Storytelling comes in  both fictional and experience based varieties. In many of my sessions, a story gets shared. The challenge of this is most of my contacts in senior living communities are groups. How to deal with storytelling in eldercare group settings could be a dissertation.

Yet, the draw of stories is real. Recently, I shared several story based sessions. Here is one. (Two others are within the Session Cafe menu.)

Following the usual hello song, my groups generally involve a little movement to get the blood flowing. Consider using some upbeat music including:

  • “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” followed by a short discussion on the mountains they have crossed in their life or visits to the mountains.
  • “Chattanooga Choo-choo” followed by a short discussion about experiences with train,

Share with the group your wish to sharing songs that tells a story. Sing a familiar story song or two with your group. A few possibilities are:

  • The Gambler
  • Clementine
  • My Grandfather’s Clock

Discuss types of stories (fiction, non-fiction, fables, story books, history, etc.). Find out their favorite kind of story.

Instrument play is included in most of my groups. Some songs to play and sing might include:

  • Itsy Bitsy, Teenie Weenie (rhythm patterns only)
  • Delta Dawn
  • Jazzy 3 Bears

Lead into singing favorites with a story song such as “If I Knew You Were Coming”. As the group shares favorites, ask whether they think the song tells a story or not.

Close with a story song such as “Irene Goodnight” that is easy to use as a good-bye song.

Do your groups have a favorite story telling song not listed here? Share it in the comments.