Musical Notes with Melissa: Autumn Leaves

Melissa Pate

“The autumn leaves drift by the window — The autumn leaves of red & gold.”

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons for music therapy sessions. As leaves change colors, temperatures get cooler, and days get shorter, we’re filled with nostalgia. It’s an opportunity to slow down and reminisce on happier times. According to Amy Jane Griffiths, Ph.D., N.C.S.P., a licensed psychologist, one of the reasons we love fall is because we associate it with events & traditions. “We all crave the comfort and security that comes with traditions and predictability,” Griffiths says. This feels especially true in 2020!

Let’s evoke these happy feelings with a Fall-inspired meditation. It incorporates all 5 senses along with your imagination using the classic tune, “Autumn in New York.”

Find a comfortable seated position with your feet flat on the floor. Begin the song (it can be found on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to music).

Match your breathing pattern to the tempo of the music, Breathe in…2…3…4. Breathe out…2…3…4. Continue with slow, full breaths.

What event, tradition, or thing do you most associate with Autumn? Can you picture yourself in this place doing this thing?

Take note of what you see in this scene…People, leaves of red and gold on trees, clouds, bonfires, sunshine, friends?

Take note of what you hear in this scene…children laughing, the distant murmurs of conversation, trees rustling?

Take note of what you taste in this scene…are you enjoying a hot cup of soup, apple cider, coffee, s’mores over the fire?

Take note of what you smell in this scene…often in fall, we smell burning leaves or fires, sometimes we smell cinnamon & apple. What do you smell?

Take note of what you feel on your skin…is the air cold? What kind of clothes are you wearing? Are you hugging friends or family?

How do these sensations feel to you? Sit with this feeling.

As the song ends, wiggle your fingers and toes and slowly come back to the room. Open your eyes, stretch, and continue to breathe. Notice how you feel.

For any questions regarding this relaxation activity or music therapy in general, please feel free to reach out to me at mpate@kensingtonsl.com.

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