Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cut & Paste Songwriting Activity

It is often difficult to put into words what we are feeling. It is even more difficult to write a song about it. This is a songwriting activity that won't instill fear in your patients once you introduce the session. It is cut & paste project. Anyone who can cut and paste (and even those who can't) can be successful.

In preparation for this activity, you must create a page of song lyrics (one line from different songs-about 30-35 per page). This number of lines (and whether you give them one, two, or three pages) should vary depending on the functioning level of your group.

Here are two pages of song lyrics (the goal is positive thinking) that you are free to use. There's a little bit of Counting Crows, Whitney Houston, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Rascal Flatts, Casting Crowns, Michael Jackson, and everything else in it.

The steps to this activity are simple enough:
1. Pass out lyric sheets.
2. Patients read through each line and put a mark by the ones they like (at least 10 lines).
3. Patients cut out the lyrics they put a mark by.
4. Patients rearrange song lyrics in a way that makes sense to them.
5. Patients can glue the lyrics to a piece of construction paper and decorate.

a) People going through substance withdrawals or who are experiencing any sort of tremors will have difficulty cutting out lyrics. In this case, you may cut the lyrics for them OR allow them to handwrite the lyrics.
b) Use glue sticks rather than bottles of glue. The reasons for this are obvious, I think.
c) Patients can change lyrics/add to lyrics/etc. to make the song exactly how they'd like.
d) For people with visual impairments, make text large and easy to read. Give them fewer lines of lyrics to read so as not to overwhelm them.
e) It is easy for patients to get overwhelmed with the amount of words on a page. Plan accordingly by providing fewer choices: larger text, fewer lines, fewer pages.


  1. I tried this activity today and it worked out wonderful. Thanks!

  2. The link doesn't work. I would like to try this activity

  3. I would also like to do this activity, but when I click the link it says there is a download/streaming error with the document.