The 1st sip of the session - the hello songWhere I come from, mornings and coffee go together. That cup of coffee sets the tone for the day as it awakens the senses.

  • The smell connects all the way back to my early childhood memories of morning.
  • The taste can vary according to the type of coffee I’ve brewed.
  • The way the coffee looks in mug. Seeing the steam rise.
  • The feeling of warmth fills of my mug. The warm liquid fills my mouth and moves down my throat.
  • The sound of coffee being made varies to the method. As a child it was the sound of a percolator. It has since been replaced by the sound of water heating and the brew dripping. Some mornings there is the added whir of the coffee grinder or the milk frother.

Most mornings while I sip that first cup of coffee, I check the chatter on Facebook. Over the last few weeks, I have seen several strings looking for ideas for hello and goodbye songs – especially with older adults. Tons of great songs have been shared. A few people have mentioned the purpose or the rationale for using a particular song.

Why is the hello song so important?

We want the first sip, that hello song to set the right tone for our session.  Admittedly, a song doesn’t touch ALL the senses.  The elements of music (tempo, timbre, dynamics, form, harmony, etc.) all play a role in the sound,  taste and feel of the music. Depending on the familiarity, it still can connect to memories. How we make eye contact and engage others in the “hello” gives a sip of how that session might look.

Similar to my coffee description, hello songs can be “made” many ways and come in many flavors. There isn’t a one song fits all brew that you can use. Sometimes we need to include the name or names of the people there. Other times, it is the song that makes the start of the session.

Share your favorite hello song

Let’s work together and create a listing of hello songs we use with older adults. Add yours in the comments below. Here are some of mine to get the ball rolling. (The audio will give you some idea of how I change them up to meet different needs.)

  • We’re All Together Again
  • Side by Side
  • Oh, What a Beautiful Morning

Seriously, add a hello song you use with older adults.