TME Tuesday: Lonesome Traveler

I am getting ready to make a journey back to my house from my home. This is the part of going home that I really dislike - leaving, but this song gives me a bit of a chance to think about why I live where I live and the choices that I have made in my life to take me where I need to be...

 Therapeutic Music Experience
Lonesome Traveler
Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC



Purpose: To stimulate discussion about traveling, being alone, and other topics; to encourage entrainment to an external stimulus; social interaction

Source: Hays, L. (1950). Lonesome Traveler. TME development and procedure © 2015 by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

Materials: OPTIONAL: accompanying instrument; rhythm instruments for group members

Environment: Group members where they can hear the song leader.

Song/Chant/Words:
This song has been covered by many different groups. Here is a link to the performance by The Weavers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5vmDL85vt4

Gm
I am a weary and lonesome traveler,
C                          Gm
I am a weary and lonesome traveler,
Gm
I am a weary and lonesome traveler,
C         D             Gm
I been a travelin' on.

Gm
Travelin' in the mountains, and in the valley,
C                      Gm
Travelin' in the mountains, and in the valley,
Gm
Travelin' in the mountains, and in the valley,
C     D          Gm
I'm travelin' on.

Traveled with the rich, traveled with the poor,
Traveled with the rich, traveled with the poor,
Traveled with the rich, traveled with the poor,
I'm travelin' on.

I've been travelin' on the road to freedom,
Been lookin' for the road to freedom,
I've been travelin' to the road to freedom
And I've been travelin' on.

I've been a-carryin' a heavy load
I've been a-carryin' a heavy load
I've been a-carryin' a heavy load
But I keep travelin' on.

This whole world is in a sad condition
This whole world is in a sad condition
This whole world is in a sad condition
But I keep on travelin' on.

I will travel on until I get to freedom
I will travel on until I get to freedom
I will travel on until I get to freedom
I will keep on travelin' on.

Procedure: R = Reinforcement opportunities; C = Redirection/Cue opportunities; A = Assessment
1.      C= start singing song.
2.      A= assess whether group members start to demonstrate awareness or entrainment behaviors during the song.
3.      R=reinforce all attempts and efforts to sing, to move, and to engage during the song presentation.
4.      C=choose whether to sing the song in its entirety or to stop singing after one verse and a chorus. Ask group members to analyze the song lyrics.
a.       Have you ever traveled by yourself?
b.      Have you ever felt like the singer in this song?
c.       Where have you traveled?
d.      How have you traveled?
e.       If you were going on a trip right now, where would you want to go?
f.        How would you get there
g.      Advanced question: Do you feel like you have the freedom that the singer is looking for?
h.      Other questions as appropriate for the group members
5.      A=assess whether group members are able to answer the question.
6.      R=reinforce all responses.
7.      C=sing song again, encouraging group members to sing along.
8.      A=assess whether group members can sing along.
9.      R=reinforce all attempts by group members to sing.
10.  C=ask group members to change the lyrics to illustrate their lives.
11.  A=assess whether group members are able to complete task.
12.  R=reinforce all responses through singing the song again and changing the lyrics to match what group members suggest.
13.  C=continue until group members have one turn each, start to show signs of boredom, or time runs out.

Therapeutic Function of Music:
The repetitive nature of the song makes it easy to remember and replicate. The upbeat tempo encourages entrainment and movement to the music. The lyrics repeat, offering several opportunities to engage group members in verbal interaction and singing.

Melody
Pitch
Rhythm
Dynamics
Harmony
Primarily step-based; repetitive pattern
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Minor format – i, IV, V – modal harmony

Form
Tempo
Timbre
Style
Lyrics
Verse - Chorus
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Skiffle
Repetitive; offer a story; easily varied to accommodate group members’ contributions
Chart adapted from Hanson-Abromeit, D. (2010). A Closer Look at the Therapeutic Function of Music. Presentation at 2010 American Music Therapy Association National Conference: Cleveland, OH.

Adaptations:
·         Rewrite the words to illustrate what group members experience in their travelling to and from treatment or in the community.

Extensions:
  • Ask group members to write about their own travelling experiences.

 

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