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  • Anna Klode, MT-BC

Intervention: Sound Clips & Pics

Older adult groups are some of my very favorite to lead, especially when the intervention is a hit. I have done this intervention a number of times, and it has yet to disappoint! I like to call it Sound Clips and Pics. It utilizes different sound clips and corresponding pictures and songs. Residents love the guessing game aspect to it as well as the various forms of media used. Little do they know, they’re really exercising their memory and attention span.


  1. Instrument of choice

  2. Tablet or smart phone

  3. Way to amplify sounds from tablet or smart phone (ex. portable speaker)

  4. List of sounds from

  5. Corresponding pictures of what is making the various sounds (either on a tablet or a printed picture)

  6. List of songs that correspond with each sound

You can make the sounds as difficult or easy as you see fit for your group. For example, a train horn is always one of the last sounds I use during this intervention as residents typically struggle with it. Songs that correspond with a train horn include: I’ve Been Working On the Railroad, Folsom Prison Blues, and Sentimental Journey. Each of these songs mentions a train in the lyrics.

Sequential Steps of Intervention:

1. Connect a smartphone or tablet to a speaker system.

2. Play a sound over the speaker on repeat.

3. Ask the group what the sound is.

4. Once they guess, ask the group to brainstorm songs that mention what is making the sound in

the lyrics.

5. Ask a resident to choose from the list of songs that was brainstormed (if there is more than one


6. Repeat steps 2-5 until intervention is over.

The pictures come in as an adaption if the above intervention is too difficult for your residents. If your residents are stuck on a sound, bring out a picture of what is making the sound and have them tell you what it is. For example, if you are playing a sound clip of a dog barking and they cannot guess that it is a dog, show them a picture of a dog and ask them what it is. This is a particularly useful adaption in memory care settings.

A few more examples of sounds and their corresponding songs are:

  • birds chirping (When the Red, Red Robin, Blue Skies, Somewhere Over the Rainbow)

  • airplane landing/taking off (Leaving On a Jet Plane, Come Josephine In My Flying Machine)

  • bicycle bell (Daisy Bell)

  • horse neighing (Don’t Fence Me In, Home on the Range)

I really hope you and your residents enjoy this intervention as much as I have with mine!

train tracks

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