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April Session Ideas for Older Adults

I always get in a bit of a session planning rut once April rolls around. From October to March, there's ton of holidays, changing seasons, and lots of easy-to-reach session theme materials. Once we enter summer time, it gets a bit easier once again, but April tends to be the trickiest month. If you're like me, here are four session ideas for April to pull inspiration from!

Week One: April Fools

Use this week to lighten things up with your group and sing some of the sillier songs you might not usually incorporate.

Movement Activity: "Drunken Sailor"

When singing the song as a group, introduce movement to be performed on certain words. I typically start with adding a clap on the word "sailor" and raising our arms on "up she rises". Ask the group for more movement ideas or verse contributions!

Songwriting/Lyric Substitution: "If All of the Raindrops"

Support the group in coming up with alternate foods that could fall from the sky- instead of lemon drops and gumdrops!

Other Songs to Incorporate:

-"Tutti Frutti"

-"Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"

-"Splish Splash I Was Taking a Bath"

-"Purple People Eater"

-"Button Up Your Overcoat"

-"Yellow Submarine"

Week Two: Songs with a Name

I love doing a session where all the songs have a name in the title! This is the perfect session to do in April, since it isn't reliant on any seasonal elements!

Movement Activity: "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean"

Sing the song as a group. Every time you sing a word beginning with the letter "b", change your arm position from hands in your lap to hands in the air. This always gets a laugh from my group and really picks up speed in the chorus!

Songwriting/Lyric Substitution: "Mambo No 5"

Re-write the chorus to include all the name of the group members. Be creative to come up with alternate phrases instead of "in my life", "by my side", etc. Sometimes I give a theme for the group to use as inspiration, like favorite hobbies- "Monica loves to dance, Erica loves to garden and water plants".

Other Songs to Incorporate:

-"Johnny B. Goode"

-"Sweet Caroline"

-"Wake Up Little Susie"


-"Hey Jude"

-"Oh My Darlin' Clementine"

-"Daisy Bell"

-"Peggy Sue"

Week Three: This Week in History

This is a themed session I love to pull out a few times a year because it's always different. I look up historical events that took place that week or that day, and add in songs and activities that match. For this example, I'll use the dates April 16-21.

Movement Activity: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

The Rolling Stones released their debut album on April 16, 1964, and those that were in high school when it happen are now in their 70s! This is the perfect song for taking turns leading the group in a signature dance move.

Songwriting/Lyric Substitution: "Fly Me to the Moon"

Harriet Quimby was a U.S. aviator and the first woman to fly across the English Channel- which she did on April 16, 1912. Sing this song as a group and substitute in the names of other places you'd love to fly to!

Other Songs to Incorporate:

-"Danny Boy" - Ireland becomes an independent republic on April 18, 1949.

-"Yankee Doodle" - American Revolutionary War begins on April 19, 1775.

-"Smile" - Though popularized by Nat King Cole, it was originally composed by Charlie Chaplin, who was born on April 16, 1889.

Week Four: April Showers Bring May Flowers

As we transition from April to May, it's fun to incorporate songs both about rain and flowers!

Movement Activity: "Singin' in the Rain"

Teach the group a few basic tap steps to perform while seated. You can even watch the original performance as a group to get inspired!

Songwriting/Lyric Substitution: "What a Wonderful World"

My favorite way to close this session is to re-write this song to include the group members' favorite things about spring. It's a good way to reflect on all the elements of nature that have been discussed previously!

Other Songs to Incorporate:

-"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

-"Have You Ever Seen the Rain"

-"Rainy Days and Mondays"

-"Over the Rainbow"

-"Build Me Up Buttercup"


-"When You Wore a Tulip"

I hope this helps spark some creativity into your April session planning! Happy Spring!


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