Today I want to talk about the beauty of “Plan B.” Over the weekend I managed to catch a rib-cracking cough that has left me quite gravelly and hoarse. Consequently, with the exception of a pretty spot on Johnny Cash impression, I haven’t done much singing this week. Ergo…Plan B. I was introduced to musical bingo or “songo” while working with geriatrics in my acute psych internship and it’s truly a lifesaver. First of all, older adults (or 20 somethings for that matter) love a good game of Bingo. For the musical version of this game it requires auditory recognition to hear and identify the song being played, cognitive application to find the title on the board, and fine motor skills to place the marker in the appropriate box–not to mention music listening that encourages and elicits social interaction across generations.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I created Love Song Bingo. I compiled a playlist of the same name which can be found on Spotify (Megan Nicole Graber).
Next, I literally copy and pasted that list of songs to this site for custom randomized bingo cards.
Just for fun, I labeled the free space “Free Love” and printed the cards on pink paper. I also used felt heart (or the awful, chalky Valentine heart candies) as makers.
Simple right? But so effective! I was disappointed that my voice wouldn’t allow any notes above B3, but there was a backup in place. It’s unrealistic to assume that each of the 30+ music groups I lead each month at my facility will be intricately and precisely planned–or that I will never be sick. Whether it’s a simple file-folder musical game or something much more involved, it is so very important to have tricks up your sleeve. I want to encourage you to put together your Plan B repertoire that is locked, loaded and ready to go at a moments notice. I also want to encourage you to not feel like a “bad therapist” for pulling out Plan B or “resorting” to a musical game. There is plenty of therapeutic benefit to be gained in these backup activities–for your clients and for yourself. Some days, you need a session that requires little brain power (or vocalizing) on your part and allows you sit and enjoy the music alongside your residents.
*Here is the list of songs I used if you would like to copy and paste to make your own boards!
When I Fall in Love, At Last, This Magic Moment, Do You Believe in Magic, In the Still of the Night, When a Man Loves a Woman, My Guy, My Girl, I Will Follow Him, Up On the Roof, I Got You Babe, Save the Last Dance For Me, To Sir With Love, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Unchained Melody, I Will Always Love You, Fever, My Funny Valentine, Some Enchanted Evening, It Had to Be You, Cheek to Cheek, Love Somebody, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered, Everybody Loves a Lover, L-O-V-E, The Glory of Love