My Play-Based Approach: Singing Silly Songs + Messing Around

When I am totally into everything I do! and ‘play in the everyday‘ my life is filled with joy, laughter, and gratitude! I love that! ~Mary Alice

Singing Silly Songs

While in Port Townsend recently with a friend I noticed a shop with lots of color in the window.

Do you want to go in Mary Alice?

The shopkeeper was playing Beatles songs written in a style meant for children. The first song immediately brought a huge smile to my face. No more monkeys jumping on the bed! 

For years on my daily walks I’ve sung to my dog (or the environment!) and created new tunes. Sometimes I take a tape recorder along. I love to sing and create lyrics and melodies. Usually the melody comes first and then the lyrics. Is that right?

For now I’m just making these songs up as I go…some older versions of my songs are recorded on the kind of audio tape we use to put in our answering machines to collect messages. Heavens!

Image 2-12-16 at 11.19 AM

Messing Around

Messing around is a lot more fun than driving things ahead, focusing, or taking a linear approach. I know, you’re saying not a whole lot gets done, NOT MY EXPERIENCE


Some of favorite ways to mess around:

  • Making faces
  • Stomping in the mud
  • Dancing in the rain (not hard to come by in the Northwest)
  • Visual Journaling with Paints
  • Writing Whatever Comes…and then Messing with those Words Some More…

There are so many Ways to Play in the Everyday…some Silly, some Movin’, ALL full of Treasures & Meaning

Because I am fully committed to my play-based work and believe in the importance of play so strongly I keep going back to ‘sit in the chair’, ‘make that next connection’, ‘ask for help when I need support’, listen to the YES and dismiss the NO and…

I continue to be silly, mess around, laugh! embrace tearful moments, give voice to what matters. SWING! DANCE! SING! MOVE!

AND Continuing to Play with…

Archival Memoir Project (AMP)

My personal ‘archival memoir project’ (AMP) includes performance, images, dreams, letters, and written memoir. My memoir and its ‘postpartum’ (or the 4th stage of the birth process) are meant to be a developing story. What does it mean to give away too much? To abandon yourself? and then re-claim play and creativity?

One part of the developing story that I didn’t expect is the call that I hear to help others create their own AMPs. I’ve been listening to feedback from audiences following performances and asking myself some questions:

  • What are the array of collections, memories, and lived experiences that could be part of these AMPs?
  • What might these AMPs mean to individuals and to the collective?
  • How can these AMPs be shared with families and communities?

Two projects that are unfolding as part of my personal AMP are Forgiveness: Performance & WorkshopComposing a Creative Life: Aging & Late-Life Transformation. 

Have any Silly Songs to Share?

What are you Messing Around with?


Share your Experience in the Comments or Email Me…


You may also like

Our Playful Impulse is to Create
Even in Difficult Times There is Joy
A NEW SERIES: The Art of Playing in the Everyday & Writing
So Go Create.

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