Engaging Seniors Through Song (8 CMTEs)

Self-Study – Covers the gamut of singing activities available to engage seniors with cognitive disabilities, depression and/or anxiety. Strategies can be applied to other ages and populations. 8 CMTEs. 7 contact hours.

Payment options:

$73.00 / month for 3 month

Presenter: Sally Bonkrude M.A., MT-BC

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 Course Description:

“Engaging Seniors Through Song” will cover the gamut of singing activities available to engage seniors with cognitive disabilities, depression and/or anxiety. You will have a playlist of popular songs for Seniors from the ages of 70-100.  Fill your tool box full of ideas to transform the body, mind and spirit’s of our precious seniors. Learn how to increase socialization and invite play into your music program for Seniors.

The main objective of this training will be to provide you with ideas for singing and accompanying activities to enhance your clients ability to express emotions, interact with others, retrieve memories and build self esteem through singing.


Here’s what people are saying:

“Very useful to have Sally’s and the participants’ resources and ideas.- I’m inspired.”

” I loved Sally’s relaxed approach to the subject. She assumed that we knew all this material and just needed to be reminded. Her examples were easy to relate to and jogged my memory for similar examples from my own experiences. Even though our music therapy clientele is quite dissimilar, there is a common thread of human behavior that runs through both.” Susan McRae P.

” I will definitely use the online resources to create new activities. Ideas of other therapists have been inspirational and have sparked my own creativity. I will be able to use the research in any presentations I may be doing for new facilities.” Heather F.

“ONE THING!!! How can I synthesize or prioritize? I think the most profound information–and useful in many ways-was the information on the biological and functional benefits of singing. I think we all know from experience in our practices how it is the real manna–but this factual, research based info seals the deal.”  Sally W.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe one way to find song resources for seniors of all ages and abilities.
  2. Participants will be able to name one singing activity to express emotions.
  3. Participants will be able to list 12 activities that can be integrated with singing.
  4. Participants will be able to name one singing activity to engage seniors coping with depression and/or anxiety.


Part 1

 Introductions and Overview of Training
Why sing? How does singing affect the body/mind according to the latest research?
How to make song choices
Song Resources for Seniors of all ages
Finding Lyrics, sheet music, song books, songs from the 20’s-60’s
12 Activities that can be integrated into singing
Learn ways to integrate relaxation and stress reduction into singing
Integrating themes and sensory stimulation with song

Part 2
Singing activities to engage seniors with anxiety
Singing activities to engage seniors with depression
Singing with Lower Cognitive Functioning Seniors
Singing and Alzheimer’s
More Resources for working with seniors
Hospice and Music Therapy

 6 hours of recordings and 1 hour self study assignment=7 contact hours

CBMT Domain Areas:

(III.A.2.u,y,bb,ff,fff,ggg) Provide music therapy experiences to address client’s:

  • u) executive functions,
  • y) group cohesion and/or feeling of group membership,
  • bb) interactive response, ff) musical and other creative responses,
  • fff) nonverbal expression,
  • ggg) wellness


Engaging Seniors Through Song is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) for 8 CMTEs-Continuing Music Therapy Education credits. The Spiegel Academy, CBMT Approved Provider #P-106, maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.


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