Your work as a music therapist/musician is wrapped in the repertoire shared. When did you last look at your list? Are there songs you need to keep on repeat? Are there songs that need replaced?
What makes up your list?
Your repertoire list is likely different someone else’s. Yet when you look at comprehensive lists, it can help you gain perspective.
First, take a few minutes to write down the songs you’ve shared this last year. (You may find it helpful to use excel or other document tool as you will be manipulating this list.) Next, estimate the number of times you used each selection. You will use this list to guide you in what to repeat and (maybe) what to replace.
Assess your list
Let’s use some aspects from “Repertoire Recommendations by Music Therapists for Geriatric Clients During Singing Activities” by Kimberly VanWeelden and Andrea M. Cevaso (Music Therapy Perspectives, Volume 25, Issue 1, 2007, Pages 4–12) to look at your repertoire. (While this study happened a few years back, it serves as a guide for assessing your list.)
In the study they found five musical styles:
- Popular (country, popular)
Depending upon your music, you may wish to add a classical section. Take a moment to break your list down by these styles.
After diving them by style, selections were then identified by decade:
- No date found
- Before 1900s
- After 1960’s
Take time to quickly break each style list into decades. Consider adding 1970s, 80s, 90s, 2000, etc.
Think of those you serve
Create a separate document. Think about your clients. Make a rough guess of their ages, preferred music styles or favorite selections. (You can use “A reality check for music therapists” to refresh your thought.) Remember, a person’s preferences may/do extend outside their life period. And, just because something is “old” doesn’t mean an older adult knows it. 😉
Compare the compiled client preference list with your styles list divided by decade. Give it a good look.
- Which decades need less use? More use?
- What styles need more materials?
- What decades need expanded depth?
- How do your top used songs relate to preferred style and decades of those you serve?
- What songs should you retire?
- Do you have a favorite holiday, event or topic that could use a refresher of songs?