Pick a bunch session plannngOne of my weekly joys this time of year is going to my garden to pick a bunch of flowers for my desk. According to what is available and the amount, the flowers on my desk are never the same. Bright colors paired with greenery or simple whites add color to my space. Some are highly fragrant while others have little fragrance.

There are seasons when my garden lacks flowers. If I want flowers during those times, I must buy them or resort to a dried spray.

Much of the time, the sessions in my older adult group themes that come from “my shelf”. I plan the session to meet the needs of those in the group. Using what I know about their interests, what songs they enjoy, etc., the session plan is developed.

Sometimes I enjoy taking the older adults into the “garden” of session planning so they can pick a bunch for themselves. One group may help me select themes/topics. Another group may pick songs for one or more of the topics.

Seeing the groups take ownership in the sessions is nice. At times it challenges me to find a song I’ve not heard of before. At others, it challenges me to incorporate a range of preferences that to date I was not aware.

Letting them pick a bunch of sessions can be as easy or as difficult as I chose it to be (for them and for me). With over 30 years of doing this, I can say the session “bouquet” created has never been duplicated – just like the bunch of flowers on my desk.

So how do you do I let them pick a bunch?

Themes: Share a few of your favorites from the past or upcoming holidays or session ideas from Session Cafe. Have the group select one or two.
Songs: Have a song list for each theme. (That’s one place where a Cafe Membership can save you time.) Share a couple of ideas to get the thought process going and see what songs they group suggests on their own. If they have trouble thinking of songs, ask for a yeah or nay for songs on the list.