Songwriting 102: My Favorite Things

I’m just that “age” aka Gen-X, that I remember watching the Sound of Music every December on TV.  I looked forward to it every year.  A somewhat tragic story of German Occupied Austria in the 1930s that centered on one young women trying to find her path in life and the lives of a family she changed along the way.  The music was so rich and lovely it left me feeling good and hopeful the von Trapp Family was going to make it out of war torn Europe and go on to lead beautiful lives as the von Trapp Family Singers.  Rodgers and Hammerstein were at their peek with this musical and it is a classic to this day.  In college, a friend gifted me her cassette (yes, a cassette!) of the soundtrack to the movie.  Later, after I received my music therapy board certification, during my first work driving to Kentucky to see children in schools I would play this soundtrack and “warm-up” my voice! 
My vocal range is Mezzo Soprano so I enjoy singing both low and high notes along with Julie Andrews.  The Sing-A-Long nature of the movie includes so many opportunities for the audience to participate with the voices of the cast, such as So Long, Farewell and Do, Re, Mi.  The song, My Favorite Things is one I use most often in my music therapy work.

It is healthy to talk about the things that give us pleasure and feel safe in life.  With children and youth, often this song is used for basic communication and self expression.  Asking, “What are your favorite things?” Is a way to open up communication and increase cognition by thinking through an answer.  I also have used this song for engagement and reminiscing with my group members who have Parkinson’s.  I have seen their moods lift as they think and talk excitedly about their favorite things.  This song is also good for folks with dementia diagnosis as it helps support memory care by utilizing memories that are still present.  

Recently,  the Peterson’s Choir for Parkinson’s have been singing this song, My Favorite Things.  Since we are meeting each week on the Zoom platform, through the Fall season we have done several lyric rewrites.  Here is what they came up with: 

Dark Chocolate Candies and Honey Wheat Bread, Butter on Popcorn and a warm cozy bed, Singing with friends on Zoom every week, These are a few of the things that I seek!

Sweet Carrot Cake and Sunshine in Blue Skies, Walks in the Park where green trees sway! Seeing friends, dogs, and birds makes me happy today! These are a few of my favorite ways! 

Bacon and eggs to fill out our morning, Grandma’s Beans in the evening with fresh buttered corn bread, Steaks on the grill with friends playing music, These are a few of my favorite things!

When the Arms Shake!When The Feet Freeze! When I’m feeling off! I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad! 

What are some of your favorite things in life?  What have been hardships or challenges that you or a loved needs encouragement for? I would encourage you to write a list of your favorite things and perhaps sing about them too!  Need a refresher of the song? Check out my Feel Good Friday Video on Facebook from July 24, 2020. The song starts at minute 1:14.

One of my favorite things in life is my music therapy work.  I’m passionate about it. Although, the year 2020 has brought many challenges with seeing clients in person, you are one of my favorite people! 

I am taking off work until January 4, 2021. The clinic will remain closed and Zoom Telehealth sessions are being scheduled for after the new year. My online scheduler is open anytime for scheduling appointments. Registration for group offerings for kids and youth will open after January 4 and will begin in late January for the Spring Season. Stay tuned! 

I wish you good health and wellness for the New Year to come! 
Happy Holidays!

 Ms. Carrie