Music Therapy Songs for Geriatrics
Songs to stimulate the mind and memory
Choosing Music for Geriatric People
Everyone reacts differently to certain songs and types of music. That's just as true for geriatric people. Finding music from their earlier years can be a challenge for those who do not know older music. The resources on this page offer guidance and ideas to help anyone looking to build a list of songs for the aged population.
Criteria for a good music therapy songs when working with geriatric people:
- Choose songs your audience is likely to be familiar with.
- Try a variety of time periods including music from childhood years of the audience.
- Select catchy and upbeat music when starting, improving the chances of engagement.
- Fine tune your song selection based on feedback and reactions.
Songs from The 1930's
- Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland / Glenn Miller
- Blue Moon - Glen Gray / Benny Goodman
- Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Bye And Bye) - Carter Family
- I Got Rhythm - Red Nichols / Ethel Waters / Louis Armstrong
- These Foolish Things - Benny Goodman / Teddy Wilson featuring Billie Holiday
- He's Got The Whole World In His Hands - Marian Anderson
Songs From the 1940's
- You Are My Sunshine - Jimmie Davis
- Don't Get Around Much Anymore - Ink Spots / Duke Ellington / Glen Gray
- This Land Is Your Land - Woody Guthrie
- Baby It's Cold Outside - Johnny Mercer & Margaret Whiting / Dinah Shore & Buddy Clark
- When You Wish Upon A Star - Cliff Edwards / Glenn Miller / Guy Lombardo
- (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons - Nat "King" Cole / Eddy Howard / Dinah Shore
- Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Andrews Sisters
- White Christmas - Bing Crosby
- The Christmas Song - Nat "King" Cole
Songs From the 1950's
- Love me Tender - Elvis Presley
- Come Go with Me - Del-Vikings
- At the Hop - Danny and the Juniors
- Wake up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
- Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
- You Send Me - Sam Cooke
- Why do Fools Fall in Love - The Teenagers featuring Frankie Lymon
- Shake, Rattle and Roll - Bill Haley and His Comets
- Unchained Melody - Al Hibbler
- Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
- Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
- Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Gale Storm
- All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
Songs from the 1960's
- What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
- Stand By Me - Ben E. King
- Respect - Aretha Franklin
- Yesterday - Beatles
- Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan
- California Dreamin' - Mamas & Papas
- Under The Boardwalk - Drifters
- Down on the Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Georgia On My Mind - Ray Charles
- The Loco-Motion - Little Eva
- Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
- Barbara Anne - The Beach Boys
- At Last - Etta James
- I'm A Believer - Monkees
- People Get Ready - Impressions
- How Sweet it is to be Loved by You - Marvin Gaye
- I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown
Suggestions for a Good Music Therapy Session
- Print a list (in large print) of the songs and lyrics for the people to follow along.
- Ask about any artists the geriatric people have seen in concert from the time period. Let them talk about the experience.
- Choose a less distracting environment if possible.
- Ensure an appropriate volume. Some older people have trouble hearing with background noise.
- When doing multiple sessions, repeat some of the same songs and introduce new songs.