One of my favorite parts of the week is supervising the music therapy students at Drury university in their clinical field work. Not only do I enjoy helping them grow into professionals, I love learning from them along the way as well! This past week a student presented an intervention which I immediately thought was a hit when she presented her ideas to me. As I predicted, it was also a hit when presented with two different groups in two assisted living facilities during the week.
The Intervention: the Thanksgiving Tree
What a great intervention for Thanksgiving! Molly explained to me that she got the idea from her mother who always had the family put together a Thanksgiving Tree during the holidays. The process is very simple and all you need is a small tree branch, base for holding the branch up, paper leaves, tape and markers. Molly chose to use a cup filled with river rock to hold the branch in place which worked great.
Once you have your supplies ready to go, the group just needs to fill out the leaves by writing the things they are thankful for! If with a group, you can distribute a leaf to each individual, or if with an individual, fill out multiple leaves for a personal tree. Once all of the leaves are completed, tape them to the branch and your tree is complete.
Of course, since this was completed in a music therapy session, there was a musical component utilizing a sing along and discussion using the song “Count Your Blessings”, though there are a variety of songs which can be used depending on the specific population you are working with.
The residents enjoyed creating the tree and sharing their own personal blessings with the group during the process. The best part is that the tree was left behind on the piano so they could enjoy it for the weeks to come.
So a big GREAT JOB to Molly for presenting such a fun and unique way to celebrate Thanksgiving. This is a great idea to use with all sizes of therapy groups, classrooms or something fun to do with your family. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and has a chance to enjoy this year’s blessings! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!