Old Mr. Groundhog decided to skip the Super Bowl yesterday to go back into hibernation. He’s declared 6 more weeks of winter, and if you’re here in the midwest then you have seen this confirmed in our upcoming forecast.
I have been working with older adults since the beginning of my music therapy studies and have accumulated quite a bit of music over the past 8 years. In fact, I am currently working on a book filled with music and interventions for the entire year to use in therapy with older adults. Consider this a sneak peak of what’s to come 😉
These are my TOP 5 favorite winter songs that I use this time of year. Using songs that reflect the season can aid in facilitating discussions, stimulating memories and help with reality orientation for those with dementia.
1. Baby It’s Cold Outside (Loesser, 1944)
This classic is often associated with Christmastime (as are #2 and #3 below), but there is technically no Christmas reference and the song is simply a romantic winter tune. Performed throughout the years, your group is most likely going to recognize the song, though lyrics may be difficult for memory recall. It has been recorded and performed by many famous musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson and even Lady Gaga.
2. Winter Wonderland (Bernard & Smith, 1934)
Another song often associated with Christmas, Winter Wonderland contains no reference to Christmas so it is perfect for the winter season. With references to snowmen, sleigh bells, winter and fire it is a sure win to get your group discussing the “happier” side of winter.
3. Let it Snow (Recorded by Vaughn Monroe, 1945)
Similar to Winter Wonderland, this song refers to snow and sitting by the fire, however the lyrics tend to be more recognizable due to the reprise of “Let it Snow” repeatedly in the song. This song is also a sure way to get your group reminiscing on things to do in the wintertime when the “weather outside is frightful”.
4. Button Up Your Overcoat (Henderson, DeSylva & Brown 1929)
I use this song for many different things including memory recall, singing, rhythms and discussions. It is perfect for beginning a session and directing the participants attention to the cold weather outside and the need to stay bundled up. It is definitely older than the previous songs but it is a classic that majority of my participants recognize and sing along with.
5. Looks Like a Cold Cold Winter (Recorded by Bing Crosby, 1950)
Not as popular as Crosby’s “Marshmallow World” (another great winter song to check out) I like using this song due to it’s simple melody, upbeat tempo and of course… the lyrics! It is perfect for bringing up discussions regarding the ice and snow and is another love song so it ties in with the upcoming Valentine’s holiday. I guarantee I will be using this song all week long especially since Mr. Groundhog has declared more winter! What a better song to bring up the topic!
So there you have it! The TOP 5 winter songs in my collection. I hope everyone is utilizing winter songs in your sessions to get your clients in the winter spirit! And guess what?!? These songs can be great for other populations too! Feel free to share any of your favorite winter songs in the comments below!