“It’s the holiday season so hoop-de-do and hickory dock…”

Published by Sara Chigani on: Dec 09, 2019 — Music Therapy

“It’s the holiday season so hoop-de-do and hickory dock…”

The classic holiday song by Andy Williams (“Happy Holiday”) just never gets old! We are officially in the holiday season and every year it just seems to come at the speed of light (at least for me!) If you and your family are traveling for the holidays or staying cozy at home, music is a great way to get the whole family together. Well music and food (again, at least for me :)) Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Diwali singing and playing holiday music special to your family not only allows everyone to spend time with each other, but it creates lasting memories, and passes down culturally important music on to your family members.

Music therapy was created on the concept that almost everyone can be engaged by music. You don’t have to sound like Princess Anna from Frozen to make music with your family. If you are traveling for the holidays, try making a playlist of familiar and sentimental songs you want to share with your family and kiddos. Having a playlist preselected keeps the music going and helps keep your kiddo(s)’s attention. If it helps, feel free to print yourself a copy of the lyrics so that you can sing along and maybe even teach them the words. If these songs are important songs to your or your extended family, let them know why, whether it be the memories you have from your own childhood or the memories you wish to create with this song. If you’re staying home, try setting aside time to sing and/or make music with your family. Play your favorite songs on the stereo and grab any household items that could be used to as an instrument. Not only does this allow your kiddos to be creative, but allows the whole family to be engaged with each other.

Here are a few holiday songs to get you started…

  1. “Jingle Bells”
  2. “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”
  3. “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
  4. “Deck The Halls”
  5. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow”

Here are a few topics to potentially talk about with your family while listening to the music...

  1. “When was the first time you heard this song? How old were you and who were you with?”
  2. “If this song is sentimental to extended family members, what made it sentimental?”
  3. “Did you ever sing this song with grandparents/aunts/uncles/etc.?”
  4. “Are/were there any traditions that your immediate and extended family keep during the holidays? Do any of these traditions incorporate music?”

Remember, it’s not about how you sound, it’s about the memories your’re making with your family! Happy Holidays!

Sara Chigani, MA, MT-BC


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