time to break out the Valentine’s Day songs.” While I have never been one for Valentine’s Day on a personal level (give me flowers on ANY other day, just because), I find that it is significant to my clients no matter what population I’m working in. When I worked in hospice, I helped many of my clients work through what might be their last Valentine’s Day spent with their loved ones. Or, I worked with clients who had already lost their loved ones. Now that I work with children and adults with disabilities, we’re talking about Valentine’s Day parties at school, the giving/receiving of valentine’s, sugary treats, dances, and the like.

In an attempt to find a song that could be appropriate for both age groups I work with, as well as varying levels of cognitive ability, I came across Tom T. Hall’s “I Love.” After coming across the song, per a suggestion from a staff member at a local ARC day program, I kicked myself for not having found this sooner! It’s the perfect lyric analysis and songwriting song, and can be modified in numerous ways. I used it today with an adult ARC Day Program group and it was a huge success! One of the things I like most about the song is that it doesn’t immediately make people have to come up with someone they love, or talk about a personal relationship (which is sometimes a taboo subject). If using it in hospice, I can imagine myself first analyzing the song “as is” and then doing a simple songwriting intervention with objects and things they loved, prior to (perhaps) delving deeper into discussing people they love or have loved. Such a great idea!

Here is a list of other Valentine’s Day songs that I find appropriate for use with various client populations, depending on your objectives for the client/group. There are some great opportunities for lyric analysis, songwriting, and emotional expression (even laughter) throughout!

  • I Love, Tom T. Hall
  • I Love the Mountains, Traditional
  • All You Need is Love, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • Love Me Do, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • Can’t Buy Me Love, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Bob Crewe
  • Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
  • Happy Together, Gary Bonner
  • How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), James Taylor
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • I’m a Believer, Neil Diamond
  • Love Me Do, John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • My Girl, Smokey Robinson
  • What the World Needs Now is Love, Hal David
  • You Can’t Hurry Love, Edward Holland
  • I Love You You Love Me, Barney and Friends
  • L-O-V-E, Bert Kaempfert
  • Love Somebody Yes I Do, Traditional
  • Jesus Loves Me, Traditional
  • Love Me, Collin Raye
  • Have I Told You Lately That I Love Me, Scott Wiseman
  • I Just Called to Say I Love You, Stevie Wonder
  • I Feel the Earth Move, Carole King
  • Bicycle Built For You, Traditional
  • I Love You a Bushel and a Peck, Traditional
  • Lavender’s Blue, Traditional
  • Frog Went A-Courtin’, Traditional
  • Candle on the Water, Pete’s Dragon
  • I Get a Kick Out of You, Cole Porter
  • I’ve Got a Crush On You, Gershwin
  • I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Cole Porter
  • My Funny Valentine, Rodgers/Hart
  • Love For Sale, Cole Porter
  • When I Fall In Love, Young/Heyman
  • I’m in the Mood For Love, McHugh/Fields
  • As Time Goes By, Herman Hupfeld
  • All Shook Up, Elvis Presley
  • Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley
  • Endless Love, Lionel Richie
  • Just the Way You Are, Billy Joel
  • Love Train, Gamble/Huff
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Traditional

This leads me to ask YOU what songs you use that I have left off. I know there are hundreds more. I’m interested to hear what you do with your clients, kids, families, students, and the like! =)


About therapeuticharmony

I'm a music therapist with a private practice, Therapeutic Harmony, L.L.C., providing services to children and adults with disabilities in Barry and Lawrence counties, Missouri.
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2 Responses to Love in a Music Therapy Session

  1. Anne says:

    Let Me Call You Sweetheart!

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