I did a fun and successful activity today with a group in an acute psychiatric setting. This particular group always has a theme of music expression. I had a CD and player some large sheets of paper and markers and oil pastels. I used a recording of the real songs rather than the group doing covers of the originals because I really wanted them to focus on listening to the lyrics.
First, we listened to "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy. I had the group discuss the lyrics and I wrote key phrases up on the board. After a short discussion, each person drew a picture on one half of a page in answer to the question, "If you had a billion dollars, what would you do to change your world for the better?"
Second, we listened to "Price Tag" by Jessie Jay. After a short discussion, the individuals drew pictures on the other side of their pages in answer to the question, "What could you do to change your world that doesn't require money?"
I was really impressed by the participation and great insight the patients demonstrated! Some of the patients mentioned typical things like the desire to buy boats and cars, but others drew pictures of people giving money to each other or making positive things happen for under-served youth.
Overall, the patients enjoyed the music selections and were responsive to discussing the lyrics. The two songs seem to fit together thematically and the drawings showed a nice contrast of ideas.