Sing A Song #4 - A Rainy Day

A Rainy Day
There must have been something happening in my subconscious when I chose this song since, now that I'm sitting down to write about it, it is raining outside. It's a rainy day out here, so this post is completely apropos of the situation I am in right now...

Anyway, my random pick from my bookshelves this week led me to some music by Clive Robbins and Paul Nordoff. When my facility decided to no longer support a staff library, I was given a set of music from Nordoff and Robbins. The texts were published in 1968, and these copies are pristine. They have been sitting on my shelves largely ignored by me. That will change now that I remember that I have them!

The song is written in one of the modes based on f#. I need to hear it completely through to figure out which mode it is, but it does not include the raised seventh scale degree. The mode makes the music a bit more atmospheric and representative of the weather associated with the rainy day.

What I am enjoying about this book is that Mr. Nordoff and Mr. Robbins (who gave me one of the greatest thrills of my music therapy career when he stopped to look at and then comment about a display of file folder activities that I had generated for an AMTA presentation) offer suggestions about how to use the music with children. They also focus on group treatment and play. There are suggestions for many of the music elements that I focus on during my TME development, but I think that both Mr. Nordoff and Mr. Robbins would understand that there are times when you have to change the recommended tempo to accommodate client needs and differences.

My only complaint about this book is that it is written for piano rather than piano and guitar. I know exactly why it is written for piano, but wish it was written for guitar as well. I'm going to have to sit down with my guitar and figure out the chord symbols for each of these songs (playing the piano is NOT my forte!) so I can use it a bit more easily. So, (dripping with sarcasm here) I will HAVE to USE my MUSIC THEORY classes to figure this out! Oh tragedy!!! 

If you are interested in getting copies of these books, here is a link to the Nordoff-Robbins Musical Resources page through NYU. These books are offered for VERY reasonable prices and their contents will enrich the music library of any music therapist who works with children. I recommend them if you are needing some new repertoire that is already designed for therapeutic purposes.

I never had the privilege of meeting Paul Nordoff, the composer behind these songs, but I did have the privilege of meeting Clive Robbins. He was a wonderful man who never met a music therapy stranger. Like I said before, he stopped by my display during a Clinical Practice Forum at an AMTA conference a couple of years ago. Mr. Robbins stopped, looked over my display of file folder activities designed for use in music therapy, and started to talk to me. I was flabbergasted and tongue-tied to begin with, but Mr. Robbins quickly put me at ease. He asked questions about how I used my materials and about my clients. He stayed with me for 20 minutes and brightened my day. It is amazing when a personal music therapy hero takes notice of something that you do. I hope you have a similar experience with one of your music therapy heroes. It was a thrill!


Robbins, C., & Nordoff, P. (1968). The Second Book of Children's Play-Songs. Theodore Presser Company: Bryn Mawr, PA. p. 9.


UPDATE: So, I actually played the song through on the keyboard, and lo and behold, it's in Dmajor, but it doesn't look like it when you look at the music. It's amazing how you can look at something and it looks like it's a complicated modal piece, but when you hear it you can tell that it isn't...

Maybe I should brush up on my theory. I wonder if I still have the old Shumway? Probably...


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