A year’s worth of ideas…

Whether you work with children or adults, it’s almost inevitable that various holiday topics are going to arise in your work as a music therapist (or teacher, mom, aid…). While it’s not always necessary to include holiday discussion in a session, it’s often a good way to work on reality orientation, age appropriate cognitive and social objectives, and the encouragement of creativity (not only from your clients, but from YOU as the therapist). Holidays, big or small, are great for providing inspiration and new topics to cover in the music therapy session, so that you’re less likely to fall into a rut. Plus, it’s the nature of things. The world turns, days pass, and holidays come (and go).

Yesterday I wrote this post, focusing on singing and signing Rachel Rambach’s songs for each month. They’re great tools for beginning discussion of various things about each month (holidays, weather characteristics, seasonal activities, and the like). I got to thinking “wouldn’t it be great if we had a comprehensive list of months and their special days? Ah-ha! Thus develops this post! I’ve included below a “comprehensive” list of holidays and other events (I HOPE) throughout each month. Check it out:

  • January – New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King Jr’s Birthday
  • February – Groundhog’s Day; Valentine’s Day; President’s Day; Lent begins (Ash Wednesday)
  • March – Saint Patricks’ Day; 1st day of spring
  • April – April Fool’s Day; Earth Day; Easter
  • May – Cinco de Mayo; Mother’s Day; Memorial Day
  • June – Flag Day; Father’s Day; 1st day of summer.
  • July – Independence Day
  • August – NONE
  • September – Labor Day; 1st day of fall; Grandparent’s Day
  • October – Columbus Day; Halloween
  • November – Veteran’s Day; Election Day; Thanksgiving Day
  • December – Pearl Harbor Day; 1st day of winter; Christmas Eve; Christmas Day; New Year’s Eve; Hanukkah; Boxing Day; Kwanzaa

Apparently I missed the memo about August having no holidays. Seriously? I think it slipped my mind since my family seems to like having birthdays in August. In any event, that’s a list for those of you who want a quick “cheat sheet.” After completing that list, I thought “hmm, what about all of those other fun observances that you hear about in random places… on the radio, at the salon, on the internet, at school…?” In case you were wondering, here’s a few monthly observances to get you started, that I found might be appropriate for use in a music therapy session! I found them here. I couldn’t list them all because it’s RIDICULOUS how many monthly, weekly, and daily “observances” there are each month.

  • January – International Creativity Month; National Get Organized Month; Rising Star Month; Self-Love Month; Shape Up US Month; National Polka Music Month; Carnival Season
  • February – American Heart Month; International Boost Self-Esteem Month; International Expect Success Month; National African American History Month; National Laugh-Friendly Month; Relationship Wellness Month; Youth Leadership Month
  • March – Deaf History Month; Irish-American Heritage Month; Music in Our Schools Month; National Color Therapy Month; National March Into Literacy Month; Play the Recorder Month; Sing With Your Child Month; Women’s History Month
  • April – Autism Awareness Month; Celebrate Diversity Month; International Guitar Month; Jazz Appreciation Month; National Occupational Therapy Month; National Poetry Month; Stress Awareness Month
  • May – Better Hearing and Speech Month; Clean Air Month; Creative Beginnings Month; Gifts from the Garden Month; National Physical Fitness and Sports Month; National Family Month
  • June – Black Music Month; Great Outdoors Month; National Safety Month; Professional Wellness Month
  • July – Family Reunion Month; National Recreation and Parks Month; Social Wellness Month
  • August – American Indian Heritage Month; Happiness Happens Month; What Will Be Your Legacy Month
  • September – Baby Safety Month; Childrens’ Good Manners Month; International People Skills Month; International Self-Awareness Month; National Piano Month; Self Improvement Month; National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • October – Down Syndrome Awareness Month; Emotional Wellness Month; National Book Month; Fire Prevention Month
  • November – Native American Heritage Month; National Military Family Appreciation Month; International Drum (Percussion) Month; Family Stories Month
  • December – Universal Human Rights Month; Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Of course you could also add that the Superbowl is in January or February, depending on the year, and that May holds the Daytona and Indianapolis 500 as well as the Kentucky Derby, and Wimbledon is sometime in June I think. I’m sure there’s many more I missed, but I hope this gets your creativity going! Happy singing…

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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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