TME Tuesday: Kansas City and Kansas Songs

It's Tuesday again. Time to share a therapeutic music experience (TME) or two. For some reason, I feel like sharing some of the TMEs that are based on where I am centered - around Kansas City. I love linking our music therapy experiences to things that my clients can experience with just a bit of planning.

The first is a song that I wrote a long time ago for my clients who struggle with geographical concepts. It can be adapted to reflect each and every locale - just change the words. The second is a TME written to go with the song, Kansas City, by Leiber and Stoller. This blues song just makes me feel happy when I get to play it. I should play it a bit more often. Enjoy, and happy Tuesday, all!
My State

Therapeutic Music Experience
Kansas City
Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC
Purpose: To discuss concepts of travel; to encourage social interaction through discussion; to encourage verbal interaction; entrainment to external beat; increase awareness of musical styles and genres

Source: Leiber, J. & Stoller, M. (1952). Kansas City. Produced by Bobby Robinson. TME development © 2015 by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC.

Materials: Accompanying instrument; OPTIONAL: Map or location cards to prompt interaction and discussion

Environment: Group members need to be arranged in a way where they can hear the music.

Song/Chant/Words: This song has been covered by many performers over the years. Here is a link to a performance by Fats Domino:

Basic Blues Chord Format:
(/ indicates beat)
I/// I/// I/// I7/// IV/// IV/// I/// I/// V7/// IV7/// I///

Original Lyrics:

NOTE: You may want to change some of the lyrics to make the song more age-appropriate for younger group members.

I'm going to Kansas City
Kansas City, here I come
I'm going to Kansas City
Kansas City, here I come
They got a crazy way of loving there   Alternative lyrics: There are lots of things to do there
And I'm gonna get me one   Alternative lyrics: and we’re going to have some fun!

I'm gonna be standing on the corner
12th Street and Vine
I'm gonna be standing on the corner
12th Street and Vine
With my Kansas City baby   Alternative lyrics: with my Kansas City friends
And a bottle of Kansas City wine   Alternative lyrics: we hang out there all the time!

Well, I might take a plane I might take a train
But if I have to walk I'm going just the same
I'm going to Kansas City
Kansas City, here I come
They got some crazy little women there (see alternative lyric options above)
And I'm gonna get me one.

Procedure: R = Reinforcement opportunities; C = Redirection/Cue opportunities; A = Assessment
1.   C=start to sing the song, substituting any location for Kansas City, if relevant. (May want to make the initial presentation of the song relevant to the location of the client).
2.  A=assess whether group members are entraining to the beat through movement or singing to the words.
3.  R=reinforce all responses to the music.
4.  C=continue to sing the song, offering new destinations and new ways to travel to those destinations.
5.  C=ask group members for suggestions of how to adapt the lyrics.
6.  R=reinforce all responses and suggestions through repeating the song.
7.  Continue to sing until group members have all had a turn to contribute, show signs of disengagement or boredom, or time runs out.

Therapeutic Function of Music:
The repetition of the rhythm, the phrases, the lyrics, and the song pattern provide a predictable intervention that allows group members to engage in entrainment behaviors such as movements, singing, and/or increased attention.

Scalar melodic motion; Repetitive; Format doesn’t vary between phrases
Variable based on client preferences or needs
Shuffle pattern – swing feel.
Variable based on client preferences or needs
12 bar Blues – I,I,I,I7,IV,IV,I,I,

Strophic with Bridge
Variable based on client preferences or needs
Variable based on client preferences or needs
12 bar Blues
Repetitive; Variable based on client preferences or needs
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.

·         Use the song to format movement experiences.

  • Discuss different places to go and how to get to those places.


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