Friday, January 27, 2012

Get ready to go!

Welcome back!

I'm excited to share another song today!
The song is titled, Get ready to go.
I collaborated with a teacher on this one. The teacher asked for help writing a song that she could use with her students (she teaches elementary students with autism), when they are getting ready to leave the classroom. Sometimes the class leaves to go to a special (music, art, PE, etc.), and sometimes they leave the classroom to go to assemblies in the school, outside for recess, for a walk, or for field trips off campus too.

The teacher gave me the following list of things they do/check before they leave the room as a class:

Tie shoes
Tuck in shirts
Sanitize hands
Wipe faces
Get lanyards (with picture IDs on them for off campus trips)

So, I put all of those in a song and repeated each of them to give the teachers and assistants ample time to assist the students while the song was playing.
The kids really like it and it helps keep everyone in the classroom (even the adults) aware of what needs to be checked before they leave the classroom.

I hope you have a great weekend! As always, if you have questions and/or comments feel free to write them below or email me at

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Therapy Tool

Welcome back!

Every now and then, I receive an email from a More with Music reader who asks questions, and or suggests topics I should blog about here on More with Music.

So, today's post is in response to a question from a reader.

Last week, I received these questions: "How do you clean/sterilize your rhythm instruments? How often do you clean them and what products have you found to be easy to use, yet good at cleaning too?"

Great questions! I'm sure we all have our own recommendations for cleaning rhythm instruments we use on a daily basis with students and clients.

I personally recommend Chlorox wipes. They are easy to keep in the car or in a session room and they have a very fresh, but not overly perfumed scent.

If an instrument comes in contact with any bodily fluid (i.e. snot, saliva, blood, etc..), I always clean it. Other instruments are cleaned biweekly (if I wait that long). I make sure to clean instruments more frequently when I'm aware of stomach bugs, viruses, colds, flu,etc.. going around.

The picture above is of the coolest things I found at the store. They are Chlorox wipes made in a travel size! They are so convenient and fit right in my cart that I carry from school to school. I love them!

I'd love to hear what others use to clean rhythm instruments and your opinions on products, methods of cleaning them, etc..

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Stay tuned for a song post soon!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I had a Dream-for FREE!

Welcome back!

Today I wanted to share a song that I've shared once before. I sing it this time of the year in many classrooms and it works great.

Just in time for January 16th, I'm re-sharing my song "I had a Dream" to help celebrate Martin Luther King day. The best part-it's FREE to share!

I came across a very nice poem about Martin Luther King online a couple of years ago, and I quickly put it to music.
The poem was written by Esther Yost, a former preschool teacher.

Here is the poem:

I have a dream, said Martin Luther King
We're gonna make that dream come true.
Let freedom ring, said Martin Luther King,
It's up to me and you.
It's not the color of your hair,
It's not the color of your skin,
It doesn't matter what you wear,
It's the character within.
I have a dream, said Martin Luther King
We're gonna make that dream come true,
Let freedom ring, said Martin Luther King
It's up to me and you.

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. It's not too complicated, and if you would like to see the visuals I created to go along with this song, simply email me at and I'll be happy to share them.

I'd love to hear what songs you like to use for this topic, activities you do,etc.. Feel free to leave a comment below.

I hope all of you have a great Friday and enjoy the long weekend as well!

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Dress for the Weather

Welcome back!
It's winter, but it doesn't feel like it everyday here. Some days are cooler than others, but we've had only a few really cold days.
Even though our outdoor temperatures don't always cooperate, we're still singing about Winter and cold around here.
Awhile back, I shared a song entitled, I Dress for the Weather. It's a song about clothing you wear in the winter to help you to stay warm. You can have a listen to it below.
<a href="">I dress for the Weather by More with Music</a>

I'm also sharing a visual I made via Windows movie maker.
I create windows movies for most of the songs I use in classrooms so that the teachers have the support when I'm not physically in the classroom different days/times,etc.. This provides the teachers with many opportunities to provide repetition for the students and give them more exposure to the songs.
I mainly use various images I find on Google images for my visuals, so these windows movies are used for educational purposes only.

I hope you had a great Monday! I'm excited about the upcoming 3-day weekend myself!
Be sure to stop back soon!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wait a minute! part 2

Welcome back!

Now that the holidays are over, everything is back in full swing. I've been busy writing songs, singing songs, designing visuals and the most important thing-seeing lots of cool kids!

My last post (see below) briefly discussed a wait time and covered a couple of definitions of the concept itself.

Today I want to post more about this topic and more specifically, how you can incorporate it within a music therapy session.

A wait time is a therapy tool.
As I wrote previously, a wait time is defined as "the duration of pauses separating utterances in a conversation, (i.e. the time a teacher waits after asking a question and after receiving a response)."

Another definition I found online for wait time is "the amount of time that elapses between a tutor-initiated (teacher) question and the next verbal behavior (e.g., a student response)."

Many students have wait times (sometimes written in specific increments of minutes), in their IEPs and it is important for the music therapist to ask and/or read the student's IEP to find out if this is true.
A wait time gives the student time to process what was said (by therapist) and gives them time to respond (whether it is verbally, physically,etc..).

Within a music therapy session, there are several ways to give appropriate wait time, while at the same time providing feedback and validating the students. I always keep in mind that each student is an individual, and what motivates one, may not always motivate another.

When you ask a student (who requires a wait time) a question (i.e. What do you want to play today? What comes next?, etc.), I recommend you try the following ideas:

1. Ask other students the same question first. This gives students time to process what is going on, what is expected, giving an answer is modeled to the
students, etc.

2. Make eye contact with the student whom you want to answer the question.

3. If the student is nonverbal, be sure to represent choices with picture cards or
the real choices (instruments, stuffed animals, etc.)

4. Watch the students' eyes. Look to see if they gaze at one choice longer than the others. If this happens, verbally validate it "I see you are looking at the maracas. Great job! Matthew wants to play the maracas!"

5. Verbally (and musically)provide feedback to the student while waiting for their answer.
This can be incorporated into a song/chant "Matthew's thinking. Matthew's
thinking. Thinking about the choices today." or another idea to motivate (to
the tune of "Hey good lookin'"), "Everybody's lookin', everybody's lookin, lookin
at their pictures to tell me what they want to play".

Keep playing to support the student. Be patient. Strum in between verses, try decreasing tempo, and try to limit other distractions.

What are your thoughts? Are there other ways you motivate students during a wait time?

Feel free to leave additional comments below!