“A Ride Back Home” by John Mellencamp (cover)

I had been looking to perform this lovely but somber song in church for months, but its themes of aging, loss, despair, and even suicide made it difficult to fit in. Fortunately, Christian Nielsen was preaching on his use of music therapy in hospice and other end-of-life settings one Sunday, and I finally had an opportunity to share it.

With Emma Hutson covering the crucial harmony vocal (originally done by Karen Fairchild from Little Big Town), Josh Carlin on drums, and Christian Nielsen on lead guitar. Thank you guys; great job ❤️

Therapeutic group singing of Taize songs for persons with dementia (PWDs) and their family caregivers (FCGs)

Brief presentation and demonstration of the use of therapeutic group singing of Taize songs, which are simple, chantlike songs that are flowing and can often lead to a deeply relaxed, meditative state. The goal here is to improve spirituality and feelings of wellbeing in this population through an approach that essentially combines music and prayer. The presentation includes a live demonstration of three such songs, and indicates how they might be used with this or other populations.

Review of “Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers” by Anne Lamott

This is a brief review of a great book by well-known spiritual author Anne Lamott, highlighting its connection to music therapy theory and practice. Its simple approach to prayer (that all prayers boil down to one of these three basic concepts) offers a great way to build a spiritual practice, and one that’s particularly well suited to working with persons with dementia and their family caregivers.