Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Therapy Tools Tuesday

Today's post is another (hopefully) helpful tool you can use for therapy.
The tool itself actually falls in the organization and storage category for therapy.

Take a look at these:

You might wonder, "How can these be used as a tool in therapy?"

I use these little bags, called makeup bags, as storage for picture cards (also known as PECS). I work in many classrooms that serve students who are nonverbal (for a variety of reasons and diagnoses), so we use pictures to help the students communicate. With pictures, students can say Yes/No, More/Finished, and can have a choice of objects. The picture cards are definitely helpful when giving the students choices of rhythm instruments to play during music therapy sessions.

I also include number cards, color cards, sometimes alphabet letter cards, and pictures of objects that are mentioned in songs we are currently singing (for example, in our fall song, students are shown pictures of red apples, fall leaves, pumpkins,etc.). Some students even learn to sequence objects in a song with the picture cards!

So, there you have it. Makeup bags can be a great tool for storing picture cards that aid in communication in music therapy sessions.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Welcome back!

Yesterday was officially the first day of Fall!
Around here, there are already tons of places selling pumpkins and the fall colors are starting to appear.

In the Fall season, there are always county and state fairs in so many places. Many classrooms learn about animals and animals that live on a farm during this time of the year.

Today I wanted to share a song I wrote and use in classrooms to teach about animals that live on a farm. It's a very simple song, but it is a song with very basic goals in mind. A few of these goals include recognizing animals by picture and recognizing animals by the sounds they make.

When teaching about animals, it is so cool to use their real sounds and I think the students remember more about the animals if they hear their real sounds.

To accomplish this goal, I designed an activity using SMART Notebook 10 software. Most of the classrooms I work with all have SMART boards in their classrooms and incorporate them into almost everything they teach.

A few samples from slides in this activity are below.

I use the first slide when I'm introducing the song to the group and singing it with/to them. The animals are all on the slide as a visual and the teacher can play the song I sing when I'm not there, by simply pressing the speaker icon. Each specific animal sound can be heard by pressing the speaker icon by each animal. The second slide focuses on the students finding the animals that match each sound. The third slide focuses on the students recognizing each animal and figuring out the pattern of the animals on the slide.

As always, thanks for stopping by! My posts are few and far between lately, but I appreciate all my readers.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Rhyme Song


It's the weekend and I finally found some time to make a blog post! :)

Today's post will be a new song I just finished last week. It is a song I wrote to help teach the concept of a rhyme.

The song's lyrics encourage students to "listen with their ears" for words that sound alike. It explains the concept of a rhyme with the lyrics: "When words sound alike, we say they rhyme."

I made visuals to go along with each word family mentioned in the Rhyme song so students can see each word that rhymes with a matching picture.

I'm anxiously awaiting putting this song into use as well!

So, without further discussion, here it is! Song sheet to follow soon! :)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You gotta keep your head up

As a music therapist, I always try to stay current with music that is popular each year. I have found that some music therapists do this more than others.

Depending on which population(s) music therapists are employed to work with, they may or may not need to dwell in modern or popular music. Songs from the 1920s and 30s might be their focus, or children's songs, or even instrumental music for relaxation and reflection might be more in demand with their clients.

Nevertheless, I like to have a general idea what's going on in modern/popular music and many times, I find the ideas motivating to me in terms of song writing.

Here's an example:

Lately, I've been loving this tune by Andy Grammer. It's called, "Keep Your Head Up".

I'll admit, it's an upbeat song that is good for my "self Music Therapy" when it's been a long day or I feel like I still have a lot to accomplish on any given day.

Aside from that, I had this song stuck in my head for days and was inspired by it so much, that I adapted the lyrics and the tune a bit for one of the topics I was trying to write a song about: the 5 themes of geography.

So, I wanted to share that particular song today.

*This song is intended for educational use only!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A shape called a Circle song sheet

Take a deep breath...make sure you are sitting down...

I don't want to over excite anyone out there, but here's a new post on
More with Music!!!

I apologize for the scarcity of posts here on More with Music.

The beginning of the school year is always a SUPER busy time with students coming back to school, getting everyone settled in their classrooms, learning new students (names and personalities), and writing new songs to get the school year started.

I also have to mention that I'm the proud parent of a 2nd grader this year and happy he's adjusted so well getting into his back to school schedule. :)

But without further digression, today's song post is the song sheet for the song A shape called a Circle.

I have received so many nice emails in response to this song and hope you take a minute to listen to it. :) I'm eagerly awaiting using this song for the first time in many of the classrooms I serve this week and next.

Now, not to shock you twice in one blog post, but stay tuned for another post tomorrow! Yes, for real, no joke!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having a great Labor Day weekend!