20 lessons to teach while Handing Out Instruments by Margie La Bella of MusicTherapyTunes.com

Feel free to email in or respond with your own uses!

1.  General cattle call. (Come on up and take one, everybody.)

2.  Call up children by names – teaches name awareness, id, attention, turns, waiting…..

3.  Call up children via their addresses – safety skills, general-self knowledge, awareness of self in the neighborhood and community.

4.  Call up children by phone-numbers; same goal as above. This is considered general pre-k knowledge.

5. Hold up pictures of the children or cards with their names written on them. Good for representation of self, self-image, word recognition.  Again, this is expected of all children entering kindergarten.

6.  Hand out a number card to each child and call them up by the numbers.

7.  Do the same for shapes. Again, this is considered part of the general knowledge fund expected for all pre-k children. Especially, now that we are all part of the Core Curriculum – – which is another subject altogether.

8.  Do the same for colors or positions/prepositions: come up if you are on the end, in the middle, wearing blue…..

9.  Have a student hold the instrument basket, go over to each child and let them take an instrument. Great for leadership, strength, language and other social skills.

10.  Have a student call up their classmates by name. My kids love to call the names into a little microphone. The auditory feedback provided via the amplification motivates even shy children to speak up at our school.

11. Call children up by describing their clothing. This fosters self and peer awareness.

12. Call the kids up by saying the first letter of their name, or first syllable/consonant.

13. Call them up by rhyming their names. This is a good pre-literacy, auditory skill.

(Fiddle dee diddle. Fiddle dee Dandrew. Come on up if your name is …..Andrew!)

14.  How about calling the kids up by conceptual catagories such as boys, girls, long sleeves, short sleeves, eye color, long and short hair etc. Good for self and other awareness, language concepts and generalization of such knowledge.

15.  By age/ birthday month

16.  By town.

17.  Ask the children “who wants this name of instrument?”

18.  Ask the children “whose turn is it (to take one?)”

19.  Make cards with pictures of instruments on the back. Have the children come up, choose a card and take the related instrument.  The symbolic visual representation communicates a meaning and is a precursor to reading. Make other devices with pictures of instruments on them and use for the same purpose. For example, tape pictures to a large cube box and roll as a dice. Do the same with a dreydel at Chanukkah time.

20.  Make a picture board with black and white line drawings, colored line drawings, actual pictures of instruments, or PECs pictures to use with children who can not communicate as effectively with spoken language.

 

 

 

 

34 pages of Music Therapy Activities and Lesson Plans – the first collection. By Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes. Children, adolescents, adults and older adults.

Margie La Bella MT-BC, MA at Musictherapytunes.com presents
MUSIC THERAPY LESSON PLANS.  – – 

Here  is my original collection of activities before the updated site. Sorry, but location of chords is misrepresented, as well as the solfege. Most of these activities are also located in and among the regular activities. I thought these may be helpful to some people as is. Help yourself. :)

Please be sure to add your own music therapy activities by mailing them toMargie@musictherapytunes.com.

You Don’t have to write out the solfedge! (Youtube, itunes, amazon

samples and songs etc can provide the melodies to songs!)

 COLOR KEY: (Don’t worry about this if you send a plan in. I’ll take care of it.)

Red entries represent music therapy activities for expressive/receptive language development.
Blue entries represent music therapy activities for fine and gross motor development.
Green entries represent activities for cognitive/academic development.
Purple entries represent activities for adaptive and daily living activities.
Brown entries represent activities for emotional growth and social skill development.
Grey entries represent other goal areas, for the time being.

 

**Please note, that there are many activities or activity types that can be used in a variety of age groups. There are songs for 5-year-olds that have been loved and requested by 12-year-olds! Presentation is key…adjusting the rhythm, strum, tempo, volume, chord structure, adding or subtracting words can make an activity work. Adaptation and thinking out of the box are plusses. So be sure to check out what is in the various age group sections even if they are older or younger than the people in your care. Most Categories overlap so check out all the colors i.e. a social song in one setting can reinforce language and conceptual skills. ** Enjoy!

 

-feel free to submit activities that have a similar goals and methods but use a different songs, variations or other element.
-I’m very interested to find out what people are doing with all the new electronic instruments, recording programs, computer programs and games, Apps, websites, TV-computer games like wii and RockBand and whatever good things are out there.

 

Here is my format. Feel free to use it when you submit your ideas! You don’t have to use it, though.
Age:
Goal Area:
Name of Activity:
Objective:
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN TO AGE 5 by musictherapytunes.com
Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: cognitive (and language)
Name of Activity: What’s Missing Here?
Objective: Children look at a picture and tell the therapist what is wrong with it.
Materials: Prepared pictures of a familiar object with a piece missing
Method: Show picture and discuss.
Adaptations: 1.You can add something that doesn’t belong and have the kids identify it, like a monkey with a hair-do.
2. Or you can also change/mix up a characteristic….. like bike wheels on a train.
3. You could even discuss how to fix the issue or adapt to it. (The boy’s ice cream cone fell down. He could ask for another.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the teacher’s part of Harry Chapin’s “Flowers are Red” then the child’s part for the student’s responses. See youtube for melody .

 

– or Jimmy Crack Corn (Here’s the Jimmy.lyrics: Oh no what happened here? Oh no who can see? Oh no what happened here? Who can tell me? Then incorporate the children’s answer into the farmer in the dell melody. …The horse has no tail…the horse has no tail…) Or, pick your own melody.

 

A E A E A E A A D A D A E A
Lyrics: What’s missing here, oh no! What’s missing here? What can it be– who can see.? Oh no what’s missing here?
(question)
A D A D A D A E A D A D A E A
(response) I see this bike has no wheel. The bike has no wheel. That is just what (name*) saw. The bike has no wheel.
(Adjust this line for the needs/size of the group)
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Age: 0-5
Goal Area: language and social
Name of Activity: Janice’s Hello Song
Objective: Children will establish and maintain eye-contact, wave, and sing hello to the therapist.
Materials: Hello, Hola! by Janice Buckner (On her “Learning Skills for Little One’s” CD see Janicebuckner.com)
Method: Sing along and modify as client need be.
Adaptations: Use to improve physical skills or any other skills by changing the words and/or tempo. The words below are changed slightly.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
C F C G C F G C
Hello, Hello (rest rest) Hello, Hello (rest rest) Hello, Hello (rest rest) It’s music time.
Mi do mi fa mi do mi re mi do mi fa fa mi re do

 

Age: Open for ALL ages
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials: There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Method:
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.

 

Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: Social (waiting, sharing, relinquishing turn.)
Name of Activity: Let’s sing hello adapted from J. Geils “Centerfold” (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Objective: kids will share and play instruments when their name is sung by the therapist.
Materials: guitar, lyrics, and interesting rhythm instruments.
Method: MT puts instruments in the center of the song circle. Children come to the center and share instruments (or an instrument)
when their name is sung. Children all sing during the chorus.
Adaptations: (optional) An easy articulation drill.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie and Cindy S. c/o Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
C F C F C F C C Bb F G C
Let’s sing hello to every- one. Now ___ and ____, let’s have some fun. Singing na na na na na na.. Na na na na na na. (Repeat nas.)
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Cognitive
Name of Activity: Apple Tree
Objective: Children do the motions along to the lyrics and sing or vocalize
Materials: Words
Method: Sing and do. This is also a magic song. All the kids I work with love it, do it and succeed right away.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email)Margielessonplans@gmail.comsource unknown.
Melody: Part A. Lincoln lincoln I been thinkin what the heck have you been drinkin’ (ah songs from my childhood…) Mary had a Little Lamb works, too. I’m an acorn small and round works. Shortnin’ bread works. Part B. Adams family chorus

 

A) I’m a great big apple tree. Just as tall as I can be.
I cannot sneeze (aaaaaahchoooooooo.) I cannot cough (argh, ahh, blah) or all my apples will fall off.
B) It fell on my ________ (boink, boink, ….or ow, ow will suffice.) Repeat 4 more times.
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Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: language
Name of Activity: Sing a song of Halloween
Objective: Kids think of and create the sounds of Halloween characters.
Materials: lyrics
Method: Do it.
Adaptations: (optional) Remember, you don’t want to scare any of the children!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
Tune: “Joshua fit the battle of Jerico”
Lyrics:

 

Am E7 Am E7 Am
Sing a song for Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Sing a song for Halloween. Sing it like a ________.
(Then continue making that sound for the verse. Same melody)

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Motor skills
Name of Activity: Shake your Spookies Out! This is a variation on the familiar childrens song “Shake your Sillies out.”
Objective: Kids follow a series of one-step directions. Also good for body awareness and coordination.
Materials: song
Method: sing and do
Adaptations: (optional) Make up verses for any time of year.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
D G D G A D
1.Come on and shake, shake, shake your spookies out. Shake, shake, shake your spookies out.
Sol sol sol sol la sol sol sol mi do. Re fa mi mi mi re do

 

D G D A7 D
Shake, shake, shake your spookies out. Shake your spookies away.
(same as vs. one.) re fa mi mi re do.

 

  1. Clap your crazies out.
  2. Bounce your beasties out.
  3. Wiggle your wackies out.
  4. Stamp like Frankenstein
  5. Itch like a witch.
  6. Howl like a wolf……and more.

 

Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: Language
Name of Activity: Four Dinosaurs.
Objective: Children sing the words, hold up the correct number of fingers, and motion along with the song.
Materials: song, optional dinosaur toys
Method: Sing. Do. I must say this song has been what I call a “magic song.” I haven’t seen a child who doesn’t love it and succeed with it.
Adaptations: (Do not end my sentences with a prepostion….it. )
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
from Anna Epstein-Kravis recording Tot’s Tunes/Happy to be me. See annaekravis.com.
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:

 

C G C G C-G C
Four Dinosaurs were rolling in the mud. Splashing around all day. One of them said “I’ve had enough!!!”
Do do re mi do sol fa mi re do re re re sol re mi re do do re do
C G c
3 more left when he goes away. Squish, squish, squish, squish,
sol sol sol sol fa mi re do

 

Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: articulation, oro-motor
Name of Activity: Monster in the Mirror (This song is so good that I use it all year round.)
Objective: Children vocalize along with the chorus.
Materials: Song from Sesame Street. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Method: Sing
Adaptations: (optional) Great Opportunity for articulation exercise!! Also for associating a sound with a letter for pre-reading awareness.
Just change the initial consonant from “w” to a different sound.
Simplify the chorus by repeating line one over 2x and then end on the origional phrase.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used Sesame Street Google the video on youtube for the melody.

Am e7 Am
Saw a monster in the mirror when I woke up today A monster in my mirror but I did not run away
C Dm E7 Am
I did not shed a tear or hide beneath my bed , Though the monster looked at me and this is what he said:
C Dm G7 Am
He said “Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo.” Wubba wubba wubba and a doodly do
C F C G F C C G F C
He sang “Wubba wubba wubba” so I sang it too. Do not wubba me or I will wubba you . Do not wubba me or I will wubba you.

 


2. Told the monster in the mirror, “No, I am not scared.” Then I smiled at him and thanked him for the song that we had shared.
Well, the monster thanked me too, he smiled right back and then the monster in the sang his song again.
3. If your mirror has a monster in it, do not shout. This kind of situation does not call for freaking out
And do nothing that you would not like to see him do ‘Cause that monster in the mirror he just might be you.
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: vocalization and verbalization
Name of Activity: Good for Halloween: The witch laughs ha-ha-ha.
Objective: children produce the sounds
Materials: song
Method: Sing. Pictures of the objects help.
Adaptations: For kids who need more time, stay on the same sound effect for a whole verse and use a familiar melody to set the stage. Example: The little ghost says boo boo boo, boo boo boo………………………boo for Halloween. (Tune for that one could be Mary had a little Lamb.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Try second half of “the itsy bitsy spider” in a haunting minor key.
Lyrics: The witch says Yah-ha-ha. The Ghost says whooooo. The Cat says meow, meow and I say “Boo.” (repeat)

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Expressive language
Name of Activity: Thanksgiving: These are things I’m thankful for.
Objective: Children will name something they are thankful for including: foods, toys, people.
Materials: song and children
Method: Sing the song and insert the children’s answers. Results vary by age and ability.
Adaptations: (optional) Record it on a little tape recorded. Or your phone. Change boomdeata to something simpler that your group can handle.
Sometimes we sing “These are things we’re thankful for. “
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
melody used: Boom-de-ata. Or “I love the mountains…I love the rolling hills” girl scout song
D Bm Em A7 D Bm Em A7
Words: Name likes _________ Name likes _________ Name likes _________ Name likes _________
D Bm G A7
Name likes _________ and Name likes _________
D Bm G A
Boomdeata Boomdeata Boomdeata Boomdeata (repeat.)
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Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: vocalization and language
Name of Activity: Thanksgiving Song Swing
Objective: Children sing along with the verses and especially the chorus. Good for the “g” sound which is produced in the back of the throat.
Materials: song and pictures
Method: sing, show and do.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com source unknown.
Melody used: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Verse:
Dm Dmb5 Dm7 Dm6 (you can stay on dm. The progression takes the high d and goes down my half steps.)
  1. What does a turkey say for thanksgiving day

 

2. He has two brown eyes that are just the same size
3. His head goes wobble when he says gobble
4.Turkey looks great when it’s sittin’ on my plate
5. Show me what you do when a turkey looks at you.

 

Gm(7) Dm
Chorus: Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gob.
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Age: 0-5 +
Goal: To improve expressing language particulary the “ing” present tense.
Name of Activity: Christmas is…
Materials: Pictures depicting lyrics and lyrics.
Method: Sing and do
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Don’t know. Try “I’m Yours,” by Jason Maz
Words:

 

Carolers singing, singing, singing. Church bells ringing, ringing, ringing.

 

Snowflakes dropping, dropping, dropping. Popcorn popping, popping, popping.

 

Mothers sewing, sewing, sewing. (Ok, you can change it if you want…) Candles glowing, glowing, glowing.

 

Cookies baking, baking, baking. What is taking, taking, taking soooooo long?
————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 0-5+
Goal: To improve expressive Language
Name of Activity: The toy shop
Materials: pictures and items described in song’s lyrics.
Method: Show sing and do. Leave off the last word in the phrase for the children to supply.
Adaptations: This song needs updating. Go for it. The italic words can be adjusted. Get pics from a catalog.
Also this is a good song to start a discussion about what kids want for Christmas/Chanukah/you name it.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Up on the House top
Words:
Here is a window in the toy shop. Here’s a balloon that goes pop.
Here is a top that spins in a ring. Here is a bird that can sing.
Here is a soldier who can walk. Here is a doll that can talk.
Here is a funny jumping jacks man. Here’s a sleeping raggity Ann.
Say goodbye to the toys. Shhh, quiet. No more noise.
————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 0-5 +
Goal: Kids will perform the motions and/or sing the song with the therapist. Good for Att’n span
Name of Activity: Chanukah Happy Holiday (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Materials:Song
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: Have the kids tell you what movement comes next. Go faster and slower. Best to end on a slow.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Words:
A
Chanukah, Chanuka. Happy Holiday. (Clap hands to the beat.)
E7
Chanukah, Chanukah. Happy Holiday. (Tap knees.)
A
Chanukah, Chanukah Spin your dreiydel fast. (Spin arms.)
D
Round and around and around and around. (Stand up, spin around once and sit!)
E7 A.
Till it drops at last.
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Age: 0-5+
Goal: to improve language skills. Vocabulary of winter clothing items.
Name of Activity: Baby, it’s cold outside. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Materials: song, and picture of a snowman wearing the items specified.
Method: Show, sing, and do.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: Verse of “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
C Dm G7
Words: I’ll put on my coat………..Zip it up to my throat.
C C7
I’ll put on my hat and my scarf like that t-t-t-t-t-t-t-. (Imitate a snare pattern.)
F D7 GsusG
I’ll put a boot on my foot. And another boot on my foot.
C C7 F Fm C
I’ll put mittens (gloves) on my hands – ‘cause baby, it’s cold outside.
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Age: 0-5+
Goal: to improve language skills
Name of Activity: A chubby little Snowman
Materials: a picture of a snowman, words
Method: Kids sing song and perform motions
Adaptations: Test the kid’s comprehension by asking them questions related to the story. It’s funny.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Tune of “Miss Lucy had a steamboat…. the steamboat had a bell…”
Words:
A chubby little snowman had a carrot for a nose. (Move arms and hands to indicate a big round belly, then touch nose.) Along came a bunny and what do you suppose. (Hold two fingers up for the bunny, bounce hand up and down, then shrug your shoulders.) The hungry little bunny was looking for some lunch. (Rub your belly and then hold hand out over your eyebrows to search.) He ate the snowman’s carrot nose. Nibble, nibble, crunch. (Motion grabbing
the snowman’s nose.)
————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 0-5
Goal: To improve expressive language of “things we see in winter.”
Name of Activity: Snow on the Hat
Materials: lyrics, guitar, pictures objects mentioned in song
Method: Show the children the pictures and sing the lyrics leaving out the last word. The children fill in that word and eventually sing each sentence.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Source: unknown book full of language poems and pictures like this one.
Words, chords, solfedge: Tune: Twinkle, twinkle- Turkey in the straw- Shortnin’ bread.
Chords are for Turkey in the Straw medody.
C G7
There’s snow on the hat. Snow on the suit. Snow on the mittens. Snow on the boot.
C F G C
There’s snow on the sled and snow on the tree. Snow on the mountain/hill. Snow on me.
C F G C
There’s snow on the house. Snow on the stairs. Snow on the window. There’s snow everywhere.
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (expressive)
Name of Activity: I love You (works for Valentine’s day or any other time of the year.)
Objective: Children sing and understand the humor of the song. Discussion may follow.
Materials: song
Method: sing. Puppets, pictures may help. I pair this with the preceeding song and it does wonders.
Adaptations: (optional) Discuss what is silly about the lyrics. Think (or have pictures of) things with shells and insert them into lyrics.
Help kids understand the difference between big and little.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: I love you. I love you. I love you so well. If I had a turtle, I’d put you in the shell.
Sol do do ti re re ti re re do me do mi mi mi fa fa fa mi mi re re do.
C G C C7 F C G C

 

Goal Area: Language (following directions)
Name of Activity: Clapping Like a Leprechaun
Objective: Kids follow the sequence of movements specified in the lyrics.
Materials: song. Kids.
Method: MT performs song for children. She then asks them to join in on each separate step. The entire song is performed.
Adaptations: (optional) MT can ask children to describe the current motion. They can say what movement comes next. Perform slowly then faster each subsequent time. End on a quiet round.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the Irish Washwoman
Lyrics: 1.Clapping like a leprechaun. (Arms) round and around and around and on.
Tap your knees and give a squeeze. The leprechaun is gonna sneeze! Achooooo!
  1. Jumping like a leprechaun. Around and around and around and on.Age: 0-5..Goal Area: Receptive and Expressive languageName of Activity: John the Leprechaun Objective: Children will discuss the absurdities in the lyrics. Materials: The Leprechaun adapted from “Old Dan Tucker” by Margie La Bella (Check out the melody on youtube.)

    Method: Sing. Discuss.

    Adaptations: (optional) If March 17th is not near, then change the name to anything you want.

    Have the children write new lyrics with their own absurdities. Have pictures available.

    The chorus is good for oro-motor skills and vocalization and the verses for language.

    Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

    Lyrics,chords, music, solfege…:

     

    C G C

    Chorus: Eya, ha, hah. Eyo, ho, ho. (repeat)

    mi sol sol mi re do

     

    C F C G C

    Verses 1. John, John the leprechaun. Went to school with one shoe on. (to chorus.)

    1. He went to bed in a coffee can. He washed his face in a frying pan.
    2. He combed his hair with a wheel. He got a headache in his heel.
    3. He took a bath in a lake. He brushed this teeth with a rake.
    4. He wore his socks on his head. He washed his clothes in his bed.
    5. He played outside on a chair. He washed the table with his hair.

     

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (following directions)
Name of Activity: Clapping Like a Leprechaun
Objective: Kids follow the sequence of movements specified in the lyrics.
Materials: song. Kids.
Method: MT performs song for children. She then asks them to join in on each separate step. The entire song is performed.
Adaptations: (optional) MT can ask children to describe the current motion. They can say what movement comes next. Perform slowly then faster each subsequent time. End on a quiet round.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the Irish Washwoman (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Lyrics: 1.Clapping like a leprechaun. (Arms) round and around and around and on.
Tap your knees and give a squeeze. The leprechaun is gonna sneeze! Achooooo!
  1. Jumping like a leprechaun. Around and around and around and on.
Slide and slide and point your toe. St. Paddy’s day is near you know! (alternate: pat your thighs and clap for the last phrase.)
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Self-esteem, body parts, language
Name of Activity: There’s no one else like me
Objective: Children sing and/or perform the motions in this song
Materials: none
Method: sing and do
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com source unknown
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used

 

C F G7 C
There’s no one else quite like me. (repeat.)
sol do mi r e fa mi do
F C G7 C
Like me (clap, clap, clap) like me (clap, clap, clap) There’s no one else like me (clap, clap, clap.) -(repeat.)
do fa fa mi mi re fa mi do mi

 

G C G C
From the top of my head all the way to my toes. From the back of my ears to the tip of my nose.
Ti do re re re sol re re mi mi mi do Ti do re re re sol re re mi mi mi do

 

Repeat line two and end. Substitute the word “I’m “ for the word “like.”
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Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory attention and discrimination
Name of Activity: One potato, two potato
Objective: Children will tap a tambourine or drum at the same volume as the therapist chants.
Materials: drum or tambourine, lyrics
Method: Therapist chants the rhyme singing either loudly or softly. Child taps instrument at same dynamic level.
Adaptations: (optional) You can keep the potato lyrics or substitute any name or character you want.
For holidays, tape a picture of an associated character on the drum.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Chant:
One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato more!

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Social Skills: parallel and cooperative play
Name of Activity: share the drum
Objective: Children will share the drum, (wait for, take, and relinquish turns.)
Materials: drum, possibly two sticks. (I use pencils or plastic spoons.)
Method: Place one large drum between two children
Adaptations: Use home made drums, or a large tambourine.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Melody: Froggie went a-courtin (Check out the melody on youtube.)
C F G C F C
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. (or any sound you’d like them to create.)
C F C G C G
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.
C F C D7 F7
Name and Name you share the drum. Make that thing go bum-bum-bum.
C F G C F C
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.
——————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory Memory
Name of Activity: Echo Me
Objective: Children will echo short rhythmic phrases as demonstrated by therapist.
Materials: Drum, tambourine, other interesting instrument.
Method: Therapist plays a short rhythm on the drum and asks child to repeat.
Adaptations: Young children will have to learn what repeating/doing the same means. I teach this by first echoing them and prompting them to echo me. If this doesn’t work, I do something physical like tickle, knock, or poke on the drum and encourage the same. (This is a great memory activity in and of itself!)If children’s responses are inaccurate or inconsistent , I add another sense (tactile) to the experience by setting the drum on the child’s lap and/or vocalizing either “boom,” “knock-knock,” or “ho, ho, ho.” This usually works. Always end up on a successful turn, by modeling something you know the child can do.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Chant something like: Johnny come up 1,2,3! Do the same thing after me.
———————————————————————————————————————————
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory, also awareness of sound and silence, impulse control, following (verbal and non-verbal directions)
Name of Activity: Dance and Sit
Objective: Children will dance when the music plays and sit down when the music stops
Materials: lyrics, guitar, children and chairs
Method: MT sings the words and encourages the children to jump. Children hurry to their seats when the music suddenly stops.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, melody used: tune – Mexican hat dance. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Words: D A7
We are all jumping beans, and we really like to Jump!
A7 D
We are all jumping beans, and we really like to Jump!
D A7 We jump and jump and jump. All over the place we jump. We jump and jump and jump. All over the place we jump.

 

D G D D G A
La la la la la la la la la lah. La la la la la la la la la lah.
A G A D
La la la la la la la la la lah. La la la la la la la la la lah
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Expressive language, and good hygene.
Name of Activity: I’ve got a cold in my nose
Objective: children vocalize “ah-choo” and say and/or point to their nose. (Kids think these noises are funny and will often vocalize.)
Materials: I’ve got a cold in my nose – anybody know the source of these lyrics??
Method: Sing along and encourage the objective
Adaptations: (optional) see verse two.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, melody: I use another melody but it works well with “Popeye the Sailor man” (Check out the melody on youtube.)
D A D G A D
I’ve got a cold in my nose “ahh-chooo! ”I ‘ve got a cold in my nose “ahh-chooo!”
G D A D
I went to the doctor to see what to do. The doctor said, “I have one, too.” Ah-choo! Ah-choo!

 

Here’s a verse about coughing: I’ve got a cough in my mouth. I’ve got a cough in my mouth.
I drove in my car (beep, beep) and traveled down south.
And now I’ve got this cough in my mouth!
And about hiccups: What do you do about hiccups? What do you do with these hiccup?
You could shout a big “boo” or “this is a stick-up” (you try to rhyme the word hiccup! Ok, you can change it.)
I don’t know what to do with these hiccups!

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: expressive language and vocalization
Name of Activity: Matilda the Gorilla
Objective: Kids will sing the vowels “ooh” and “ah.”
Materials: lyrics and children
Method: Sing and encourage any vocalizaiton
Adaptations: Children can jump or clap etc. during the verses.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
( This song is amazingly successful. It is “magic” with the children. They “all” respond well to it. Does anybody know who wrote it???)
C G F C C F C G
  1. I had a pet gorilla and her name it was Matilda. Matilda loved to sing songs every day. This is what Matilda
    mi………….fa mi re. re mi fa fa fa solfami sol …………………… .la sol fa fa mi ………………re
C
the gorilla would say.
re miredo do do.
C G F C C F C
Chorus: Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Singin’ Ooh,
Mi mi mi re re re fa fa fa mi mi mi sol sol sol fa fa fa do re mi mi
G C
ooh, ah, ah, ah.

 

  1. We went walking through the park. The people would laugh…and the dogs would bark.
They never understood what Matilda would sing. Cause she was singing her gorilla thing.

 

3. Finally the circus man came along. He said “Matilda, I know where you belong. “
Now in the circus, you can see Matilda and her gorilla family.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language
Name of Activity: Out of the Egg
Objective: Improve vocab of body parts, expressive language, vocalization, awareness of low to high and back down to low
Materials: Song, possible pictures and/or puppets
Method: sing and do. We begin crunched down on the floor and work our way up phrase by phrase. At the end we peep down to the ground.
Adaptations: (optional) Stop singing at the end of the phrases and wait for the children to fill in the last word.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Each line goes up a scale note.
Words: Peck, peck, peck on the warm brown egg. ….. Up comes a neck. ….. Out comes a leg.
Here comes a wing with a ………flap, flap, flap……… Happy Easter/spring…….. everybody. ……. What do you think of that?
Then sing down the scale: peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep. Shhhhhhhh! (You can use bak, bak, or other bird sound.)

 

Age: 0-5 +
Goal Area: Receptive language, memory, attention and motor skills
Name of Activity: The Bunny Hop
Objective: Children perform the sequence of movements in the song.
Materials: Kids, live or recorded group-appropriate instrumental version of the “bunny hop” , lyrics, dancing space
Method: Have children stand in a circle. Model each motion and encourage participation. Sing or play the song and act out the motions.
Adaptations: Write you own silly song about a pet. To stimulate vocalization, make all the sound effects the song suggests.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Words: First you wiggle your nose. Then you move your ears. Then you shake your tail and you go hop, hop, hop. (repeat 3x)
During the musical interlude (between the verses), hold hands and circle right then circle left. (Do what fits.)
Age: -5+
Goal Area: Expressive language
Name of Activity: You can’t make a turtle come out.
Objective: To elicit language
Materials: A puppet turtle works wonders. I pair this with the following song often.
Method: Crunch puppet together to simulate a turtle. Have the children shout “come out!” several times to coax the shy turtle. How long can they stretch their sentences. Sometimes I even get “Come out of your shell right now!” But, he only comes out when he hears the word “please?”
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Popeye the sailor man
Chords: C F C F G C
Lyrics: You can’t make a turtle come out. You can’t make a turtle come out.
F C G C G7 C
You can shake him all over or tickle or shout, but you can’t make a turtle come out. Come out!!
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (expressive / oro-motor and receptive)
Name of Activity: I love to watch the river flow by Laurie Berkner’s Rocketship CD (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Objective: Children will vocalize during the chorus and perform the directions presented during the verses.
Materials: Lyrics and children (see videos)
Method: Sing the song and encourage to vocalize during the chorus. (A toy/real mic will help.) Model the directions given through the verse.
Adaptations: (optional) Make it an artic song and put various consonants before the vowell/s, vary the one-step direction.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

Walk Along The River (look under the video section)
D
When I walk along the river (I take a step, I take a step, I take another step) [repeat 2x: starting on C then D] C G D I love to watch the river flow 2x chorus G D A7 D It goes ooh wah ooh wah Ooh wah ooh wah Ooh wah ooh wah ooh wah ooh. [Repeat once, but end on G chord, not D.] Verse 2: When I Jump Along the river…. Verse 3: When I dance along the river…. ———————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 0-5 and up
Goal Area: Language and auditory processing
Name of Activity: Hot Potato
Objective: Children take turns being it: answering questions and playing the xylophone
Materials: prepared questions appropriate for group, xylophone
Method: Play a song meaningful to the group, and have the children pass a maraca around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the maraca must answer a question. Invite the speech therapist into this process if you can. (If the group is non-verbal, have the child follow a direction.) That child then goes to the center of the circle and plays the xylophone while the process is repeated. Continue until everyone has had a turn answering questions and playing the xylophone.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Sing to any age-appropriate song. An non-fascinating example is as follows:
Tune: Wheels on the Bus, or any other kid song. As you see the words are easy to adapt.
Lyrics:
C G C
Shake the maraca and pass it down. Pass it down. Pass it down. Shake the maraca and pass it down.
G C
Until the music stops.

 

———————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 4-5 +
Goal Area: socialization (also great for expressive/receptive language)
Name of Activity: The princess
Objective: Kids act out the story
Materials: lyrics and hats for the princess, witch(es) and princ(es), bells for the bushes (bushes will stand around P. and pretend to grow.)
Method: Act out these lyrics and see what ensues.
Adaptations: Draw or create pictures and sing the words as a language activity. Have kids put the pictures in order (sequencing.)
Let the kids make up a few verses. Does anyone know where this song comes from?
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Possible seated motions.
  1. There was a lovely princess, a princess, a princess. There was a lovely princess- a long time ago.
(Point to hair and show it’s beauty.)
  1. She lived up in a castle, a castle, a castle. She lived up in a castle – a long time ago.
(Hold hands overhead, touching fingertips.)
  1. An old witch came to see her, to see her, to see her. An old witch came to see her – a long time ago.
(Make a face, slump over, wiggle fingers.)
  1. She make her prick her finger, her finger, her finger. She make her prick her finger- a long time ago.
(Act this out.)
  1. The princess fell asleep, asleep asleep. The princess fell asleep- a long time ago.
(Act this out. You may snore.)
  1. The bushes grew around her, around her, around her. The bushes grew around her- a long time ago.
( Act like a growing bush: with arms/ hands.)
  1. A handsome prince came riding………………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Tap knees.)
  1. He cut down all the bushes……………………………………………………………………………..- a long time ago.
( Kids tend to make pretend buzz saws)
  1. He woke the sleeping princess……………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Shake your arms, or blow kiss/say ew.)
  1. They had a happy party…………………………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Do a raise the roof motion with arms.)

 

Chords: G C G7 C G7 C G7 C
Melody: 1. There was a lovely princess, a princess, a princess. There was a lovely princess- a long time ago.
Sol la s fa -re do mi mi re fa fa mi sol sol la so fa re do mi mi sol sol solmi.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN AGES 6-12 by musictherapytunes.com

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: social skills (but also physical and language skills, too.)
Name of Activity: Two step directions
Objective: Clients will take turns naming ways to move and then moving in those ways- two movements per verse.
Materials: “ Two-step directions” adapted from “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair,” from South Pacific
Method: Ask two children to think of a way to move and incorporate their suggestions into the song lyrics. Give everyone a turn.
Adaptations: provide an entire verse for one child/motion. Make different classifications of movements such as “how can you move your hands,” or
Show me a slow way to move,” or “how do you move when you’re sad.” Of course you can pick a different melody if you like.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: An example of this would be: (providing you reflect the childrens answers.)
(G) C C/B C/A C/G Dm G7
I’m gonna clap my hands and turn around. (repeat two more times.) Good job Manuel and James.
So la it do do do do domi re do mi sol sol fa la so

 

Age: Open for ALL ages
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Socialization, also language
Name of Activity: “Good morning to you” by Greg and Steve on the CD “We all live together. Vol 2” Hear a sample at amazon
Objective: Kids will sing the song with you.
Materials: Song
Method: MT sings the first greeting and the kids sing the second. Repeat and continue.
Adaptations: (optional) Share an instrument and sing in pairs, Change the words to “Good afternoon, good afternoon to everyone. Our class is beginning so let’s have some fun. Good afternoon. Good afternoon to everyone. Substitute a name exchange back and forth ie: “Good morning to Gregory” “Good morning miss Margie.” (repeat) Gregory you can play it then pass it down the line. Give it to Evelyn. Greg you did just fine.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: “Good Morning” by Greg and Steve in “We all live together. Vol 2”

 

D G D D G D A Bm F#m Asus A D G D D G D A
Good morning. Good morning. Good morning to you. (repeat) Our day is beginning there’s so much to do. Good morning. Good morning. Good
sol la sol sol la sol mi re re sol sol so la mi la sol mi sol sol fa me re sol la sol sol la sol mi

 

A D
morning to you.
Fa me re do
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: academics – connecting a letter with a sound, first letter sound of a given name, learning names of classmates.
Name of Activity: “If your name begins with the letter I sing” as in Nocera’s book song title is “Letters and Names”
Objective: child stands when the first letter of his/her name is sung and follows the one-step direction.
Materials:“If your name begins with the letter I sing” as in Nocera’s “Letters and Names”
Method: Sing the song to one child in the group at a time.
Adaptations: (optional) Have the children use various cognitive abilities. Use to teach colors, numbers, group similarities and differences, birthdays addresses, whatever. More than one child may stand in these cases. Work anything you need into the lyrics. Vary the accompaniment at level and age dictate. It might look like this “If you’re a boy with a square block jump up and down….. jump and take a bow.”
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
(A7) D G D A
If your name begins with the letter M, stand up. (rest rest) Stand up (rest rest)
So sol do do do do do do do do fa mi do re.
D G D D A D
If your name begins with the letter M, stand up and take a bow.
So sol do do do do do do do do fa mi do re ti do fa mi do re ti do.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Halloween: Language, syllables, patterns and other auditory skills
Name of Activity: Trick or Treat
Objective: Children participate and sing along. Also a nice set of lyrics for auditory drills via instruments.
Materials: lyrics and instruments
Method: sing and play
Adaptations: (optional) Yes. Sing the chorus and rather than play the verses, have the kids suggest Halloween characters and then play
(and/or speak) the syllables as a rhythm pattern. You can also group characters ie: ghost ghost x-men ghost (this would sound like titi tah.)
Have the kids play and stop with you, go fast and slow, loud and soft……..
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
From the site perpetualpreschool.com:
Melody: Jingle Bells
C F G C
Dashing through the street meeting goblins as we go, wearing contour sheets, wishing it would snow.
C F G C
Bells on doorbells ring making spirits bright. What fun it is to come and sing and get some food tonight.
C F C D G
Oh-Trick-or-Treat, trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat we say. Try to get some treats before the end of the day (or ghost takes us away, if you choose.)
C F C G C
Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat trick -or-treat we say. If you don’t have treats for us we’ll never go away.

 

Age: 6-12 and younger.
Goal Area: expressive language
Name of Activity: Ed the Ogre. I use this at Halloween, but you certainly can change the character to dinosaurs or other large creatures.
Objective: Children echo the short phrases. You can also discuss the humor of the song.
Materials: song. You can simplify the words if need be.
Method: Explain what an echo song is. Sing it and have children repeat as a group or individually. Using a microphone really ups the participation!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com Source unknown.
Melody: You can get by on: Do to mi and Do to lower la. Pick any melody you like. Rap it. I stick in a chorus of “Oh No!” 3x and end on oh, no no!
Words: 1. Ed the Ogre (repeat) sat down for lunch. (repeat.) He grabbed some toes (repeat) and went crunch crunch crunch. (repeat)
2.Ed the Ogre said mmm, these are nice. These toes are tasty, but they need some spice.
Ed the Ogre gave a great moan. He said “I thought these were your toes, but they’re my own!”
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Age: 6-adult
Goal Area: social/emotional, cognitive/academic
Name of Activity: “Beach Ball”
Objective: People answer questions when they catch the ball.
Materials: age appropriate music, and a beach ball, iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: This is a dressed up, MT variation of “hot potato”
Procedure: When music begins, clients will toss ball back and forth. When MT stops the music, the ball stops moving. The person left holding the ball when the music stops will be asked a question. The question asked will depend on the functioning level of the patient and the goals you are working on in that group. The patients I will see tomorrow are generally low functioning adults. I may ask questions like, “What kind of things can you find at the beach?” or “Name another song that the Beach Boys sang.” If I am working on self-concept with children, I might ask them to name one thing they like about themselves.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
————————————————————————————————————————-
Age: 6-12+
Goal: cooperation
Name of Activity: The Twelve Days of Whatever (you’d like.) First day of school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Arbor day….Vacation.
Materials: Pen and paper, instruments to accompany each verse and represent each character.
Method: Write it. Assign instrument parts. Have the students play when their character is mentioned.
Draw pictures to symbolize each part of the song and each corresponding instrument.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Melody: the 12 days of Christmas
Sample words: On the first day of Halloween my ghoulfriend gave to me.
1. An owl in a haunted tree. (The instrument could be a whistle, blowing into a bottle, an ocarina….)
2. Two trick-or-treaters (Say it in an obnoxious voice.)
3. Three scary skeletons (play a guiro or clatterpillar)
Make up your own with your own creatures.
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Dinosaur Feelings (also can be used at Halloween or with animals and other characters.) The kids always like this one.
Objective: Kids act out the feelings mentioned in the song. A discussion can follow about what makes them feel various ways.
Materials: song, can have pictures of various emotions
Method: Sing. Act. Discuss.
Adaptations: Kids can draw their different faces and hold them up.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com source unknown
Tune: Twinkle Twinkle. I sing it in a minor key. Use a different tune of your choice.
Words: Dinosaurs short. Dinosaurs tall. Scarey, friendly, and that’s not all.
Some feel happy. Some feel sad. Some feel scared and some feel mad!
We like dinosaurs here and there. We like dinosaurs everywhere.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Halloween– Expressive language, vocal inflection and imitation, conceptual
Name of Activity:
Objective: Kids echo the short phrases. Kids move as the song suggests. Kids modify their voices as the song suggests.
Materials: song, optional mic
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: This one is chanted. Source unknown.

 

The silliest thing (echo) I’ve ever seen (echo etc.) is wacky old witch on a flying machine.
The witch flew high. The witch flew low. The witch flew fast. The witch flew slow.
The witch flew up. The witch flew down She circles all around the town.
Then turning left and turning right, she disappeared into …the…night.
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Comprehension
Name of Activity: The Witches
Materials: just the poem
Method: The reader reads the poem and the actors act out what the words describe.
Adaptations: Find a scary instrumental recording and use it for auditory atmosphere. Make you own scary music to use in the background.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.communicate
Source: Anonymous (really!)
Song: This is a poem but it can be sung to the tune of “Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you…”
The sky is dark. the stars are bright. The moon is shining too.
Inside a cave the witches meet to mix their favorite brew.

 

They light a fire and when it flames they fetch a big black pot.
They fill it up with lizard’s blood and wait until it’s hot.

 

Each one had brought a magic charm to put into the stew.
A spider’s web, a fairy’s wing, a beetle leg or two.

 

They take a stick and bending low they stir the mixture round.
they rub their fingers, old and cramped and stamp upon the ground.

 

Their wizened faces grin with glee as round the pot they prance.
Their sharp eyes glisten in the dark. . Their cloaks swirl as they dance.

 

They drink and then into the sky on broomsticks swift and light.
They cackle hoarsely as they fly and soon are out of sight.
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation, working as a team
Name of Activity: Indians (change as you wish.) Sound Poem
Materials: Drums (2) cymbols, whistle, sand blocks
Method: Review the poem with the kids. Assign each child (or group thereof) an instrument. Kids play their instruments at specific times providing a musical background for the poem.
Source: Byrd Baylor (I think)
Adaptations: If the children can not read, make up drawings whereby they can
read” the sequence of instruments. Put your own instrumentation in. Record it.
Draw pictures and make a video.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com

 

Ka-trum. Katrum. Ka-trum. (drum 1) When Buffalo run (drum 2)
They darken the sun. (cymbal) They cover the sky as they pass by. (drum2)
Tall grasses lie flat (sandblocks) and wild birds cry. (whistle)
And dry earth trembles as they pass by. (drum1)
Native Americans stay quiet as the grass. (sandblocks)
Quiet as the shadows where buffalo pass. (drum2)
Until the zing of an arrow (cymbal) and the shish of a spear (slide whistle)
tell you they must be somewhere near….. (all read/say together.)
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation
Name of Activity: Native American Sound Poem (Works well with Thanksgiving)
Materials: poem, guiro, bells, clatterpillar, drum, sand blocks.
Method: Speaker reads the poem, instrumentalists play their instruments at the specified time. Jam up a melody for it.
Namely, after each sentence.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Source: Carol Bitcom
Instrumentation: Moccasins-guirro, bells, fire-clatterpillar, drums, brushes-sandblocks
Words: Get your….
Moccasins creeping. Ankle bells ringing. Fire spitting. Drums beating. Brushes swishing.
Here We have a tale to tell.
Moccasins creeping. Bells ringing. Fire spitting. Drums beating . Brushes swishing
What will happen? None of Us know.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 6-12 and younger for Chanukkah
Goal: Socialization and following directions. Takes patience and fine motor skills too.
Name of Activity: Spin the musical dreidl.
Materials: a dreile with pictures of instruments taped to it. Enough instruments to go ‘round.
Method: Children spin the driedle and then take the corresponding instrument.
Adaptations: For a larger class, have 2 dreidles. I sometimes call this activity the spin of acceptance game. So if the kids really want to totally choose their own instruments, I tell them they can do so next time- in a few minutes. If your kids can’t physically spin a dreidle, then stick some pictures to a cube shaped box and spin like a dice game.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Go ahead and sing whatever Chanukah song you like.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-10 (and under)
Goal: to improve knowledge of special relationships/prepositions.
Name of Activity: My ride with Santa
Materials: lyrics, and pictures depicting the lyrics.
Method: Show, sing and do. Leaving out the last word or key word in the sentence for the children to fill in elicits learning.
Adaptations: Have the children act out the lyrics.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.communicate
Source: unknown. Please let me know if you know!
Melody: Up on the Housetop
C F G
Words: Over the treetops. Above (over) the house- I’m gonna help Santa steer.
C F g7 C
Between the mountains. Under the bridge- whoops, am I too near?

 

Around a corner, into a cloud fly fast you fleet footed dear.
Under the moon and around a star. Listen, can you hear?
Beneath the bells and past the brook the night is cold and clear.
Down the chimney while I’m in bed dreaming of good cheer.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal: To improve auditory comprehension
Name of Activity: The Snowball
Materials: song
Method: Sing and do motions. Discuss what really happened here. Talk about ice melting and more.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Source: unknown
Melody: Verse of “I’m getting’ nuttin’ for Christmas,” or a 4/4 version of “Clemintine.”
Words: I made myself a snowball as perfect as could be. I thought I’d keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas and a pillow for it’s head. Then last night it ran away, but first it wet the bed.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal: To improve verbal language and to allow the children to contribute to the song lyrics.
Name of Activity: What we do in Winter time.”
Materials: song, and pictures things people do in the Wintertime.
Method: Familiarize the children with the song. Ask them what they do in the winter and incorporate their responses.
You can act out the verses if you wish.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody:” I heard the bells on Christmas day” Note- you can sing this song all winter long.
E A B7
Words: I made a snowman out of snow in winter time, in winter time.
E A B7 E
I made a snowman out of snow in winter time when it’s cold out. Brrrrrrrrrr.
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Age: 6-12-
Goal Area: Language (correction of absurdities.)
Name of Activity: Tiny Tim
Objective: Children will correct the impossibilities mentioned in the song lyrics.
Materials: Kids. Song.
Method: Sing. Discuss what’s silly with the song. Discuss healthy things to eat and drink, and hygene.
Adaptations: Write you own silly song about a pet. To stimulate vocalization, make all the sound effects the song suggests.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Miss Lucy had a baby/steamboat
Lyrics: I had a little turtle. His name was tiny Tim. I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim. He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap.
And he burped last night from a bubble in his throat.
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Age: 6-12 (Also works for 3-5s)
Goal Area: Understanding of opposites
Name of Activity: Two little blackbirds
Objective: Kids will sing and dramatize the lyrics
Materials: Song. Kids. Objects with the qualities mentioned in the lyrics can help foster understanding.
Method: Sing. Act out. Have the kids come up with their own opposite verses. Any animal will do. Use puppet, too.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com Source unknown.
Melody: ABC song
1. Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill. One named Jack and one named Jill. Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill. Come back Jack. Come back Jill.
  1. Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud. One was quiet and the other was loud. Fly away quiet. Fly away loud. Come back quiet. Come back loud.
  2. Two little blackbirds shopping at the mall. One was large (big) and the other was small….
  3. …………………………..were getting very old. One was hot and the other was cold…………..
  4. ………..sitting on a stick. One was healthy and the other was sick……..
  5. ………..sitting on a kite. One was heavy and the other was light….
  6. ……….Henry and Moe. One was fast and the other was slow…..
  7. ……Buffy and Brad. One was happy and the other was sad.
  8. ……doing the hop. One liked to wiggle and other liked to stop. ….
  9. …feeling rather grand. One liked to sit and the other liked to stand……
Age: 6-12+/-
Goal Area: Auditory attention and discrimination
Name of Activity: Partner eggs (you can use another shape container.)
Objective: Kids find an egg that sounds just their own
Materials: Prepared eggs. Buy hollow Easter eggs and fill with items that make distinct sounds.
Examples include paper clips, rice, rocks, jingle bells, cotton, sand……Make two or three of each.
Method: Shake each egg for the group and show them what is inside. Then just shake and ask the class to tell you what is in each egg.
Give them a set of eggs then have them match their egg-sound to your own. The trickiest level is to give everyone an egg and ask them to find the same sound. The reward is an egg shaking song for everyone!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com Source unknown.
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: social skills (leading and following)
Name of Activity: Shadow music. Great for Groundhog’s day.
Objective: Clients take turns going behind the screen and having the rest of the group imitate their movement/dancing.
Materials: overhead projector or other light source, sheet, music of a variety of styles.
Method:
Adaptations: “Greg and Steve” have a song called “Just like Me,” which is great for this. This activity is great for groundhog’s day.
Try it with short excerpts from a variety of musical styles, genres, orchestrations, and time periods. This is good for helping to establish
a relationship between what is heard and a related physical response.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Cognitive (Attention span)
Name of Activity: Chester
Objective: Kids perform the movements while singing the song.
Materials: Chester
Method: Kids keep up.
Adaptations: for increased auditory discrimination try singing loudly, softly, quickly, slowly, with various emotions.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
melody used: Yankee Doodle

 

lyrics: Chester have you heard about Harry. – Just got back from the army. I hear he knows how to wear a rose.
Motions: touch chest then ear…….. hair. Chest then back arm-then self .Ear nose circle finger near

 

Hip-hip- hooray for the army.
Touch 2 hips………… .arm-self.
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Cognitive (attention span) Very similar to previous song.
Name of Activity: Tony Chestnut
Objective: Same as above
Materials: Kids keep up
Method: Sing it. (Of course the boys may get carried away with this one.)
Adaptations: for increased auditory discrimination try singing loudly, softly, quickly, slowly, with various emotions.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Melody used: “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” Chords: Am/// G/// Am/// G/Am/
Lyrics: To-ni Chest-nut knows I love her. Repeat 2 more times. That’s what To-ni knows.
Motions: Point to your toe-knee (Toni) chest-head nose self- heart -point over there.
Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Cognitive (numbers and preposition/spacial relationships)
Name of Activity: Going over the Sea
Objective: Students review numbers, and concepts of over, under, backwards, forward
Materials: Song “Going over the Sea”
Method: Sing song and act out the chorus. Motions: show finger numbers. Act out the activity. While seated, “jump” with your feet, then put your hands together like a boat, then give a salute. For the chorus, place both hands in the specified position.
Adaptations: Draw or get simple pictures of each verse. Make up your own verses.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Make up your own or use this one.
G C G7 C
  1. When I was one I ate a bun going over the sea.
sol do do do mi sol mi do re re sol la ti do.

 

I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me, ( Use the same melody/chords)
C G C
Chorus: Going over, going under, going backward, going forward. Stand at attention like a soldier with a 1, 2, 3!”.
sol ti do mi (same………………………………………………………………………………………………….sol la do do do.

 

2. When I was two I played with glue -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
3. When I was three I hugged a tree. -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
4. When I was four I knocked at the door -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
5. When I was five I learned to dive -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
  1. When I was six I learned to mix -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
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Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation, group contribution and participation.
Name of Activity:
Materials: Silence (a sound poem)
Method: The group creates background music/ sound effects after each line of the poem is read.
Adaptations: Have the group read it emphasizing the last word of each sentence in a way that relates to that word. Certainly, you can create your own image and sound poem.
Source: Eve Merriam – The inner city mother goose
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Hark, Hark the dogs do bark. The neighbors yell. The babies cry. The busses grind. The bongs bong.
The telephones ring. The jet plans fly. The car horns honk. The taxis screech. The radio’s on. The TV’s high.
The rock and roll pours from the CD stores. The subway roars. The old women mutter in the gutter.
The rats squeak. The flies buzz. Only the roaches quietly crawl.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression (verbal and non-verbal)
Name of Activity: Cinquain
Objective: Clients write and play a short sound poem
Materials: interesting instruments
Method: Name your topic. Examples are: things we wish for, things we like, things we dislike, things we want….. Teach the students what a cinquain is and help them to write one. Students choose an instrument to represent their cinquain. They read/sing and accompany their poem. Discuss.
Adaptations: The students play while the therapist reads.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
A cinquain is a five line poem. The first line is one word. The next line consists of two words elaborating on line one.
The third line is three words long. Fourth line is four words, and the fifth line is one word.
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: cognitive and social
Name of Activity: Musical sign Bingo
Objective: Clients learn about musical signs and notes. See adaptations. They play the game patiently and accept their own or someone else’s winning.
Materials: Home-made or prepared music bingo cards and place markers.
Method: Play Musical Bingo and use a favorite song as the prize.
Adaptations: Use this format to teach rhythm instruments, or band/orch instruments!! Use to teach everyday environmental sounds.
This is a big auditory discrimination goal! It takes some effort to prepare the sounds, but it’ll be worth your while.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: language arts
Name of Activity: Musical Madlibs
Objective: Kids will provide nouns, verbs, colors, numbers, and more upon therapist request
Materials: Familiar song with key words removed. (Write down the part of speech you will request for each deleted word. This really helps.)
Method: Ask the students a variety to “wh” questions and for parts of speech, incorporate into song.
Adaptations: We all know how we used to play this game. Tell the kids to keep it “clean!”
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords: Of your choice. Here’s a mundane example. Also works well with holiday songs.
Try it with a song that the kids know already.
Oh, Susanna!
I came from ___________ with a ____________on my knee.
(a restaurant) (fav. instrument)
I’m going to _____________. My ____________for to see.
(a place you want to be) (fav. person)
Oh, ______________ won’t you ____________ for me.
(name) (verb)
I’m going to _____________ with a ______________on my knee.
(place) (instrument)
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: language and social skills
Name of Activity: It’s time to say goodbye now
Objective: Clients will give eye contact to the therapist, sing the word “goodbye”, and wave.
Materials: adapted version of “I got a Feelin” ‘ by Black Eyed Peas (You can hear the melody on youtube)
Method: Sing and do
Adaptations: Mellow it up for preschool kids. The song is also good for sign language and to help kids give eye-contact and wave.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords:
C F
I’ve got a feelin’ that it’s time to say goodbye now.
Am
Yes it’s time to say goodbye now.
F C
It’s time to say good, good bye.

 

Age: 5-12-
Goal Area: Expressive language (also attention)
Name of Activity:The sound Song (please let me know the origin, if you have it!)
Objective: Kids make the sounds of the objects named in this song.
Materials: Song. Kids. Pictures would help but may not be necessary.
Method: Sing.
Adaptations: (optional) Let each child have a turn to supply one sound in the verse or song. Record it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: “Come everybody let’s all clap hands.” (from the Mexican folk song.) Aka: do do mi sol mi do it (la sol) ti ti re fa re ti do (la sol)
D A D
Words: The airplane it likes to go zoom, zoom, zoom. The drum it likes to go boom, boom, boom.
D A A7 D
The owl it likes to go who, who, whom. And the rhinoceros likes lots of room, room, room.
G D A7 DD7 G D A7 D
*Room, room, room, room- the rhinoceros likes lots of room. Room, room, room, room- the rhinoceros likes lots of room.

 

2. The camel- it has a big hump….., The bus -it likes to go bump….. The elephant it is so plump…..and the dinosaur likes to go stomp.
*Stomp, stomp stomp stomp- the dinosaur likes to go stomp……… (repeat>)

 

  1. The thunder it likes to go crash…. the water- it likes to go splash…The lightning it likes to go flash…. The potato it likes to go mash
*Repeat with potato as above.

 

  1. The car it likes to go beep….The snail it likes to go creep….Weeping willows like to go weep…..While I like to sleep….
    *Repeat with sleep as above.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression and social skills
Name of Activity: Here’s my name and what I like
Objective: Students will fill out a song form with their name and things they like/dislike.
Materials: Pages with song and blank spaces provided, pens, a variety of age-appropriate instruments.
Adaptations: Teacher takes down their answers and sings them if students are not able.
Method: Students fill out form, choose an instrument to accompany it with and perform their verse.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords: Kids can rap this or jam to any popular chord progression. Examples: Em-C- D repeated. Em-Dm repeated. Blues progression.
Words: My name is ________________. I said _______________is my name.
_______________________ is my favorite game.
I like___________________ think____________________is bad.
My song is _______________________ the best that I had.

 

Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression and social skills
Name of Activity: My music tells you how I feel
Objective: Students tell you how they are feeling, and portray that feeling on an instrument.
Materials: My music tells you how I feel by Margie La Bella
Method: Hand out paper and pencil. Students fill out the form and perform it for the class.
Adaptations: Class jams along with the student leader. Change up the words to reflect feeling toward a situation. Example: I feel real mad when they fight. Or I feel better when I play out my guitar. Do an introductory verse on “My music tells you how I feel” then get person-specific. Make a class verse.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Chords: Blues progression
Words:
My music tells you I feel ________. My music tells you I feel____________.
Feeling come and feeling go. But I’ll tell you this I know.
My music tells you I feel______________.

 

Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Academic (rhyming as a pre-reading skill.)
Name of Activity: Abracadabra – to hand out instruments.
Objective: Children come up to choose an instrument when they hear a word that rhymes with their name.
Materials: Words, and interesting instruments.
Method: Sing or chant the first three short phrases of the song, pausing before the fourth to allow the children to figure out whose name was rhymed.
Adaptations: This one works for kids who are into Harry Potter. Change the character as needed to foster the group’s interest.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Abracadabra, Abracada-_(say the child’s first name minus the first letter)
Whose turn is it? Must be ????? (Pause and let the child/ren finish or help them finish successfully.)
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Cognitive thinking skills
Name of Activity: Dance and freeze (problem solving, understanding prepositions.)
Objective: children will follow the directions given during the game.
Materials: Music that the kids are familiar with and enjoy (not too rowdy.)
Method: Tell the children that they are to move to the music and then freeze in the stated position when the music stops.
Adaptations: see below
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Up to you and the needs/preferences of your group.
Here are examples of how to get the game going:
  1. When the music stops, freeze behind your chair. ( Or other spacial relations.)
  2. ……………………………. put your head (foot, elbow or other body part) on your chair
  3. A combo version………. put your (part) under (or other preposition) your chair.
  4. Another combo ………..put one foot under your chair and the other on top.
  5. Freeze like a decided upon animal or character.
  6. Freeze near something yellow (or other color.)
  7. Freeze near something we eat at, or sharpen our pencils with, or where we hang out backpacks… or other object-function relationship.
  8. Try whatever you and/or the kids think up.

 

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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Social skills: leading, following, attending, contributing
Name of Activity: Conductor
Objective: Kids will play their instrument when the conductor points to them.
Materials: Instruments interesting to the students. I like to use tone bells or resonator bells with the fourth removed.
Method: Each student selects an instrument and one student is chosen to be the conductor. The conductor points to the different instrumentalists and they play until he puts his arm down or behind his back.
Adaptations: Exaggerated movements can mean to play loudly, small movements can mean soft. Related movements can signify fast,slow, long and short (poking the air) music. The game can also be done vocally, which is a blast and can help with expressiveness.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Emotional expression and language
Name of Activity: Singing with feeling
Objective: Kids name feelings and then act out bodily , facially, and vocally.
Materials: Any familiar kids song (ABCs, We all live in a yellow submarine, Bingo- it’s up to you and/or the kids.)
Method: Kids can pick a face or feeling and then sing the song while acting out the emotion
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email)
This activity works well with younger kids too. We don’t get to express certain emotions much in our culture-in a positive way. This activity
also tends to activate and focus a figity bunch of kids.
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Auditory skills (instrument discrimination) and social skills needed to play the game (turn taking, waiting, impulse control…..)
Name of Activity: Hangman
Objective: Kids listen to recorded instruments, name the instrument, guess a letter, and listen to favorite song.
Materials: board to write on, CD of recorded instruments, a song to listen to as a reward.
Method: Therapist thinks of a word related to something the students are learning about, and puts one line for each letter on the top of the board.
Students take turns listening to an instrument and naming it. The other kids can help, if that is best. When this is done, the student guesses a letter. If correct, the therapist puts the letter where it fits on the word. If incorrect, s/he draws a circle on the board and begins to draw the body part by part. This sounds more gory than it is.
Adaptations: (optional) OK, in this day and age, you may want to change the name of this game from Hangman to something else and/or mark off the guesses in a different way. I’m up for suggestions. Haven’t played this one in a long time.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Whatever is meaningful to the students and their needs.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: social skills (non verbal communication)
Name of Activity: Wink-out or Zapper (in the old days it was called musical murder.)
Objective: Kids conform with rules of game and try to figure out who is “the Zapper”
Materials: tone bells
Method: Therapist passes out bells to each student. She puts one piece of paper for each student into a hat, writing the word “Zapper” on one piece of paper. Everyone begins to play their bells. The zapper systematically begins to wink at group members to Zap them out. When a player is zapped, he pretends to faint and falls over. The object of the game is for the students to guess the identity of the zapper. The game repeats.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Setting appropriate bounderies. (Anti-bullying./empathy)
Name of Activity: Don’t you push me down
Objective: Kids sing and discuss when probs occur, resultant feelings, and what can be done to remedy. Kids suggest lyrics to go into the chorus.
Materials: Song.
Method: Sing and have whatever discussions are possible
Adaptations: Roll play situations. Use puppets Draw them out. Make social stories. Switch the words up to make it more current.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: Jingle Bells Words: Woody Guthrie
C F G C
1. You can play with me and you can hold my hand. We can go together down to the ice cream man.
C F G C
You can wear my mommy’s shoes. You can wear my daddy’s hat. You can even laugh at me but don’t you push me down.
C G7
Chorus: Oh, don’t you push me, push me, push me. Don’t you push me down. (repeat, but play last chord: C)

 

  1. You can play with me. We can play all day. You can use my dishes, if you’ll put them away.
    You can feed me apples and oranges and plums, You can even wash my face but don’t you push me down.
    3. You can play with me and we can build a house. You can take my ball and bounce it all around.
    You can take my scates and ride them all around. You can even get mad at me but don’t you push me down!
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———Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities!———
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: cognitive
Name of Activity: Letters in the air
Objective: Children will either make pre-letter shapes in the air or actual letters.
Materials: props (see adaptations) children’s recorded song that offers a karaoke version, or familiar instrumental music.
Method: Come up with a movement or sequence of movements to do during the chorus and make letter shapes during the verses. Sing/chant
what you’re doing. Pre-letter shapes can include: horizontal lines, vertical lines, dots, circles, “bounces,” curves, criss-crosses, and more. (Ask the OT or classroom teacher.)
Adaptations: Use maracas or scarves. Use this activity to help the children so as to improve their skills such as crossing midline, following a shape, moving weaker muscles, following patterns and more. Again – ask the teacher or therapist what the kid’s needs are.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS AGES 13-18 by musictherapytunes.com

 

Age: 13 -18 +-
Goal Area: social skills and emotional expression
Name of Activity: Shadow Sheet
Objective: Students portray their message to music via shadow play.
Materials: overhead projector or other light source, large white sheet or other cloth, music on a prearranged theme.
Method: This can be done individually or in groups. Students create a dance or expressive movement arrangement to
non-verbally portray their feelings about the topic expressed in the song. Discussions can follow. Of course, rules about
what types of lyrics and movements are to be allowed/disallowed (prob. dependent upon the client’s needs
and type of setting) can be discussed ahead of time.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Dependent upon age, facility, and client need.
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These are good pop songs with appropriate lyrics. Give a listen and make sure they will work for your particular goals, facility and group/individual.
1)Kick, Push(2006), Lupe Fiasco”Welcome Back” – Mase “Switch” – Will Smith
2)Kiss Kiss(2007), Chris brown. “The Way I Are” – Timbaland  “Come To Me” – Diddy
3)You Make Me Better(2007), Fabolous.  “Freshazimiz” – Bow Wow
4)Whip My Hair (2010), Willow Smith. Sung by Will Smith’s daughter!
5)Good Morning(2009), Chamillionaire “Kiss Kiss” – Chris Brown feat. T-Pain
“Dangerous” -Ying Yang Twins feat Wycle  “Sweetest Girl” – Wyclef, Akon, Lil Wayne  “I Got It From My Mama” – 
Will.I.Am  “Let’s Get Retarded or (it started)” – Black Eyed Peas “I Want You” – Common
“Seed 2.0” – The Roots “Quality Control” – Jurassic 5  “The Way You Move” – Outkast
“Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz “Control Myself” – LL Cool J feat J-Lo  “Money Maker” – Ludacris “You Make Me Better” – Fabolous feat Ne-Yo  “Lose Control” – Missy Elliot  “The Good Life” -Kanye West “Blow Ya Mind” – Eve feat Gwen Stefani  “Kick, Push” – Lupe Fiasco
“She Wants To Move” – N.E.R.D. “Dilemma” – Nelly feat Kelly Rowland
1)”Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield 2)”Video” by India.Arie 3) “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
4)”Fifteen”by Taylor Swift 5)”Gone”by Switchfoot  ” Who I am”
So many thanks to :
michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Age: a Variety of ages from 11 through older adults
Goal Area: social arena: from lyric discussion and substitution, fill-in the blanks and more for groups and individuals needing to discus particular topics
Objective: emotional and social growth
Materials: This is an incredible page!! Beyond valuable! Thanks to Michelle Strutzel. Http://www.scribd.com/doc/35744511/Songs-by-Topic
This site has a long list of songs and discussion topics.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: check out youtube, itunes etc to access the music.

 

Age: 6-adult
Goal Area: social/emotional, cognitive/academic
Name of Activity: “Beach Ball”
Objective: People answer questions when they catch the ball.
Materials: age appropriate music, and a beach ball, iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: This is a dressed up, MT variation of “hot potato”
Procedure: When music begins, clients will toss ball back and forth. When MT stops the music, the ball stops moving. The person left holding the ball when the music stops will be asked a question. The question asked will depend on the functioning level of the patient and the goals you are working on in that group. The patients I will see tomorrow are generally low functioning adults. I may ask questions like, “What kind of things can you find at the beach?” or “Name another song that the Beach Boys sang.” If I am working on self-concept with children, I might ask them to name one thing they like about themselves.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: 13-18+
Goal Area: Self-expression, group cooperation
Name of Activity: Programmatic Music or Sound Track
Objective: Students write an add-on story to programmatic music. They then select their own instruments and accompany the story themselves.
Materials: A few selections of highly programmatic music; music that the composer used to create an image/story (like “Pictures at an Exhibition,” or
Peter and the wolf,” pieces of Edvarg Grieg…) paper, pen, lots of interesting instruments to create a variety of sounds.
Method: Play a bit of 1,2,or 3 pieces and tell the students they are going to write a story or script to the music. Have them choose the piece, if you want. Then give one student the pen and paper and tell him/her to begin a story. Pass the paper to the next student and ask them to read the previous part and continue the story. Content boundaries may be set dependent on student ages, needs, and facility rules. The story is then read back by the students or therapist with the music playing in the background. Part two: the students then think of their own way to accompany the
story with their own instruments. Parts and/or roles are assigned, students choose instruments to represent these, and create their own programmatic music.
Adaptations: Record or video the story, and/or the student’s music.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Age: 13-18 and younger
Goal Area: Socialization, group cohesion, to close session, to sum up a session.
Name of Activity: I got a feeling’
Objective: Kids sing the song to close the session.
Materials: Adapted chorus of “I’ve got a feeling’ “ by Black Eyed Peas
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: (optional) To foster the feeling that all group members belong, are important and contribute to the group- you can pass around a meaningful instrument and have everyone play a solo. All should be encouraged, but none made to play. Add additional verses on how the group went or anything special about this particular group. Do a fill in song: It’s time to say ____________ . Add the client’s name in rather than say the word “I.” (On a simpler level, there’s a great days of the week song in this tune just waiting to be written or added to this one.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: See youtube for the melody.
C F (G) Am F
I got a feeling that it’s time to say goodbye now. Yea, it’s time to say goodbye now. Oh it’s time to say good, goodbye.
Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
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Age: 13-18 +/-
Goal Area: self-expression, emotional expression
Name of Activity: Guided imagery and a song
Objective: Clients undergo a guided imagery experience and make a song about what they imagined.
Materials: A good guided imagery song conducive to the client’s needs and interesting age-appropriate instruments.
Method: This is not my expertise so feel free to write you own activities and send! Give the guided imagery experience, at the level which is appropriate to your training. The clients then make a song about what they experienced. Perform and discuss. Songs can be as short or long as client’s need. A Cinquain formbelow and is a good, simple way to get clients writing.
Adaptations: Have the people draw a scene from their experience and discuss.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
A cinquain form is this: You will be writing a five line poem. The first line is one word. The next line consists of two words elaborating on line one.
The third line is three words long. Fourth line is four words, and the fifth line is one word. You can do it to any poetry form you with. Haiku, fill in the blank. Try this one: I saw______. I felt________. I wanted_________ I wish______I will__________. Do a poem with the 5 senses.
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Drawing to different musical styles/moods
Objective: Kids will draw to various styles or “feels” of music, and discuss the results of how the feeling portrayed in the music is reflected in the actual art.
Materials: Music of a variety of styles or moods, art materials of your choice, paper.
Method: Discuss what the aim for the activity is. Choose music, play it, create by it and discuss.
Adaptations: Kids can choose music of a variety of moods. This itself is a valuable experience! You can also have them choose instrumental music only, or music highlighting the voice only. You can discuss what they think the out come will be ahead of time, and if the results proved or disproved the hypothesis.
You can do this with any art medium. Crayons, paint, glue-paint, glow paint..clay….
Lyrics and Chords: Up for grabs as need be.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Making a video to recorded music
Objective: Students work together to create a music video
Materials: cd, cd player, video camera, props needed, lighting, and lots of room
Method: Tell the class that they can work together to pick a topic, a song, and make a video.
Adaptations: (optional) Make the video with the kids playing their own instruments! Smaller groups of students can work together.
Lyrics and Chords: Whatever they choose (as long as it in accordance with their needs, and the philosophy of the administration/program.)
Submitted by: : Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age 13-18
Goal Area: self-expression, and math
Name of Activity: Dice game
Objective: Students share information about themselves.
Materials: Dice, favorite songs, rules.
Method: Students take turn rolling the dice. If the dice land on an even number, the student must say something about himself or answer a question asked by another student. If the number is odd, he gets to ask a question. If the dice land on doubles, then a favorite song is played. You may want to make a rule that certain language and content is not allowed- depending upon the needs of the group and/or facility.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: social skills, listening to each other, cooperating, leading, and following
Name of Activity: Rhondo Jam
Objective: Students take turns improvising their own solo and and then return to the group’s repeated theme.
Materials: instruments and a familiar song, chord progression, or rhythmic beat.
Method: The form of a rhondo is ABACADAE… where A is like a chorus that is always returned to and the other letters are individualized solos.
Adaptations: music suitable to the group.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: emotional expression
Name of Activity: Which one am I
Objective: Students share how they feel and why they relate to the song.
Materials: List of popular songs, recording of those songs.
Method: Students are given a list of popular songs. They choose one song that represents where they are “at”. Today and tell the group why. The song is then played and the mood, feelings, and related situations discussed.
Adaptations: To make it a little safer for members, students can discuss how the person in the song feels and why.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: Please tell me what you use for this activity. Any variations?
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: emotional expression
Name of Activity: Song rewrite
Objective: Students fill in the blanks to chosen songs and discuss/share what and why they wrote.
Materials: Songs meaningful to the individuals or group with key words removed.
Method: Students fill in the blanks to chosen songs and discuss/share what and why they wrote.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: Again, what songs do you use for this? Email me! How does it work best?
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Age: 13-18 +/- (I use with pre-k but also for the elderly)
Goal Area: Memory, attention, patterning
Name of Activity: Watson Allman’s Dance (Seated)
Objective: Clients remember and perform the step in the dance
Materials: Song Watson Allman by Sam Bush on Glamour and Grits.
Method: I chant the directions until the group is familiar with them, then gradually fade them out.
Adaptations: (optional) Have the members think of their own movements. (You’ll see the chant and the related motions below.)
The words and movement really mirror the music. So you’ll hear what part of the words can be adjusted for your group.
I’ll underline the words that are best changed/adjusted, to try to make seem less difficult-it’s not!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Motions: After the intro, snap to the next 4 measures (counted slowly)
Part One: feet feet feet and a clap clap clap. (repeat 2 more times.) Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(motions: move one foot toward you and the other away- repeat 2x and then clap clap clap. Spin arms and tap knees.)
Part two is same as part one.
Part three: Throw the baseball and hit it with a bat. (repeat 2x) Now two thumbs up what do you think of that?
( pretend to throw a ball. Clasp hands together on one shoulder, switch shoulders, and return to the first one- like bad batting.)
Part Four: Open close. Open close.,and clap, clap, clap. Repeat 2x. Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(Move feet apart, then together 2x and add 3 claps. Spin arms and tap legs.)
Part Five: Shake your hands to the right, then on the left. Repeat 3x. OR, you can also pretend to alternate bw the mandolin and bass.
Part Six: Twist, twist, twist and clap, clap, clap. Repeat 2x. Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(Twist as far in one direction as you can, then the other…..)
Part Seven: Repeat part three.
Part Eight: Repeat part one. (or use your own ideas)

 

———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGES 18-29 (see above, too)
by musictherapytunes.com
Age: teens and adults
Goal Area: developing Trust in other people
Name of Activity: Trust walk
Objective: Clients will take turns guiding each other through a blindfolded trust walk following only the sound of the leader’s bell or other instrument. Each person has a turn being a leader and a truster.
Materials: blindfold (not everyone will tolerate this-clients can peek when they need to or even use their hands to cover their vision.) and a sounding musical instrument. A small cordless radio will also do.
Method: Clients discuss the issue of trust and that they will each take a turn being guided by another person by their hearing alone. Also discuss related thoughts and feeling before and after the experience.
Adaptations: Try it out for yourself so you know how it feels, and so you can “iron out any bumps.”
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 18-29
Goal Area: motor skills- to increase range of motion
Name of Activity: Drummin’ up
Objective: Client reaches out, over, up, around in order to contact the drum surfaces.
Materials: Drums placed strategically around client.
Method: Coordinate this activity with the guidance of the client’s PT! Place drums so that the person has to use specific muscles, and reach out to play strategically placed drums in order to increase range of motion, and/or muscle strength.
Adaptations: Play live or recorded music in a style that will help the client accomplish the goal.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com

 

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Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: 18-28+/-
Goal Area: mental alertness, cognitive stimulation, and mood elevation.
Name of Activity: Music Trivia
Objective: Participants will earn points by naming artists, titles, performing tasks and contributing to the game in general.
Materials: iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: 1) Split your group into two teams. Have them come up with a team name.
2) Decide who goes first (the team who has a person with the closest birthday goes first, for example).
3) Play a song for that team. Teams get one point for artist, one point for song title. You can throw in fun points here and there, like a point for dancing the Cupid Shuffle or a point for naming the movie that Eye Of the Tiger is famous for.
4) Repeat step 3, alternating between teams. If a team is at a loss for artist or title, you can allow the other team to “steal” their point.
5) Towards the end of the session, make it a “free for all.” Anyone can guess at any time. Warning: you have to pay close attention to who guesses correctly first. It is hard when a few people shout it out at once.
I do not blindly choose songs either. There are two reasons that I can think of to rig the game this way. (A) I want to set the patient up for success. If they are slow to answer and points are popping up from everyone but that patient, play something you think they will know right off the bat. (B) I want to shape a person’s mood. Today a patient came into session late. She planted herself right in front of me with arms crossed and started yelling at the staff. Well, my next song was Michael Jackson, something I really thought she’d enjoy. By the end of the hour she was dancing like crazy, smiling and laughing! It is awesome to see changes like that happen in front of you.

 

Submitted by: Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Age: Adult +/-
Goal Area: social (cooperation) , cognitive,
Name of Activity: Musical Jeopardy
Objective: To elicit cooperation between team members, to stimulate cognitive skills
Materials: A list of potential correct answers to categories such as below. Rule/category sheets. Large paper. Marker. Music to play for 100 point questions.
Method :In this game, you will divide your group into two teams. Have the teams select a name and decide who goes first. Each team will get a turn to choose a question based on the number of points it is worth. To find the answer, the team will work together. Like Jeopardy, 100 point questions are simpler than 500 point questions. The questions and points are as follows: Use the web as a resource to collect and verify information if necessary.
100 points…Name that tune
Much like music trivia, play a song from the iPod and have the team guess the song’s title.
200 points…Artists that start with the letter _____
Name a letter. A=Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, ABBA.
300 points…Song scramble
mi awglink no nusihens=I’m Walking On Sunshine
400 points…Fill in the blank
Fill in the missing word(s) in the song title. I Walk the___________=I Walk the Line
500 points…Song titles that include the word _____
Give a word found in some song titles. Have the team come up with a title that incorporates that word. “Stop”=Stop! In the Name Of Love,
Don’t Stop Believin’
  Adaptations: (optional) Use categories and songs meaningful to your group’s age, abilities, goals, diagnoses….
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs@gmail.comWebsite:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
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Age: Can vary from age 11 to older adult
Goal Area: social/emotional expression, sharing and healing in a non-threatening activity.
Name of Activity: Thoughts onLine
Objective: People read through a list of song lines and choose sentences (from lyrics) that represent where they “are at” and how they feel about their lives.
Materials: Here is a sample of two pages (cut and paste) http://www.scribd.com/full/36140545?access_key=key-1me4nxsflkf9el5tl5oz
Method:
*It is often difficult to put into words what we are feeling. It is even more difficult to write a song about it. This is a songwriting activity that won’t instill fear in your patients once you introduce the session. It is cut & paste project. Anyone who can cut and paste (and even those who can’t) can be successful.
*In preparation for this activity, you must create a page of song lyrics (one line from different songs-about 30-35 per page). This number of lines (and whether you give them one, two, or three pages) should vary depending on the functioning level of your group.
*  There’s a little bit of Counting Crows, Whitney Houston, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Rascal Flatts, Casting Crowns, Michael Jackson, and everything else in it. Here is a link to copy and paste into your browser. There is a two page list of lines from songs appropriate for substance abuse and other folks needing a change/healing in life. http://www.scribd.com/full/36140545?access_key=key-1me4nxsflkf9el5tl5oz
The steps to this activity are simple enough:
1. Pass out lyric sheets.
2. Patients read through each line and put a mark by the ones they like (at least 10 lines).
3. Patients cut out the lyrics they put a mark by.
4. Patients rearrange song lyrics in a way that makes sense to them.
5. Patients can glue the lyrics to a piece of construction paper and decorate.Adaptations:
a) People going through substance withdrawals or who are experiencing any sort of tremors will have difficulty cutting out lyrics. In this case, you may cut the lyrics for them OR allow them to handwrite the lyrics.
b) Use glue sticks rather than bottles of glue. The reasons for this are obvious, I think.
c) Patients can change lyrics/add to lyrics/etc. to make the song exactly how they’d like.
d) For people with visual impairments, make text large and easy to read. Give them fewer lines of lyrics to read so as not to overwhelm them.
e) It is easy for patients to get overwhelmed with the amount of words on a page. Plan accordingly by providing fewer choices: larger text, fewer lines, fewer pages.
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: 18-29
Goal Area: Self knowledge and expressions
Name of Activity: Past, Present, Future
Objective: Members discuss feelings, life events, decisions, and goals.
Materials: List of current and past popular songs.
Method: Members write down a song from the list (or their personal song choices) that represents their past, present, and future. They discuss these with their peers. The group may end by singing along to a group song choice.
Adaptations: Please tell me!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 18-29
Goal Area: self-expression
Name of Activity: CD Cover
Objective: Clients draw/paint how they feel about themselves or a given situation, share their art, and discuss with the group.
Materials: art supplies, possible background music
Method: Clients create and share.
Adaptations: (optional) A relaxation exercise can precede this. Any other ideas out there??
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———

 

MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR ADULTS by musictherapytunes.com
Age: 10 through older adulthood
Goal Area: reality orientation, cognitive stimulation (geography, factoids, cities, monuments etc..)
Name of Activity: “Around the States”
Objective: People will research, discuss, share information. Folks will listen, sing and/or improvise along to the music (recorded or live.)
Materials: Interesting facts about the States to be studied, music (recorded or live) sung by an artist from that particular state, or about the state.
Method: Michelle writes: Beginning in Florida, where we are located, we teach (or review) well-known (and maybe some little known) facts: where it is on a map, capital, nickname, famous cities, monuments, etc. Then we talk about different musicians from Florida. You may choose to only listen to part of a song or you might pass out lyric sheets and sing along with the iPod or guitar. Songs can be from famous artists or bands born/originated in that state, state songs, songs about that state, songs about characteristics of that state, music videos, etc. This activity is great for reality orientation and cognitive stimulation, especially in mid- or low-functioning groups. It is best completed over time, as it would be difficult to cram all this information in with just one session. Follow some general direction; you may zig-zag all the way up the Eastern United States, or continue west and then loop back towards the East, etc.For example, today we started in Florida. Aerosmith sings a song called “Last Child” about Tallahassee (part of the song played on iPod). Creed formed in Tallahassee (sang “With Arms Wide Open” using lyric sheets). Lynyrd Skynyrd originated in Jacksonville (but “Sweet Alabama” was saved for AL). And because FL is the sunshine state, we played a piece of the song “I’m Walking On Sunshine” (playing percussion instruments with iPod). With some songs, even if you’re only listening to them by iPod, you can get people to join in the recording by playing percussion instruments.
Submitted by: : Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com
twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: adult (geriatric or brain injured)
Goal Area: to maintain attention span
Name of Activity: Symphony of Words
Objective: The client plays a specific instrument each time a particular word is used in a familiar song.
Materials: guitar, chosen song, rhythm instrument, or bell that blends with the key of the song.
Method: Set the instrument(s) up in front of the client. Ask the person to play that instrument each time they hear the word ________. Play and do. An example for the song below is to have the person play each time the word “mountain” is used.
Adaptations: (optional) Have a few instruments to be played for different specific words.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords:
D
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
A
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
D D7 G Gm
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain She’ll be comin’ round the mountain..
D Asus A D
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
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Age: adult (can be used with young children through geriatric; the music reaches everyone. If you need to, vary the movements.
Goal Area: Motor: coordination, sequencing, cardio
Name of Activity: Seated Irish Dance
Objective: Clients will perform the steps needed to successfully perform dance.
Materials: Siamsa from Ronan Hardiman”s Lord of the dance (track 11)
Method: Practice yourself, teach part by part, and do. Adapt as need by to address client needs. Begin steps as theme begins (easy to hear.)
There are a few “blank” spaces where I have the clients pretend to play the sounding instruments.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Tap right foot 8 times, then left foot 8 times.
-Roll arms around and clap 3 times. Repeat 3more times.
-Clap hands under right leg 4times. Repeat with left leg.
-Alternate tapping knees with and without crossed arms 8 times.
-Stretch hands up and clap 3 times, put hands on hips and clap 3 times, bend with hands down and clap 3 times. Repeat once
-Take a few measures to improvise then do it all over again.

 

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Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: Adult: All ages actually 4-99
Goal Area: Both cognitive and gross motor
Name of Activity: Lord of the Dance Activity
Objective: Group will perform a sequence of movements to the song.
Materials: “Siamsa” from “Lord of the dance:
Method: Follow the dance steps below
Adaptations: End with a free dance componant
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Steps: counting a slow 8 beat intro (counting on the “half” note = one beat.)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
R heel then toe heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe (repeat for beats 5, 6 ,7, 8)
L heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe (repeat for beats 5, 6, 7, 8)
Round & round, clapclapclap round&round clapclapclap (repeat this arm/hand gesture for beats 5,6,7,8)
Clap under Rt leg then Lf leg Under right under left (continue)
Tap knees Tap with arms crossed (repeat pattern for beats 3,4,5,6,7,8)
-then for 8 beats-
Beat 1-Hands up (clap clap clap) Beat 2- Hands in the middle (clap clap clap)
Beat 3- Hands down (clap clap clap) Beat4- Hands in the middle (clap clap clap) Continue for beats (5,6,7,8)

 

Lastly, 8 beats of free motion, jumping, dancing, waving or whatever you like.
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Age: older adult +/-
Goal Areas: cognitive and social
Name of Activity: Name that Tune
Objective: Clients will listen to a song excerpt and name the song. Clients will choose one of the songs from among the excerpts and tell the group what that song means to them personally.
Materials: a variety of song choices that you will present on an instrument of your choosing, song sheets, board to keep score, markers, pen
Method: Divide clients into teams. Therapist plays a short excerpt of a song. When a client guesses the title correctly, a mark is made on the scoreboard for their team. When one team has enough points, all players share how one of the song excerpts presented is meaningful to them.
Adaptations: (CDs with age appropriate songs, perhaps a specially prepared cd made of song clips, and lyric sheets
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: adult/older adult/hospice
Goal Area: social, cognitive, emotional connection, personal/group discussion, to stimulate memories and self-expression.
Name of Activity: Where were you When??
Objective: To stimulate relationship through discussion of topics elicited through song lyrics.
Materials: A variety of songs on topics relevant to the levels, needs, abilities, experiences and age of the particular group.
Method : Present a variety of songs to the group. Ask what they would like to sing. Discuss feelings, events, memories etc as brought up by the song.
Here are some conversation starters and topics that Michelle found helpful:
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

1) Career. What did they do with their life, did they keep more than one job, where did they work, what did they enjoy about it?
2) Hometowns. Where were they born, did they spend much time there, did they live any other places, what was their favorite home, what was their house like, did they have good neighbors?
3) Travel. Where have they traveled, what was their most memorable trip, who did they go with, how long did they stay, what would they suggest someone see if they were going to travel to that place, do they have any stories they could share?
4) Family. Spouse, children, grandchildren, names, ages, their education, their careers, where do they live, how often do they visit, pets?
5) Hobbies. What is your favorite activity, how much time do you get to spend doing this, what would you like to learn, do you share this hobby with anyone else?
6) Current events Have you heard about (blank), what do you think about that, what do you think we should do about it?
7) Things around the room. Decorations, jewelry, clothes, pictures, personal items.
8) Weather.
9) Religion. Be careful to respect their religion and don’t offend. Don’t share much of your own beliefs, especially if you disagree with theirs. Do show interest. Where do they go to worship, do they participate in choir, are they involved in any other way?
10) Friends. Where did they meet, what interests do they share, how long have they been friends, do they have kids/grandkids? You can basically ask everything above all over again in relation to their friends.
11) Future What are they looking forward to doing today, do they have exciting plans in the near future, do they have family visiting soon?
12) Holidays. What are they doing to celebrate, do they have any good memories about that holiday past, what is their favorite holiday, what do they enjoy most about that holiday?
13) Memories. Wedding, birthdays, holidays, major events?
14) Other interests. Music, food, movies, television shows, books, games, sports etc.?
———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———
Margie La Bella MT-BC, MA at Musictherapytunes.com presents
MUSIC THERAPY LESSON PLANS

 

Please be sure to add your own music therapy activities by mailing them toMargie@musictherapytunes.com.

 

You Don’t have to write out the solfedge! (Youtube, itunes, amazon
samples and songs etc can provide the melodies to songs!)

 

COLOR KEY: (Don’t worry about this if you send a plan in. I’ll take care of it.)
Red entries represent music therapy activities for expressive/receptive language development.
Blue entries represent music therapy activities for fine and gross motor development.
Green entries represent activities for cognitive/academic development.
Purple entries represent activities for adaptive and daily living activities.
Brown entries represent activities for emotional growth and social skill development.
Grey entries represent other goal areas, for the time being.

 

**Please note, that there are many activities or activity types that can be used in a variety of age groups. There are songs for 5-year-olds that have been loved and requested by 12-year-olds! Presentation is key…adjusting the rhythm, strum, tempo, volume, chord structure, adding or subtracting words can make an activity work. Adaptation and thinking out of the box are plusses. So be sure to check out what is in the various age group sections even if they are older or younger than the people in your care. Most Categories overlap so check out all the colors i.e. a social song in one setting can reinforce language and conceptual skills. ** Enjoy!

 

-feel free to submit activities that have a similar goals and methods but use a different songs, variations or other element.
-I’m very interested to find out what people are doing with all the new electronic instruments, recording programs, computer programs and games, Apps, websites, TV-computer games like wii and RockBand and whatever good things are out there.

 

Here is my format. Feel free to use it when you submit your ideas! You don’t have to use it, though.
Age:
Goal Area:
Name of Activity:
Objective:
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR INFANTS AND YOUNG CHILDREN TO AGE 5 by musictherapytunes.com
Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: cognitive (and language)
Name of Activity: What’s Missing Here?
Objective: Children look at a picture and tell the therapist what is wrong with it.
Materials: Prepared pictures of a familiar object with a piece missing
Method: Show picture and discuss.
Adaptations: 1.You can add something that doesn’t belong and have the kids identify it, like a monkey with a hair-do.
2. Or you can also change/mix up a characteristic….. like bike wheels on a train.
3. You could even discuss how to fix the issue or adapt to it. (The boy’s ice cream cone fell down. He could ask for another.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the teacher’s part of Harry Chapin’s “Flowers are Red” then the child’s part for the student’s responses. See youtube for melody .

 

– or Jimmy Crack Corn (Here’s the Jimmy.lyrics: Oh no what happened here? Oh no who can see? Oh no what happened here? Who can tell me? Then incorporate the children’s answer into the farmer in the dell melody. …The horse has no tail…the horse has no tail…) Or, pick your own melody.

 

A E A E A E A A D A D A E A
Lyrics: What’s missing here, oh no! What’s missing here? What can it be– who can see.? Oh no what’s missing here?
(question)
A D A D A D A E A D A D A E A
(response) I see this bike has no wheel. The bike has no wheel. That is just what (name*) saw. The bike has no wheel.
(Adjust this line for the needs/size of the group)
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Age: 0-5
Goal Area: language and social
Name of Activity: Janice’s Hello Song
Objective: Children will establish and maintain eye-contact, wave, and sing hello to the therapist.
Materials: Hello, Hola! by Janice Buckner (On her “Learning Skills for Little One’s” CD see Janicebuckner.com)
Method: Sing along and modify as client need be.
Adaptations: Use to improve physical skills or any other skills by changing the words and/or tempo. The words below are changed slightly.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
C F C G C F G C
Hello, Hello (rest rest) Hello, Hello (rest rest) Hello, Hello (rest rest) It’s music time.
Mi do mi fa mi do mi re mi do mi fa fa mi re do

 

Age: Open for ALL ages
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials: There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Method:
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.

 

Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: Social (waiting, sharing, relinquishing turn.)
Name of Activity: Let’s sing hello adapted from J. Geils “Centerfold” (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Objective: kids will share and play instruments when their name is sung by the therapist.
Materials: guitar, lyrics, and interesting rhythm instruments.
Method: MT puts instruments in the center of the song circle. Children come to the center and share instruments (or an instrument)
when their name is sung. Children all sing during the chorus.
Adaptations: (optional) An easy articulation drill.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie and Cindy S. c/o Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
C F C F C F C C Bb F G C
Let’s sing hello to every- one. Now ___ and ____, let’s have some fun. Singing na na na na na na.. Na na na na na na. (Repeat nas.)
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Cognitive
Name of Activity: Apple Tree
Objective: Children do the motions along to the lyrics and sing or vocalize
Materials: Words
Method: Sing and do. This is also a magic song. All the kids I work with love it, do it and succeed right away.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email)Margielessonplans@gmail.comsource unknown.
Melody: Part A. Lincoln lincoln I been thinkin what the heck have you been drinkin’ (ah songs from my childhood…) Mary had a Little Lamb works, too. I’m an acorn small and round works. Shortnin’ bread works. Part B. Adams family chorus

 

A) I’m a great big apple tree. Just as tall as I can be.
I cannot sneeze (aaaaaahchoooooooo.) I cannot cough (argh, ahh, blah) or all my apples will fall off.
B) It fell on my ________ (boink, boink, ….or ow, ow will suffice.) Repeat 4 more times.
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Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: language
Name of Activity: Sing a song of Halloween
Objective: Kids think of and create the sounds of Halloween characters.
Materials: lyrics
Method: Do it.
Adaptations: (optional) Remember, you don’t want to scare any of the children!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
Tune: “Joshua fit the battle of Jerico”
Lyrics:

 

Am E7 Am E7 Am
Sing a song for Halloween, Halloween, Halloween. Sing a song for Halloween. Sing it like a ________.
(Then continue making that sound for the verse. Same melody)

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Motor skills
Name of Activity: Shake your Spookies Out! This is a variation on the familiar childrens song “Shake your Sillies out.”
Objective: Kids follow a series of one-step directions. Also good for body awareness and coordination.
Materials: song
Method: sing and do
Adaptations: (optional) Make up verses for any time of year.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
D G D G A D
1.Come on and shake, shake, shake your spookies out. Shake, shake, shake your spookies out.
Sol sol sol sol la sol sol sol mi do. Re fa mi mi mi re do

 

D G D A7 D
Shake, shake, shake your spookies out. Shake your spookies away.
(same as vs. one.) re fa mi mi re do.

 

  1. Clap your crazies out.
  2. Bounce your beasties out.
  3. Wiggle your wackies out.
  4. Stamp like Frankenstein
  5. Itch like a witch.
  6. Howl like a wolf……and more.

 

Age: 0-5 plus
Goal Area: Language
Name of Activity: Four Dinosaurs.
Objective: Children sing the words, hold up the correct number of fingers, and motion along with the song.
Materials: song, optional dinosaur toys
Method: Sing. Do. I must say this song has been what I call a “magic song.” I haven’t seen a child who doesn’t love it and succeed with it.
Adaptations: (Do not end my sentences with a prepostion….it. )
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
from Anna Epstein-Kravis recording Tot’s Tunes/Happy to be me. See annaekravis.com.
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:

 

C G C G C-G C
Four Dinosaurs were rolling in the mud. Splashing around all day. One of them said “I’ve had enough!!!”
Do do re mi do sol fa mi re do re re re sol re mi re do do re do
C G c
3 more left when he goes away. Squish, squish, squish, squish,
sol sol sol sol fa mi re do

 

Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: articulation, oro-motor
Name of Activity: Monster in the Mirror (This song is so good that I use it all year round.)
Objective: Children vocalize along with the chorus.
Materials: Song from Sesame Street. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Method: Sing
Adaptations: (optional) Great Opportunity for articulation exercise!! Also for associating a sound with a letter for pre-reading awareness.
Just change the initial consonant from “w” to a different sound.
Simplify the chorus by repeating line one over 2x and then end on the origional phrase.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used Sesame Street Google the video on youtube for the melody.

Am e7 Am
Saw a monster in the mirror when I woke up today A monster in my mirror but I did not run away
C Dm E7 Am
I did not shed a tear or hide beneath my bed , Though the monster looked at me and this is what he said:
C Dm G7 Am
He said “Wubba wubba wubba wubba woo woo woo.” Wubba wubba wubba and a doodly do
C F C G F C C G F C
He sang “Wubba wubba wubba” so I sang it too. Do not wubba me or I will wubba you . Do not wubba me or I will wubba you.

 


2. Told the monster in the mirror, “No, I am not scared.” Then I smiled at him and thanked him for the song that we had shared.
Well, the monster thanked me too, he smiled right back and then the monster in the sang his song again.
3. If your mirror has a monster in it, do not shout. This kind of situation does not call for freaking out
And do nothing that you would not like to see him do ‘Cause that monster in the mirror he just might be you.
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: vocalization and verbalization
Name of Activity: Good for Halloween: The witch laughs ha-ha-ha.
Objective: children produce the sounds
Materials: song
Method: Sing. Pictures of the objects help.
Adaptations: For kids who need more time, stay on the same sound effect for a whole verse and use a familiar melody to set the stage. Example: The little ghost says boo boo boo, boo boo boo………………………boo for Halloween. (Tune for that one could be Mary had a little Lamb.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Try second half of “the itsy bitsy spider” in a haunting minor key.
Lyrics: The witch says Yah-ha-ha. The Ghost says whooooo. The Cat says meow, meow and I say “Boo.” (repeat)

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Expressive language
Name of Activity: Thanksgiving: These are things I’m thankful for.
Objective: Children will name something they are thankful for including: foods, toys, people.
Materials: song and children
Method: Sing the song and insert the children’s answers. Results vary by age and ability.
Adaptations: (optional) Record it on a little tape recorded. Or your phone. Change boomdeata to something simpler that your group can handle.
Sometimes we sing “These are things we’re thankful for. “
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
melody used: Boom-de-ata. Or “I love the mountains…I love the rolling hills” girl scout song
D Bm Em A7 D Bm Em A7
Words: Name likes _________ Name likes _________ Name likes _________ Name likes _________
D Bm G A7
Name likes _________ and Name likes _________
D Bm G A
Boomdeata Boomdeata Boomdeata Boomdeata (repeat.)
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Age: 0-5 and older
Goal Area: vocalization and language
Name of Activity: Thanksgiving Song Swing
Objective: Children sing along with the verses and especially the chorus. Good for the “g” sound which is produced in the back of the throat.
Materials: song and pictures
Method: sing, show and do.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com source unknown.
Melody used: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Verse:
Dm Dmb5 Dm7 Dm6 (you can stay on dm. The progression takes the high d and goes down my half steps.)
  1. What does a turkey say for thanksgiving day

 

2. He has two brown eyes that are just the same size
3. His head goes wobble when he says gobble
4.Turkey looks great when it’s sittin’ on my plate
5. Show me what you do when a turkey looks at you.

 

Gm(7) Dm
Chorus: Gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gob.
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Age: 0-5 +
Goal: To improve expressing language particulary the “ing” present tense.
Name of Activity: Christmas is…
Materials: Pictures depicting lyrics and lyrics.
Method: Sing and do
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Don’t know. Try “I’m Yours,” by Jason Maz
Words:

 

Carolers singing, singing, singing. Church bells ringing, ringing, ringing.

 

Snowflakes dropping, dropping, dropping. Popcorn popping, popping, popping.

 

Mothers sewing, sewing, sewing. (Ok, you can change it if you want…) Candles glowing, glowing, glowing.

 

Cookies baking, baking, baking. What is taking, taking, taking soooooo long?
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Age: 0-5+
Goal: To improve expressive Language
Name of Activity: The toy shop
Materials: pictures and items described in song’s lyrics.
Method: Show sing and do. Leave off the last word in the phrase for the children to supply.
Adaptations: This song needs updating. Go for it. The italic words can be adjusted. Get pics from a catalog.
Also this is a good song to start a discussion about what kids want for Christmas/Chanukah/you name it.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Up on the House top
Words:
Here is a window in the toy shop. Here’s a balloon that goes pop.
Here is a top that spins in a ring. Here is a bird that can sing.
Here is a soldier who can walk. Here is a doll that can talk.
Here is a funny jumping jacks man. Here’s a sleeping raggity Ann.
Say goodbye to the toys. Shhh, quiet. No more noise.
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Age: 0-5 +
Goal: Kids will perform the motions and/or sing the song with the therapist. Good for Att’n span
Name of Activity: Chanukah Happy Holiday (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Materials:Song
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: Have the kids tell you what movement comes next. Go faster and slower. Best to end on a slow.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Words:
A
Chanukah, Chanuka. Happy Holiday. (Clap hands to the beat.)
E7
Chanukah, Chanukah. Happy Holiday. (Tap knees.)
A
Chanukah, Chanukah Spin your dreiydel fast. (Spin arms.)
D
Round and around and around and around. (Stand up, spin around once and sit!)
E7 A.
Till it drops at last.
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Age: 0-5+
Goal: to improve language skills. Vocabulary of winter clothing items.
Name of Activity: Baby, it’s cold outside. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Materials: song, and picture of a snowman wearing the items specified.
Method: Show, sing, and do.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: Verse of “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
C Dm G7
Words: I’ll put on my coat………..Zip it up to my throat.
C C7
I’ll put on my hat and my scarf like that t-t-t-t-t-t-t-. (Imitate a snare pattern.)
F D7 GsusG
I’ll put a boot on my foot. And another boot on my foot.
C C7 F Fm C
I’ll put mittens (gloves) on my hands – ‘cause baby, it’s cold outside.
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Age: 0-5+
Goal: to improve language skills
Name of Activity: A chubby little Snowman
Materials: a picture of a snowman, words
Method: Kids sing song and perform motions
Adaptations: Test the kid’s comprehension by asking them questions related to the story. It’s funny.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Tune of “Miss Lucy had a steamboat…. the steamboat had a bell…”
Words:
A chubby little snowman had a carrot for a nose. (Move arms and hands to indicate a big round belly, then touch nose.) Along came a bunny and what do you suppose. (Hold two fingers up for the bunny, bounce hand up and down, then shrug your shoulders.) The hungry little bunny was looking for some lunch. (Rub your belly and then hold hand out over your eyebrows to search.) He ate the snowman’s carrot nose. Nibble, nibble, crunch. (Motion grabbing
the snowman’s nose.)
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Age: 0-5
Goal: To improve expressive language of “things we see in winter.”
Name of Activity: Snow on the Hat
Materials: lyrics, guitar, pictures objects mentioned in song
Method: Show the children the pictures and sing the lyrics leaving out the last word. The children fill in that word and eventually sing each sentence.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Source: unknown book full of language poems and pictures like this one.
Words, chords, solfedge: Tune: Twinkle, twinkle- Turkey in the straw- Shortnin’ bread.
Chords are for Turkey in the Straw medody.
C G7
There’s snow on the hat. Snow on the suit. Snow on the mittens. Snow on the boot.
C F G C
There’s snow on the sled and snow on the tree. Snow on the mountain/hill. Snow on me.
C F G C
There’s snow on the house. Snow on the stairs. Snow on the window. There’s snow everywhere.
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (expressive)
Name of Activity: I love You (works for Valentine’s day or any other time of the year.)
Objective: Children sing and understand the humor of the song. Discussion may follow.
Materials: song
Method: sing. Puppets, pictures may help. I pair this with the preceeding song and it does wonders.
Adaptations: (optional) Discuss what is silly about the lyrics. Think (or have pictures of) things with shells and insert them into lyrics.
Help kids understand the difference between big and little.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: I love you. I love you. I love you so well. If I had a turtle, I’d put you in the shell.
Sol do do ti re re ti re re do me do mi mi mi fa fa fa mi mi re re do.
C G C C7 F C G C

 

Goal Area: Language (following directions)
Name of Activity: Clapping Like a Leprechaun
Objective: Kids follow the sequence of movements specified in the lyrics.
Materials: song. Kids.
Method: MT performs song for children. She then asks them to join in on each separate step. The entire song is performed.
Adaptations: (optional) MT can ask children to describe the current motion. They can say what movement comes next. Perform slowly then faster each subsequent time. End on a quiet round.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the Irish Washwoman
Lyrics: 1.Clapping like a leprechaun. (Arms) round and around and around and on.
Tap your knees and give a squeeze. The leprechaun is gonna sneeze! Achooooo!
  1. Jumping like a leprechaun. Around and around and around and on.Age: 0-5..Goal Area: Receptive and Expressive languageName of Activity: John the Leprechaun Objective: Children will discuss the absurdities in the lyrics. Materials: The Leprechaun adapted from “Old Dan Tucker” by Margie La Bella (Check out the melody on youtube.)

    Method: Sing. Discuss.

    Adaptations: (optional) If March 17th is not near, then change the name to anything you want.

    Have the children write new lyrics with their own absurdities. Have pictures available.

    The chorus is good for oro-motor skills and vocalization and the verses for language.

    Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

    Lyrics,chords, music, solfege…:

     

    C G C

    Chorus: Eya, ha, hah. Eyo, ho, ho. (repeat)

    mi sol sol mi re do

     

    C F C G C

    Verses 1. John, John the leprechaun. Went to school with one shoe on. (to chorus.)

    1. He went to bed in a coffee can. He washed his face in a frying pan.
    2. He combed his hair with a wheel. He got a headache in his heel.
    3. He took a bath in a lake. He brushed this teeth with a rake.
    4. He wore his socks on his head. He washed his clothes in his bed.
    5. He played outside on a chair. He washed the table with his hair.

     

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (following directions)
Name of Activity: Clapping Like a Leprechaun
Objective: Kids follow the sequence of movements specified in the lyrics.
Materials: song. Kids.
Method: MT performs song for children. She then asks them to join in on each separate step. The entire song is performed.
Adaptations: (optional) MT can ask children to describe the current motion. They can say what movement comes next. Perform slowly then faster each subsequent time. End on a quiet round.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: the Irish Washwoman (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Lyrics: 1.Clapping like a leprechaun. (Arms) round and around and around and on.
Tap your knees and give a squeeze. The leprechaun is gonna sneeze! Achooooo!
  1. Jumping like a leprechaun. Around and around and around and on.
Slide and slide and point your toe. St. Paddy’s day is near you know! (alternate: pat your thighs and clap for the last phrase.)
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Self-esteem, body parts, language
Name of Activity: There’s no one else like me
Objective: Children sing and/or perform the motions in this song
Materials: none
Method: sing and do
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com source unknown
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used

 

C F G7 C
There’s no one else quite like me. (repeat.)
sol do mi r e fa mi do
F C G7 C
Like me (clap, clap, clap) like me (clap, clap, clap) There’s no one else like me (clap, clap, clap.) -(repeat.)
do fa fa mi mi re fa mi do mi

 

G C G C
From the top of my head all the way to my toes. From the back of my ears to the tip of my nose.
Ti do re re re sol re re mi mi mi do Ti do re re re sol re re mi mi mi do

 

Repeat line two and end. Substitute the word “I’m “ for the word “like.”
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Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory attention and discrimination
Name of Activity: One potato, two potato
Objective: Children will tap a tambourine or drum at the same volume as the therapist chants.
Materials: drum or tambourine, lyrics
Method: Therapist chants the rhyme singing either loudly or softly. Child taps instrument at same dynamic level.
Adaptations: (optional) You can keep the potato lyrics or substitute any name or character you want.
For holidays, tape a picture of an associated character on the drum.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Chant:
One potato, two potato, three potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato more!

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Social Skills: parallel and cooperative play
Name of Activity: share the drum
Objective: Children will share the drum, (wait for, take, and relinquish turns.)
Materials: drum, possibly two sticks. (I use pencils or plastic spoons.)
Method: Place one large drum between two children
Adaptations: Use home made drums, or a large tambourine.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Melody: Froggie went a-courtin (Check out the melody on youtube.)
C F G C F C
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom. (or any sound you’d like them to create.)
C F C G C G
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.
C F C D7 F7
Name and Name you share the drum. Make that thing go bum-bum-bum.
C F G C F C
Name and Name you share the drum. Boom-boom. Boom-boom.
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Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory Memory
Name of Activity: Echo Me
Objective: Children will echo short rhythmic phrases as demonstrated by therapist.
Materials: Drum, tambourine, other interesting instrument.
Method: Therapist plays a short rhythm on the drum and asks child to repeat.
Adaptations: Young children will have to learn what repeating/doing the same means. I teach this by first echoing them and prompting them to echo me. If this doesn’t work, I do something physical like tickle, knock, or poke on the drum and encourage the same. (This is a great memory activity in and of itself!)If children’s responses are inaccurate or inconsistent , I add another sense (tactile) to the experience by setting the drum on the child’s lap and/or vocalizing either “boom,” “knock-knock,” or “ho, ho, ho.” This usually works. Always end up on a successful turn, by modeling something you know the child can do.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Chant something like: Johnny come up 1,2,3! Do the same thing after me.
———————————————————————————————————————————
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Auditory, also awareness of sound and silence, impulse control, following (verbal and non-verbal directions)
Name of Activity: Dance and Sit
Objective: Children will dance when the music plays and sit down when the music stops
Materials: lyrics, guitar, children and chairs
Method: MT sings the words and encourages the children to jump. Children hurry to their seats when the music suddenly stops.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie La Bella margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, melody used: tune – Mexican hat dance. (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Words: D A7
We are all jumping beans, and we really like to Jump!
A7 D
We are all jumping beans, and we really like to Jump!
D A7 We jump and jump and jump. All over the place we jump. We jump and jump and jump. All over the place we jump.

 

D G D D G A
La la la la la la la la la lah. La la la la la la la la la lah.
A G A D
La la la la la la la la la lah. La la la la la la la la la lah
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Expressive language, and good hygene.
Name of Activity: I’ve got a cold in my nose
Objective: children vocalize “ah-choo” and say and/or point to their nose. (Kids think these noises are funny and will often vocalize.)
Materials: I’ve got a cold in my nose – anybody know the source of these lyrics??
Method: Sing along and encourage the objective
Adaptations: (optional) see verse two.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, melody: I use another melody but it works well with “Popeye the Sailor man” (Check out the melody on youtube.)
D A D G A D
I’ve got a cold in my nose “ahh-chooo! ”I ‘ve got a cold in my nose “ahh-chooo!”
G D A D
I went to the doctor to see what to do. The doctor said, “I have one, too.” Ah-choo! Ah-choo!

 

Here’s a verse about coughing: I’ve got a cough in my mouth. I’ve got a cough in my mouth.
I drove in my car (beep, beep) and traveled down south.
And now I’ve got this cough in my mouth!
And about hiccups: What do you do about hiccups? What do you do with these hiccup?
You could shout a big “boo” or “this is a stick-up” (you try to rhyme the word hiccup! Ok, you can change it.)
I don’t know what to do with these hiccups!

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: expressive language and vocalization
Name of Activity: Matilda the Gorilla
Objective: Kids will sing the vowels “ooh” and “ah.”
Materials: lyrics and children
Method: Sing and encourage any vocalizaiton
Adaptations: Children can jump or clap etc. during the verses.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
( This song is amazingly successful. It is “magic” with the children. They “all” respond well to it. Does anybody know who wrote it???)
C G F C C F C G
  1. I had a pet gorilla and her name it was Matilda. Matilda loved to sing songs every day. This is what Matilda
    mi………….fa mi re. re mi fa fa fa solfami sol …………………… .la sol fa fa mi ………………re
C
the gorilla would say.
re miredo do do.
C G F C C F C
Chorus: Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Ooh, ooh, ooh. Ah, ah, ah. Singin’ Ooh,
Mi mi mi re re re fa fa fa mi mi mi sol sol sol fa fa fa do re mi mi
G C
ooh, ah, ah, ah.

 

  1. We went walking through the park. The people would laugh…and the dogs would bark.
They never understood what Matilda would sing. Cause she was singing her gorilla thing.

 

3. Finally the circus man came along. He said “Matilda, I know where you belong. “
Now in the circus, you can see Matilda and her gorilla family.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language
Name of Activity: Out of the Egg
Objective: Improve vocab of body parts, expressive language, vocalization, awareness of low to high and back down to low
Materials: Song, possible pictures and/or puppets
Method: sing and do. We begin crunched down on the floor and work our way up phrase by phrase. At the end we peep down to the ground.
Adaptations: (optional) Stop singing at the end of the phrases and wait for the children to fill in the last word.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Each line goes up a scale note.
Words: Peck, peck, peck on the warm brown egg. ….. Up comes a neck. ….. Out comes a leg.
Here comes a wing with a ………flap, flap, flap……… Happy Easter/spring…….. everybody. ……. What do you think of that?
Then sing down the scale: peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep. Shhhhhhhh! (You can use bak, bak, or other bird sound.)

 

Age: 0-5 +
Goal Area: Receptive language, memory, attention and motor skills
Name of Activity: The Bunny Hop
Objective: Children perform the sequence of movements in the song.
Materials: Kids, live or recorded group-appropriate instrumental version of the “bunny hop” , lyrics, dancing space
Method: Have children stand in a circle. Model each motion and encourage participation. Sing or play the song and act out the motions.
Adaptations: Write you own silly song about a pet. To stimulate vocalization, make all the sound effects the song suggests.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Words: First you wiggle your nose. Then you move your ears. Then you shake your tail and you go hop, hop, hop. (repeat 3x)
During the musical interlude (between the verses), hold hands and circle right then circle left. (Do what fits.)
Age: -5+
Goal Area: Expressive language
Name of Activity: You can’t make a turtle come out.
Objective: To elicit language
Materials: A puppet turtle works wonders. I pair this with the following song often.
Method: Crunch puppet together to simulate a turtle. Have the children shout “come out!” several times to coax the shy turtle. How long can they stretch their sentences. Sometimes I even get “Come out of your shell right now!” But, he only comes out when he hears the word “please?”
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Popeye the sailor man
Chords: C F C F G C
Lyrics: You can’t make a turtle come out. You can’t make a turtle come out.
F C G C G7 C
You can shake him all over or tickle or shout, but you can’t make a turtle come out. Come out!!
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 0-5
Goal Area: Language (expressive / oro-motor and receptive)
Name of Activity: I love to watch the river flow by Laurie Berkner’s Rocketship CD (Check out the melody on youtube.)
Objective: Children will vocalize during the chorus and perform the directions presented during the verses.
Materials: Lyrics and children (see videos)
Method: Sing the song and encourage to vocalize during the chorus. (A toy/real mic will help.) Model the directions given through the verse.
Adaptations: (optional) Make it an artic song and put various consonants before the vowell/s, vary the one-step direction.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

Walk Along The River (look under the video section)
D
When I walk along the river (I take a step, I take a step, I take another step) [repeat 2x: starting on C then D] C G D I love to watch the river flow 2x chorus G D A7 D It goes ooh wah ooh wah Ooh wah ooh wah Ooh wah ooh wah ooh wah ooh. [Repeat once, but end on G chord, not D.] Verse 2: When I Jump Along the river…. Verse 3: When I dance along the river…. ———————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 0-5 and up
Goal Area: Language and auditory processing
Name of Activity: Hot Potato
Objective: Children take turns being it: answering questions and playing the xylophone
Materials: prepared questions appropriate for group, xylophone
Method: Play a song meaningful to the group, and have the children pass a maraca around the circle. When the music stops, the child holding the maraca must answer a question. Invite the speech therapist into this process if you can. (If the group is non-verbal, have the child follow a direction.) That child then goes to the center of the circle and plays the xylophone while the process is repeated. Continue until everyone has had a turn answering questions and playing the xylophone.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Sing to any age-appropriate song. An non-fascinating example is as follows:
Tune: Wheels on the Bus, or any other kid song. As you see the words are easy to adapt.
Lyrics:
C G C
Shake the maraca and pass it down. Pass it down. Pass it down. Shake the maraca and pass it down.
G C
Until the music stops.

 

———————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 4-5 +
Goal Area: socialization (also great for expressive/receptive language)
Name of Activity: The princess
Objective: Kids act out the story
Materials: lyrics and hats for the princess, witch(es) and princ(es), bells for the bushes (bushes will stand around P. and pretend to grow.)
Method: Act out these lyrics and see what ensues.
Adaptations: Draw or create pictures and sing the words as a language activity. Have kids put the pictures in order (sequencing.)
Let the kids make up a few verses. Does anyone know where this song comes from?
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Possible seated motions.
  1. There was a lovely princess, a princess, a princess. There was a lovely princess- a long time ago.
(Point to hair and show it’s beauty.)
  1. She lived up in a castle, a castle, a castle. She lived up in a castle – a long time ago.
(Hold hands overhead, touching fingertips.)
  1. An old witch came to see her, to see her, to see her. An old witch came to see her – a long time ago.
(Make a face, slump over, wiggle fingers.)
  1. She make her prick her finger, her finger, her finger. She make her prick her finger- a long time ago.
(Act this out.)
  1. The princess fell asleep, asleep asleep. The princess fell asleep- a long time ago.
(Act this out. You may snore.)
  1. The bushes grew around her, around her, around her. The bushes grew around her- a long time ago.
( Act like a growing bush: with arms/ hands.)
  1. A handsome prince came riding………………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Tap knees.)
  1. He cut down all the bushes……………………………………………………………………………..- a long time ago.
( Kids tend to make pretend buzz saws)
  1. He woke the sleeping princess……………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Shake your arms, or blow kiss/say ew.)
  1. They had a happy party…………………………………………………………………………………- a long time ago.
(Do a raise the roof motion with arms.)

 

Chords: G C G7 C G7 C G7 C
Melody: 1. There was a lovely princess, a princess, a princess. There was a lovely princess- a long time ago.
Sol la s fa -re do mi mi re fa fa mi sol sol la so fa re do mi mi sol sol solmi.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN AGES 6-12 by musictherapytunes.com

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: social skills (but also physical and language skills, too.)
Name of Activity: Two step directions
Objective: Clients will take turns naming ways to move and then moving in those ways- two movements per verse.
Materials: “ Two-step directions” adapted from “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair,” from South Pacific
Method: Ask two children to think of a way to move and incorporate their suggestions into the song lyrics. Give everyone a turn.
Adaptations: provide an entire verse for one child/motion. Make different classifications of movements such as “how can you move your hands,” or
Show me a slow way to move,” or “how do you move when you’re sad.” Of course you can pick a different melody if you like.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: An example of this would be: (providing you reflect the childrens answers.)
(G) C C/B C/A C/G Dm G7
I’m gonna clap my hands and turn around. (repeat two more times.) Good job Manuel and James.
So la it do do do do domi re do mi sol sol fa la so

 

Age: Open for ALL ages
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Socialization, also language
Name of Activity: “Good morning to you” by Greg and Steve on the CD “We all live together. Vol 2” Hear a sample at amazon
Objective: Kids will sing the song with you.
Materials: Song
Method: MT sings the first greeting and the kids sing the second. Repeat and continue.
Adaptations: (optional) Share an instrument and sing in pairs, Change the words to “Good afternoon, good afternoon to everyone. Our class is beginning so let’s have some fun. Good afternoon. Good afternoon to everyone. Substitute a name exchange back and forth ie: “Good morning to Gregory” “Good morning miss Margie.” (repeat) Gregory you can play it then pass it down the line. Give it to Evelyn. Greg you did just fine.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: “Good Morning” by Greg and Steve in “We all live together. Vol 2”

 

D G D D G D A Bm F#m Asus A D G D D G D A
Good morning. Good morning. Good morning to you. (repeat) Our day is beginning there’s so much to do. Good morning. Good morning. Good
sol la sol sol la sol mi re re sol sol so la mi la sol mi sol sol fa me re sol la sol sol la sol mi

 

A D
morning to you.
Fa me re do
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: academics – connecting a letter with a sound, first letter sound of a given name, learning names of classmates.
Name of Activity: “If your name begins with the letter I sing” as in Nocera’s book song title is “Letters and Names”
Objective: child stands when the first letter of his/her name is sung and follows the one-step direction.
Materials:“If your name begins with the letter I sing” as in Nocera’s “Letters and Names”
Method: Sing the song to one child in the group at a time.
Adaptations: (optional) Have the children use various cognitive abilities. Use to teach colors, numbers, group similarities and differences, birthdays addresses, whatever. More than one child may stand in these cases. Work anything you need into the lyrics. Vary the accompaniment at level and age dictate. It might look like this “If you’re a boy with a square block jump up and down….. jump and take a bow.”
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used:
(A7) D G D A
If your name begins with the letter M, stand up. (rest rest) Stand up (rest rest)
So sol do do do do do do do do fa mi do re.
D G D D A D
If your name begins with the letter M, stand up and take a bow.
So sol do do do do do do do do fa mi do re ti do fa mi do re ti do.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Halloween: Language, syllables, patterns and other auditory skills
Name of Activity: Trick or Treat
Objective: Children participate and sing along. Also a nice set of lyrics for auditory drills via instruments.
Materials: lyrics and instruments
Method: sing and play
Adaptations: (optional) Yes. Sing the chorus and rather than play the verses, have the kids suggest Halloween characters and then play
(and/or speak) the syllables as a rhythm pattern. You can also group characters ie: ghost ghost x-men ghost (this would sound like titi tah.)
Have the kids play and stop with you, go fast and slow, loud and soft……..
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
From the site perpetualpreschool.com:
Melody: Jingle Bells
C F G C
Dashing through the street meeting goblins as we go, wearing contour sheets, wishing it would snow.
C F G C
Bells on doorbells ring making spirits bright. What fun it is to come and sing and get some food tonight.
C F C D G
Oh-Trick-or-Treat, trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat we say. Try to get some treats before the end of the day (or ghost takes us away, if you choose.)
C F C G C
Trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat trick -or-treat we say. If you don’t have treats for us we’ll never go away.

 

Age: 6-12 and younger.
Goal Area: expressive language
Name of Activity: Ed the Ogre. I use this at Halloween, but you certainly can change the character to dinosaurs or other large creatures.
Objective: Children echo the short phrases. You can also discuss the humor of the song.
Materials: song. You can simplify the words if need be.
Method: Explain what an echo song is. Sing it and have children repeat as a group or individually. Using a microphone really ups the participation!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com Source unknown.
Melody: You can get by on: Do to mi and Do to lower la. Pick any melody you like. Rap it. I stick in a chorus of “Oh No!” 3x and end on oh, no no!
Words: 1. Ed the Ogre (repeat) sat down for lunch. (repeat.) He grabbed some toes (repeat) and went crunch crunch crunch. (repeat)
2.Ed the Ogre said mmm, these are nice. These toes are tasty, but they need some spice.
Ed the Ogre gave a great moan. He said “I thought these were your toes, but they’re my own!”
—————————————————————————————————————————————
Age: 6-adult
Goal Area: social/emotional, cognitive/academic
Name of Activity: “Beach Ball”
Objective: People answer questions when they catch the ball.
Materials: age appropriate music, and a beach ball, iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: This is a dressed up, MT variation of “hot potato”
Procedure: When music begins, clients will toss ball back and forth. When MT stops the music, the ball stops moving. The person left holding the ball when the music stops will be asked a question. The question asked will depend on the functioning level of the patient and the goals you are working on in that group. The patients I will see tomorrow are generally low functioning adults. I may ask questions like, “What kind of things can you find at the beach?” or “Name another song that the Beach Boys sang.” If I am working on self-concept with children, I might ask them to name one thing they like about themselves.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
————————————————————————————————————————-
Age: 6-12+
Goal: cooperation
Name of Activity: The Twelve Days of Whatever (you’d like.) First day of school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Arbor day….Vacation.
Materials: Pen and paper, instruments to accompany each verse and represent each character.
Method: Write it. Assign instrument parts. Have the students play when their character is mentioned.
Draw pictures to symbolize each part of the song and each corresponding instrument.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Melody: the 12 days of Christmas
Sample words: On the first day of Halloween my ghoulfriend gave to me.
1. An owl in a haunted tree. (The instrument could be a whistle, blowing into a bottle, an ocarina….)
2. Two trick-or-treaters (Say it in an obnoxious voice.)
3. Three scary skeletons (play a guiro or clatterpillar)
Make up your own with your own creatures.
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Dinosaur Feelings (also can be used at Halloween or with animals and other characters.) The kids always like this one.
Objective: Kids act out the feelings mentioned in the song. A discussion can follow about what makes them feel various ways.
Materials: song, can have pictures of various emotions
Method: Sing. Act. Discuss.
Adaptations: Kids can draw their different faces and hold them up.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com source unknown
Tune: Twinkle Twinkle. I sing it in a minor key. Use a different tune of your choice.
Words: Dinosaurs short. Dinosaurs tall. Scarey, friendly, and that’s not all.
Some feel happy. Some feel sad. Some feel scared and some feel mad!
We like dinosaurs here and there. We like dinosaurs everywhere.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal Area: Halloween– Expressive language, vocal inflection and imitation, conceptual
Name of Activity:
Objective: Kids echo the short phrases. Kids move as the song suggests. Kids modify their voices as the song suggests.
Materials: song, optional mic
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: This one is chanted. Source unknown.

 

The silliest thing (echo) I’ve ever seen (echo etc.) is wacky old witch on a flying machine.
The witch flew high. The witch flew low. The witch flew fast. The witch flew slow.
The witch flew up. The witch flew down She circles all around the town.
Then turning left and turning right, she disappeared into …the…night.
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Comprehension
Name of Activity: The Witches
Materials: just the poem
Method: The reader reads the poem and the actors act out what the words describe.
Adaptations: Find a scary instrumental recording and use it for auditory atmosphere. Make you own scary music to use in the background.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.communicate
Source: Anonymous (really!)
Song: This is a poem but it can be sung to the tune of “Pray for the dead and the dead will pray for you…”
The sky is dark. the stars are bright. The moon is shining too.
Inside a cave the witches meet to mix their favorite brew.

 

They light a fire and when it flames they fetch a big black pot.
They fill it up with lizard’s blood and wait until it’s hot.

 

Each one had brought a magic charm to put into the stew.
A spider’s web, a fairy’s wing, a beetle leg or two.

 

They take a stick and bending low they stir the mixture round.
they rub their fingers, old and cramped and stamp upon the ground.

 

Their wizened faces grin with glee as round the pot they prance.
Their sharp eyes glisten in the dark. . Their cloaks swirl as they dance.

 

They drink and then into the sky on broomsticks swift and light.
They cackle hoarsely as they fly and soon are out of sight.
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation, working as a team
Name of Activity: Indians (change as you wish.) Sound Poem
Materials: Drums (2) cymbols, whistle, sand blocks
Method: Review the poem with the kids. Assign each child (or group thereof) an instrument. Kids play their instruments at specific times providing a musical background for the poem.
Source: Byrd Baylor (I think)
Adaptations: If the children can not read, make up drawings whereby they can
read” the sequence of instruments. Put your own instrumentation in. Record it.
Draw pictures and make a video.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com

 

Ka-trum. Katrum. Ka-trum. (drum 1) When Buffalo run (drum 2)
They darken the sun. (cymbal) They cover the sky as they pass by. (drum2)
Tall grasses lie flat (sandblocks) and wild birds cry. (whistle)
And dry earth trembles as they pass by. (drum1)
Native Americans stay quiet as the grass. (sandblocks)
Quiet as the shadows where buffalo pass. (drum2)
Until the zing of an arrow (cymbal) and the shish of a spear (slide whistle)
tell you they must be somewhere near….. (all read/say together.)
Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation
Name of Activity: Native American Sound Poem (Works well with Thanksgiving)
Materials: poem, guiro, bells, clatterpillar, drum, sand blocks.
Method: Speaker reads the poem, instrumentalists play their instruments at the specified time. Jam up a melody for it.
Namely, after each sentence.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Source: Carol Bitcom
Instrumentation: Moccasins-guirro, bells, fire-clatterpillar, drums, brushes-sandblocks
Words: Get your….
Moccasins creeping. Ankle bells ringing. Fire spitting. Drums beating. Brushes swishing.
Here We have a tale to tell.
Moccasins creeping. Bells ringing. Fire spitting. Drums beating . Brushes swishing
What will happen? None of Us know.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 6-12 and younger for Chanukkah
Goal: Socialization and following directions. Takes patience and fine motor skills too.
Name of Activity: Spin the musical dreidl.
Materials: a dreile with pictures of instruments taped to it. Enough instruments to go ‘round.
Method: Children spin the driedle and then take the corresponding instrument.
Adaptations: For a larger class, have 2 dreidles. I sometimes call this activity the spin of acceptance game. So if the kids really want to totally choose their own instruments, I tell them they can do so next time- in a few minutes. If your kids can’t physically spin a dreidle, then stick some pictures to a cube shaped box and spin like a dice game.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Go ahead and sing whatever Chanukah song you like.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-10 (and under)
Goal: to improve knowledge of special relationships/prepositions.
Name of Activity: My ride with Santa
Materials: lyrics, and pictures depicting the lyrics.
Method: Show, sing and do. Leaving out the last word or key word in the sentence for the children to fill in elicits learning.
Adaptations: Have the children act out the lyrics.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.communicate
Source: unknown. Please let me know if you know!
Melody: Up on the Housetop
C F G
Words: Over the treetops. Above (over) the house- I’m gonna help Santa steer.
C F g7 C
Between the mountains. Under the bridge- whoops, am I too near?

 

Around a corner, into a cloud fly fast you fleet footed dear.
Under the moon and around a star. Listen, can you hear?
Beneath the bells and past the brook the night is cold and clear.
Down the chimney while I’m in bed dreaming of good cheer.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal: To improve auditory comprehension
Name of Activity: The Snowball
Materials: song
Method: Sing and do motions. Discuss what really happened here. Talk about ice melting and more.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Source: unknown
Melody: Verse of “I’m getting’ nuttin’ for Christmas,” or a 4/4 version of “Clemintine.”
Words: I made myself a snowball as perfect as could be. I thought I’d keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas and a pillow for it’s head. Then last night it ran away, but first it wet the bed.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 6-12 and younger
Goal: To improve verbal language and to allow the children to contribute to the song lyrics.
Name of Activity: What we do in Winter time.”
Materials: song, and pictures things people do in the Wintertime.
Method: Familiarize the children with the song. Ask them what they do in the winter and incorporate their responses.
You can act out the verses if you wish.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody:” I heard the bells on Christmas day” Note- you can sing this song all winter long.
E A B7
Words: I made a snowman out of snow in winter time, in winter time.
E A B7 E
I made a snowman out of snow in winter time when it’s cold out. Brrrrrrrrrr.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 

Age: 6-12-
Goal Area: Language (correction of absurdities.)
Name of Activity: Tiny Tim
Objective: Children will correct the impossibilities mentioned in the song lyrics.
Materials: Kids. Song.
Method: Sing. Discuss what’s silly with the song. Discuss healthy things to eat and drink, and hygene.
Adaptations: Write you own silly song about a pet. To stimulate vocalization, make all the sound effects the song suggests.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Melody: Miss Lucy had a baby/steamboat
Lyrics: I had a little turtle. His name was tiny Tim. I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim. He drank up all the water. He ate up all the soap.
And he burped last night from a bubble in his throat.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-12 (Also works for 3-5s)
Goal Area: Understanding of opposites
Name of Activity: Two little blackbirds
Objective: Kids will sing and dramatize the lyrics
Materials: Song. Kids. Objects with the qualities mentioned in the lyrics can help foster understanding.
Method: Sing. Act out. Have the kids come up with their own opposite verses. Any animal will do. Use puppet, too.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com Source unknown.
Melody: ABC song
1. Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill. One named Jack and one named Jill. Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill. Come back Jack. Come back Jill.
  1. Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud. One was quiet and the other was loud. Fly away quiet. Fly away loud. Come back quiet. Come back loud.
  2. Two little blackbirds shopping at the mall. One was large (big) and the other was small….
  3. …………………………..were getting very old. One was hot and the other was cold…………..
  4. ………..sitting on a stick. One was healthy and the other was sick……..
  5. ………..sitting on a kite. One was heavy and the other was light….
  6. ……….Henry and Moe. One was fast and the other was slow…..
  7. ……Buffy and Brad. One was happy and the other was sad.
  8. ……doing the hop. One liked to wiggle and other liked to stop. ….
  9. …feeling rather grand. One liked to sit and the other liked to stand……
Age: 6-12+/-
Goal Area: Auditory attention and discrimination
Name of Activity: Partner eggs (you can use another shape container.)
Objective: Kids find an egg that sounds just their own
Materials: Prepared eggs. Buy hollow Easter eggs and fill with items that make distinct sounds.
Examples include paper clips, rice, rocks, jingle bells, cotton, sand……Make two or three of each.
Method: Shake each egg for the group and show them what is inside. Then just shake and ask the class to tell you what is in each egg.
Give them a set of eggs then have them match their egg-sound to your own. The trickiest level is to give everyone an egg and ask them to find the same sound. The reward is an egg shaking song for everyone!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com Source unknown.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Age: 6-12
Goal Area: social skills (leading and following)
Name of Activity: Shadow music. Great for Groundhog’s day.
Objective: Clients take turns going behind the screen and having the rest of the group imitate their movement/dancing.
Materials: overhead projector or other light source, sheet, music of a variety of styles.
Method:
Adaptations: “Greg and Steve” have a song called “Just like Me,” which is great for this. This activity is great for groundhog’s day.
Try it with short excerpts from a variety of musical styles, genres, orchestrations, and time periods. This is good for helping to establish
a relationship between what is heard and a related physical response.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Cognitive (Attention span)
Name of Activity: Chester
Objective: Kids perform the movements while singing the song.
Materials: Chester
Method: Kids keep up.
Adaptations: for increased auditory discrimination try singing loudly, softly, quickly, slowly, with various emotions.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
melody used: Yankee Doodle

 

lyrics: Chester have you heard about Harry. – Just got back from the army. I hear he knows how to wear a rose.
Motions: touch chest then ear…….. hair. Chest then back arm-then self .Ear nose circle finger near

 

Hip-hip- hooray for the army.
Touch 2 hips………… .arm-self.
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Cognitive (attention span) Very similar to previous song.
Name of Activity: Tony Chestnut
Objective: Same as above
Materials: Kids keep up
Method: Sing it. (Of course the boys may get carried away with this one.)
Adaptations: for increased auditory discrimination try singing loudly, softly, quickly, slowly, with various emotions.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Melody used: “What do you do with a drunken sailor?” Chords: Am/// G/// Am/// G/Am/
Lyrics: To-ni Chest-nut knows I love her. Repeat 2 more times. That’s what To-ni knows.
Motions: Point to your toe-knee (Toni) chest-head nose self- heart -point over there.
Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Cognitive (numbers and preposition/spacial relationships)
Name of Activity: Going over the Sea
Objective: Students review numbers, and concepts of over, under, backwards, forward
Materials: Song “Going over the Sea”
Method: Sing song and act out the chorus. Motions: show finger numbers. Act out the activity. While seated, “jump” with your feet, then put your hands together like a boat, then give a salute. For the chorus, place both hands in the specified position.
Adaptations: Draw or get simple pictures of each verse. Make up your own verses.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Make up your own or use this one.
G C G7 C
  1. When I was one I ate a bun going over the sea.
sol do do do mi sol mi do re re sol la ti do.

 

I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me, ( Use the same melody/chords)
C G C
Chorus: Going over, going under, going backward, going forward. Stand at attention like a soldier with a 1, 2, 3!”.
sol ti do mi (same………………………………………………………………………………………………….sol la do do do.

 

2. When I was two I played with glue -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
3. When I was three I hugged a tree. -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
4. When I was four I knocked at the door -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
5. When I was five I learned to dive -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
  1. When I was six I learned to mix -going over the sea. I jumped aboard a sailing ship and the captain said to me,
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Age: 6-12+
Goal: Cooperation, group contribution and participation.
Name of Activity:
Materials: Silence (a sound poem)
Method: The group creates background music/ sound effects after each line of the poem is read.
Adaptations: Have the group read it emphasizing the last word of each sentence in a way that relates to that word. Certainly, you can create your own image and sound poem.
Source: Eve Merriam – The inner city mother goose
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Hark, Hark the dogs do bark. The neighbors yell. The babies cry. The busses grind. The bongs bong.
The telephones ring. The jet plans fly. The car horns honk. The taxis screech. The radio’s on. The TV’s high.
The rock and roll pours from the CD stores. The subway roars. The old women mutter in the gutter.
The rats squeak. The flies buzz. Only the roaches quietly crawl.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression (verbal and non-verbal)
Name of Activity: Cinquain
Objective: Clients write and play a short sound poem
Materials: interesting instruments
Method: Name your topic. Examples are: things we wish for, things we like, things we dislike, things we want….. Teach the students what a cinquain is and help them to write one. Students choose an instrument to represent their cinquain. They read/sing and accompany their poem. Discuss.
Adaptations: The students play while the therapist reads.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
A cinquain is a five line poem. The first line is one word. The next line consists of two words elaborating on line one.
The third line is three words long. Fourth line is four words, and the fifth line is one word.
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: cognitive and social
Name of Activity: Musical sign Bingo
Objective: Clients learn about musical signs and notes. See adaptations. They play the game patiently and accept their own or someone else’s winning.
Materials: Home-made or prepared music bingo cards and place markers.
Method: Play Musical Bingo and use a favorite song as the prize.
Adaptations: Use this format to teach rhythm instruments, or band/orch instruments!! Use to teach everyday environmental sounds.
This is a big auditory discrimination goal! It takes some effort to prepare the sounds, but it’ll be worth your while.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: language arts
Name of Activity: Musical Madlibs
Objective: Kids will provide nouns, verbs, colors, numbers, and more upon therapist request
Materials: Familiar song with key words removed. (Write down the part of speech you will request for each deleted word. This really helps.)
Method: Ask the students a variety to “wh” questions and for parts of speech, incorporate into song.
Adaptations: We all know how we used to play this game. Tell the kids to keep it “clean!”
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords: Of your choice. Here’s a mundane example. Also works well with holiday songs.
Try it with a song that the kids know already.
Oh, Susanna!
I came from ___________ with a ____________on my knee.
(a restaurant) (fav. instrument)
I’m going to _____________. My ____________for to see.
(a place you want to be) (fav. person)
Oh, ______________ won’t you ____________ for me.
(name) (verb)
I’m going to _____________ with a ______________on my knee.
(place) (instrument)
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: language and social skills
Name of Activity: It’s time to say goodbye now
Objective: Clients will give eye contact to the therapist, sing the word “goodbye”, and wave.
Materials: adapted version of “I got a Feelin” ‘ by Black Eyed Peas (You can hear the melody on youtube)
Method: Sing and do
Adaptations: Mellow it up for preschool kids. The song is also good for sign language and to help kids give eye-contact and wave.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords:
C F
I’ve got a feelin’ that it’s time to say goodbye now.
Am
Yes it’s time to say goodbye now.
F C
It’s time to say good, good bye.

 

Age: 5-12-
Goal Area: Expressive language (also attention)
Name of Activity:The sound Song (please let me know the origin, if you have it!)
Objective: Kids make the sounds of the objects named in this song.
Materials: Song. Kids. Pictures would help but may not be necessary.
Method: Sing.
Adaptations: (optional) Let each child have a turn to supply one sound in the verse or song. Record it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: “Come everybody let’s all clap hands.” (from the Mexican folk song.) Aka: do do mi sol mi do it (la sol) ti ti re fa re ti do (la sol)
D A D
Words: The airplane it likes to go zoom, zoom, zoom. The drum it likes to go boom, boom, boom.
D A A7 D
The owl it likes to go who, who, whom. And the rhinoceros likes lots of room, room, room.
G D A7 DD7 G D A7 D
*Room, room, room, room- the rhinoceros likes lots of room. Room, room, room, room- the rhinoceros likes lots of room.

 

2. The camel- it has a big hump….., The bus -it likes to go bump….. The elephant it is so plump…..and the dinosaur likes to go stomp.
*Stomp, stomp stomp stomp- the dinosaur likes to go stomp……… (repeat>)

 

  1. The thunder it likes to go crash…. the water- it likes to go splash…The lightning it likes to go flash…. The potato it likes to go mash
*Repeat with potato as above.

 

  1. The car it likes to go beep….The snail it likes to go creep….Weeping willows like to go weep…..While I like to sleep….
    *Repeat with sleep as above.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression and social skills
Name of Activity: Here’s my name and what I like
Objective: Students will fill out a song form with their name and things they like/dislike.
Materials: Pages with song and blank spaces provided, pens, a variety of age-appropriate instruments.
Adaptations: Teacher takes down their answers and sings them if students are not able.
Method: Students fill out form, choose an instrument to accompany it with and perform their verse.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords: Kids can rap this or jam to any popular chord progression. Examples: Em-C- D repeated. Em-Dm repeated. Blues progression.
Words: My name is ________________. I said _______________is my name.
_______________________ is my favorite game.
I like___________________ think____________________is bad.
My song is _______________________ the best that I had.

 

Age: 6-12
Goal Area: emotional expression and social skills
Name of Activity: My music tells you how I feel
Objective: Students tell you how they are feeling, and portray that feeling on an instrument.
Materials: My music tells you how I feel by Margie La Bella
Method: Hand out paper and pencil. Students fill out the form and perform it for the class.
Adaptations: Class jams along with the student leader. Change up the words to reflect feeling toward a situation. Example: I feel real mad when they fight. Or I feel better when I play out my guitar. Do an introductory verse on “My music tells you how I feel” then get person-specific. Make a class verse.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Chords: Blues progression
Words:
My music tells you I feel ________. My music tells you I feel____________.
Feeling come and feeling go. But I’ll tell you this I know.
My music tells you I feel______________.

 

Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Academic (rhyming as a pre-reading skill.)
Name of Activity: Abracadabra – to hand out instruments.
Objective: Children come up to choose an instrument when they hear a word that rhymes with their name.
Materials: Words, and interesting instruments.
Method: Sing or chant the first three short phrases of the song, pausing before the fourth to allow the children to figure out whose name was rhymed.
Adaptations: This one works for kids who are into Harry Potter. Change the character as needed to foster the group’s interest.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Abracadabra, Abracada-_(say the child’s first name minus the first letter)
Whose turn is it? Must be ????? (Pause and let the child/ren finish or help them finish successfully.)
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Cognitive thinking skills
Name of Activity: Dance and freeze (problem solving, understanding prepositions.)
Objective: children will follow the directions given during the game.
Materials: Music that the kids are familiar with and enjoy (not too rowdy.)
Method: Tell the children that they are to move to the music and then freeze in the stated position when the music stops.
Adaptations: see below
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics and Chords: Up to you and the needs/preferences of your group.
Here are examples of how to get the game going:
  1. When the music stops, freeze behind your chair. ( Or other spacial relations.)
  2. ……………………………. put your head (foot, elbow or other body part) on your chair
  3. A combo version………. put your (part) under (or other preposition) your chair.
  4. Another combo ………..put one foot under your chair and the other on top.
  5. Freeze like a decided upon animal or character.
  6. Freeze near something yellow (or other color.)
  7. Freeze near something we eat at, or sharpen our pencils with, or where we hang out backpacks… or other object-function relationship.
  8. Try whatever you and/or the kids think up.

 

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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Social skills: leading, following, attending, contributing
Name of Activity: Conductor
Objective: Kids will play their instrument when the conductor points to them.
Materials: Instruments interesting to the students. I like to use tone bells or resonator bells with the fourth removed.
Method: Each student selects an instrument and one student is chosen to be the conductor. The conductor points to the different instrumentalists and they play until he puts his arm down or behind his back.
Adaptations: Exaggerated movements can mean to play loudly, small movements can mean soft. Related movements can signify fast,slow, long and short (poking the air) music. The game can also be done vocally, which is a blast and can help with expressiveness.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Emotional expression and language
Name of Activity: Singing with feeling
Objective: Kids name feelings and then act out bodily , facially, and vocally.
Materials: Any familiar kids song (ABCs, We all live in a yellow submarine, Bingo- it’s up to you and/or the kids.)
Method: Kids can pick a face or feeling and then sing the song while acting out the emotion
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email)
This activity works well with younger kids too. We don’t get to express certain emotions much in our culture-in a positive way. This activity
also tends to activate and focus a figity bunch of kids.
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Age: 6-12
Goal Area: Auditory skills (instrument discrimination) and social skills needed to play the game (turn taking, waiting, impulse control…..)
Name of Activity: Hangman
Objective: Kids listen to recorded instruments, name the instrument, guess a letter, and listen to favorite song.
Materials: board to write on, CD of recorded instruments, a song to listen to as a reward.
Method: Therapist thinks of a word related to something the students are learning about, and puts one line for each letter on the top of the board.
Students take turns listening to an instrument and naming it. The other kids can help, if that is best. When this is done, the student guesses a letter. If correct, the therapist puts the letter where it fits on the word. If incorrect, s/he draws a circle on the board and begins to draw the body part by part. This sounds more gory than it is.
Adaptations: (optional) OK, in this day and age, you may want to change the name of this game from Hangman to something else and/or mark off the guesses in a different way. I’m up for suggestions. Haven’t played this one in a long time.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Whatever is meaningful to the students and their needs.
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: social skills (non verbal communication)
Name of Activity: Wink-out or Zapper (in the old days it was called musical murder.)
Objective: Kids conform with rules of game and try to figure out who is “the Zapper”
Materials: tone bells
Method: Therapist passes out bells to each student. She puts one piece of paper for each student into a hat, writing the word “Zapper” on one piece of paper. Everyone begins to play their bells. The zapper systematically begins to wink at group members to Zap them out. When a player is zapped, he pretends to faint and falls over. The object of the game is for the students to guess the identity of the zapper. The game repeats.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 6-12 –
Goal Area: Setting appropriate bounderies. (Anti-bullying./empathy)
Name of Activity: Don’t you push me down
Objective: Kids sing and discuss when probs occur, resultant feelings, and what can be done to remedy. Kids suggest lyrics to go into the chorus.
Materials: Song.
Method: Sing and have whatever discussions are possible
Adaptations: Roll play situations. Use puppets Draw them out. Make social stories. Switch the words up to make it more current.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Tune: Jingle Bells Words: Woody Guthrie
C F G C
1. You can play with me and you can hold my hand. We can go together down to the ice cream man.
C F G C
You can wear my mommy’s shoes. You can wear my daddy’s hat. You can even laugh at me but don’t you push me down.
C G7
Chorus: Oh, don’t you push me, push me, push me. Don’t you push me down. (repeat, but play last chord: C)

 

  1. You can play with me. We can play all day. You can use my dishes, if you’ll put them away.
    You can feed me apples and oranges and plums, You can even wash my face but don’t you push me down.
    3. You can play with me and we can build a house. You can take my ball and bounce it all around.
    You can take my scates and ride them all around. You can even get mad at me but don’t you push me down!
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———Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities!———
Age: 6-12
Goal Area: cognitive
Name of Activity: Letters in the air
Objective: Children will either make pre-letter shapes in the air or actual letters.
Materials: props (see adaptations) children’s recorded song that offers a karaoke version, or familiar instrumental music.
Method: Come up with a movement or sequence of movements to do during the chorus and make letter shapes during the verses. Sing/chant
what you’re doing. Pre-letter shapes can include: horizontal lines, vertical lines, dots, circles, “bounces,” curves, criss-crosses, and more. (Ask the OT or classroom teacher.)
Adaptations: Use maracas or scarves. Use this activity to help the children so as to improve their skills such as crossing midline, following a shape, moving weaker muscles, following patterns and more. Again – ask the teacher or therapist what the kid’s needs are.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR STUDENTS AGES 13-18 by musictherapytunes.com

 

Age: 13 -18 +-
Goal Area: social skills and emotional expression
Name of Activity: Shadow Sheet
Objective: Students portray their message to music via shadow play.
Materials: overhead projector or other light source, large white sheet or other cloth, music on a prearranged theme.
Method: This can be done individually or in groups. Students create a dance or expressive movement arrangement to
non-verbally portray their feelings about the topic expressed in the song. Discussions can follow. Of course, rules about
what types of lyrics and movements are to be allowed/disallowed (prob. dependent upon the client’s needs
and type of setting) can be discussed ahead of time.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Dependent upon age, facility, and client need.
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These are good pop songs with appropriate lyrics. Give a listen and make sure they will work for your particular goals, facility and group/individual.
1)Kick, Push(2006), Lupe Fiasco”Welcome Back” – Mase “Switch” – Will Smith
2)Kiss Kiss(2007), Chris brown. “The Way I Are” – Timbaland  “Come To Me” – Diddy
3)You Make Me Better(2007), Fabolous.  “Freshazimiz” – Bow Wow
4)Whip My Hair (2010), Willow Smith. Sung by Will Smith’s daughter!
5)Good Morning(2009), Chamillionaire “Kiss Kiss” – Chris Brown feat. T-Pain
“Dangerous” -Ying Yang Twins feat Wycle  “Sweetest Girl” – Wyclef, Akon, Lil Wayne  “I Got It From My Mama” – 
Will.I.Am  “Let’s Get Retarded or (it started)” – Black Eyed Peas “I Want You” – Common
“Seed 2.0” – The Roots “Quality Control” – Jurassic 5  “The Way You Move” – Outkast
“Feel Good Inc.” – Gorillaz “Control Myself” – LL Cool J feat J-Lo  “Money Maker” – Ludacris “You Make Me Better” – Fabolous feat Ne-Yo  “Lose Control” – Missy Elliot  “The Good Life” -Kanye West “Blow Ya Mind” – Eve feat Gwen Stefani  “Kick, Push” – Lupe Fiasco
“She Wants To Move” – N.E.R.D. “Dilemma” – Nelly feat Kelly Rowland
1)”Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield 2)”Video” by India.Arie 3) “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
4)”Fifteen”by Taylor Swift 5)”Gone”by Switchfoot  ” Who I am”
So many thanks to :
michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Age: a Variety of ages from 11 through older adults
Goal Area: social arena: from lyric discussion and substitution, fill-in the blanks and more for groups and individuals needing to discus particular topics
Objective: emotional and social growth
Materials: This is an incredible page!! Beyond valuable! Thanks to Michelle Strutzel. Http://www.scribd.com/doc/35744511/Songs-by-Topic
This site has a long list of songs and discussion topics.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: check out youtube, itunes etc to access the music.

 

Age: 6-adult
Goal Area: social/emotional, cognitive/academic
Name of Activity: “Beach Ball”
Objective: People answer questions when they catch the ball.
Materials: age appropriate music, and a beach ball, iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: This is a dressed up, MT variation of “hot potato”
Procedure: When music begins, clients will toss ball back and forth. When MT stops the music, the ball stops moving. The person left holding the ball when the music stops will be asked a question. The question asked will depend on the functioning level of the patient and the goals you are working on in that group. The patients I will see tomorrow are generally low functioning adults. I may ask questions like, “What kind of things can you find at the beach?” or “Name another song that the Beach Boys sang.” If I am working on self-concept with children, I might ask them to name one thing they like about themselves.
Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: 13-18+
Goal Area: Self-expression, group cooperation
Name of Activity: Programmatic Music or Sound Track
Objective: Students write an add-on story to programmatic music. They then select their own instruments and accompany the story themselves.
Materials: A few selections of highly programmatic music; music that the composer used to create an image/story (like “Pictures at an Exhibition,” or
Peter and the wolf,” pieces of Edvarg Grieg…) paper, pen, lots of interesting instruments to create a variety of sounds.
Method: Play a bit of 1,2,or 3 pieces and tell the students they are going to write a story or script to the music. Have them choose the piece, if you want. Then give one student the pen and paper and tell him/her to begin a story. Pass the paper to the next student and ask them to read the previous part and continue the story. Content boundaries may be set dependent on student ages, needs, and facility rules. The story is then read back by the students or therapist with the music playing in the background. Part two: the students then think of their own way to accompany the
story with their own instruments. Parts and/or roles are assigned, students choose instruments to represent these, and create their own programmatic music.
Adaptations: Record or video the story, and/or the student’s music.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Age: 13-18 and younger
Goal Area: Socialization, group cohesion, to close session, to sum up a session.
Name of Activity: I got a feeling’
Objective: Kids sing the song to close the session.
Materials: Adapted chorus of “I’ve got a feeling’ “ by Black Eyed Peas
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: (optional) To foster the feeling that all group members belong, are important and contribute to the group- you can pass around a meaningful instrument and have everyone play a solo. All should be encouraged, but none made to play. Add additional verses on how the group went or anything special about this particular group. Do a fill in song: It’s time to say ____________ . Add the client’s name in rather than say the word “I.” (On a simpler level, there’s a great days of the week song in this tune just waiting to be written or added to this one.)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: See youtube for the melody.
C F (G) Am F
I got a feeling that it’s time to say goodbye now. Yea, it’s time to say goodbye now. Oh it’s time to say good, goodbye.
Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
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Age: 13-18 +/-
Goal Area: self-expression, emotional expression
Name of Activity: Guided imagery and a song
Objective: Clients undergo a guided imagery experience and make a song about what they imagined.
Materials: A good guided imagery song conducive to the client’s needs and interesting age-appropriate instruments.
Method: This is not my expertise so feel free to write you own activities and send! Give the guided imagery experience, at the level which is appropriate to your training. The clients then make a song about what they experienced. Perform and discuss. Songs can be as short or long as client’s need. A Cinquain formbelow and is a good, simple way to get clients writing.
Adaptations: Have the people draw a scene from their experience and discuss.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
A cinquain form is this: You will be writing a five line poem. The first line is one word. The next line consists of two words elaborating on line one.
The third line is three words long. Fourth line is four words, and the fifth line is one word. You can do it to any poetry form you with. Haiku, fill in the blank. Try this one: I saw______. I felt________. I wanted_________ I wish______I will__________. Do a poem with the 5 senses.
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Drawing to different musical styles/moods
Objective: Kids will draw to various styles or “feels” of music, and discuss the results of how the feeling portrayed in the music is reflected in the actual art.
Materials: Music of a variety of styles or moods, art materials of your choice, paper.
Method: Discuss what the aim for the activity is. Choose music, play it, create by it and discuss.
Adaptations: Kids can choose music of a variety of moods. This itself is a valuable experience! You can also have them choose instrumental music only, or music highlighting the voice only. You can discuss what they think the out come will be ahead of time, and if the results proved or disproved the hypothesis.
You can do this with any art medium. Crayons, paint, glue-paint, glow paint..clay….
Lyrics and Chords: Up for grabs as need be.
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: Emotional expression
Name of Activity: Making a video to recorded music
Objective: Students work together to create a music video
Materials: cd, cd player, video camera, props needed, lighting, and lots of room
Method: Tell the class that they can work together to pick a topic, a song, and make a video.
Adaptations: (optional) Make the video with the kids playing their own instruments! Smaller groups of students can work together.
Lyrics and Chords: Whatever they choose (as long as it in accordance with their needs, and the philosophy of the administration/program.)
Submitted by: : Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age 13-18
Goal Area: self-expression, and math
Name of Activity: Dice game
Objective: Students share information about themselves.
Materials: Dice, favorite songs, rules.
Method: Students take turn rolling the dice. If the dice land on an even number, the student must say something about himself or answer a question asked by another student. If the number is odd, he gets to ask a question. If the dice land on doubles, then a favorite song is played. You may want to make a rule that certain language and content is not allowed- depending upon the needs of the group and/or facility.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: social skills, listening to each other, cooperating, leading, and following
Name of Activity: Rhondo Jam
Objective: Students take turns improvising their own solo and and then return to the group’s repeated theme.
Materials: instruments and a familiar song, chord progression, or rhythmic beat.
Method: The form of a rhondo is ABACADAE… where A is like a chorus that is always returned to and the other letters are individualized solos.
Adaptations: music suitable to the group.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: emotional expression
Name of Activity: Which one am I
Objective: Students share how they feel and why they relate to the song.
Materials: List of popular songs, recording of those songs.
Method: Students are given a list of popular songs. They choose one song that represents where they are “at”. Today and tell the group why. The song is then played and the mood, feelings, and related situations discussed.
Adaptations: To make it a little safer for members, students can discuss how the person in the song feels and why.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: Please tell me what you use for this activity. Any variations?
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Age: 13-18 and up
Goal Area: emotional expression
Name of Activity: Song rewrite
Objective: Students fill in the blanks to chosen songs and discuss/share what and why they wrote.
Materials: Songs meaningful to the individuals or group with key words removed.
Method: Students fill in the blanks to chosen songs and discuss/share what and why they wrote.
Adaptations: (optional)
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics: Again, what songs do you use for this? Email me! How does it work best?
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Age: 13-18 +/- (I use with pre-k but also for the elderly)
Goal Area: Memory, attention, patterning
Name of Activity: Watson Allman’s Dance (Seated)
Objective: Clients remember and perform the step in the dance
Materials: Song Watson Allman by Sam Bush on Glamour and Grits.
Method: I chant the directions until the group is familiar with them, then gradually fade them out.
Adaptations: (optional) Have the members think of their own movements. (You’ll see the chant and the related motions below.)
The words and movement really mirror the music. So you’ll hear what part of the words can be adjusted for your group.
I’ll underline the words that are best changed/adjusted, to try to make seem less difficult-it’s not!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Motions: After the intro, snap to the next 4 measures (counted slowly)
Part One: feet feet feet and a clap clap clap. (repeat 2 more times.) Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(motions: move one foot toward you and the other away- repeat 2x and then clap clap clap. Spin arms and tap knees.)
Part two is same as part one.
Part three: Throw the baseball and hit it with a bat. (repeat 2x) Now two thumbs up what do you think of that?
( pretend to throw a ball. Clasp hands together on one shoulder, switch shoulders, and return to the first one- like bad batting.)
Part Four: Open close. Open close.,and clap, clap, clap. Repeat 2x. Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(Move feet apart, then together 2x and add 3 claps. Spin arms and tap legs.)
Part Five: Shake your hands to the right, then on the left. Repeat 3x. OR, you can also pretend to alternate bw the mandolin and bass.
Part Six: Twist, twist, twist and clap, clap, clap. Repeat 2x. Then round and around and a tap tap tap.
(Twist as far in one direction as you can, then the other…..)
Part Seven: Repeat part three.
Part Eight: Repeat part one. (or use your own ideas)

 

———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———
MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG ADULTS AGES 18-29 (see above, too)
by musictherapytunes.com
Age: teens and adults
Goal Area: developing Trust in other people
Name of Activity: Trust walk
Objective: Clients will take turns guiding each other through a blindfolded trust walk following only the sound of the leader’s bell or other instrument. Each person has a turn being a leader and a truster.
Materials: blindfold (not everyone will tolerate this-clients can peek when they need to or even use their hands to cover their vision.) and a sounding musical instrument. A small cordless radio will also do.
Method: Clients discuss the issue of trust and that they will each take a turn being guided by another person by their hearing alone. Also discuss related thoughts and feeling before and after the experience.
Adaptations: Try it out for yourself so you know how it feels, and so you can “iron out any bumps.”
Submitted by: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 18-29
Goal Area: motor skills- to increase range of motion
Name of Activity: Drummin’ up
Objective: Client reaches out, over, up, around in order to contact the drum surfaces.
Materials: Drums placed strategically around client.
Method: Coordinate this activity with the guidance of the client’s PT! Place drums so that the person has to use specific muscles, and reach out to play strategically placed drums in order to increase range of motion, and/or muscle strength.
Adaptations: Play live or recorded music in a style that will help the client accomplish the goal.
Submitted by: Margielessonplans@gmail.com

 

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Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: 18-28+/-
Goal Area: mental alertness, cognitive stimulation, and mood elevation.
Name of Activity: Music Trivia
Objective: Participants will earn points by naming artists, titles, performing tasks and contributing to the game in general.
Materials: iPod and speakers, White board, Dry/erase markers
Method: 1) Split your group into two teams. Have them come up with a team name.
2) Decide who goes first (the team who has a person with the closest birthday goes first, for example).
3) Play a song for that team. Teams get one point for artist, one point for song title. You can throw in fun points here and there, like a point for dancing the Cupid Shuffle or a point for naming the movie that Eye Of the Tiger is famous for.
4) Repeat step 3, alternating between teams. If a team is at a loss for artist or title, you can allow the other team to “steal” their point.
5) Towards the end of the session, make it a “free for all.” Anyone can guess at any time. Warning: you have to pay close attention to who guesses correctly first. It is hard when a few people shout it out at once.
I do not blindly choose songs either. There are two reasons that I can think of to rig the game this way. (A) I want to set the patient up for success. If they are slow to answer and points are popping up from everyone but that patient, play something you think they will know right off the bat. (B) I want to shape a person’s mood. Today a patient came into session late. She planted herself right in front of me with arms crossed and started yelling at the staff. Well, my next song was Michael Jackson, something I really thought she’d enjoy. By the end of the hour she was dancing like crazy, smiling and laughing! It is awesome to see changes like that happen in front of you.

 

Submitted by: Submitted by:michellerjs@gmail.com Website:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
Age: Adult +/-
Goal Area: social (cooperation) , cognitive,
Name of Activity: Musical Jeopardy
Objective: To elicit cooperation between team members, to stimulate cognitive skills
Materials: A list of potential correct answers to categories such as below. Rule/category sheets. Large paper. Marker. Music to play for 100 point questions.
Method :In this game, you will divide your group into two teams. Have the teams select a name and decide who goes first. Each team will get a turn to choose a question based on the number of points it is worth. To find the answer, the team will work together. Like Jeopardy, 100 point questions are simpler than 500 point questions. The questions and points are as follows: Use the web as a resource to collect and verify information if necessary.
100 points…Name that tune
Much like music trivia, play a song from the iPod and have the team guess the song’s title.
200 points…Artists that start with the letter _____
Name a letter. A=Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, ABBA.
300 points…Song scramble
mi awglink no nusihens=I’m Walking On Sunshine
400 points…Fill in the blank
Fill in the missing word(s) in the song title. I Walk the___________=I Walk the Line
500 points…Song titles that include the word _____
Give a word found in some song titles. Have the team come up with a title that incorporates that word. “Stop”=Stop! In the Name Of Love,
Don’t Stop Believin’
  Adaptations: (optional) Use categories and songs meaningful to your group’s age, abilities, goals, diagnoses….
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs@gmail.comWebsite:beyondthemusicmt.blogspot.com
Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns
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Age: Can vary from age 11 to older adult
Goal Area: social/emotional expression, sharing and healing in a non-threatening activity.
Name of Activity: Thoughts onLine
Objective: People read through a list of song lines and choose sentences (from lyrics) that represent where they “are at” and how they feel about their lives.
Materials: Here is a sample of two pages (cut and paste) http://www.scribd.com/full/36140545?access_key=key-1me4nxsflkf9el5tl5oz
Method:
*It is often difficult to put into words what we are feeling. It is even more difficult to write a song about it. This is a songwriting activity that won’t instill fear in your patients once you introduce the session. It is cut & paste project. Anyone who can cut and paste (and even those who can’t) can be successful.
*In preparation for this activity, you must create a page of song lyrics (one line from different songs-about 30-35 per page). This number of lines (and whether you give them one, two, or three pages) should vary depending on the functioning level of your group.
*  There’s a little bit of Counting Crows, Whitney Houston, Sara Bareilles, John Mayer, Rascal Flatts, Casting Crowns, Michael Jackson, and everything else in it. Here is a link to copy and paste into your browser. There is a two page list of lines from songs appropriate for substance abuse and other folks needing a change/healing in life. http://www.scribd.com/full/36140545?access_key=key-1me4nxsflkf9el5tl5oz
The steps to this activity are simple enough:
1. Pass out lyric sheets.
2. Patients read through each line and put a mark by the ones they like (at least 10 lines).
3. Patients cut out the lyrics they put a mark by.
4. Patients rearrange song lyrics in a way that makes sense to them.
5. Patients can glue the lyrics to a piece of construction paper and decorate.Adaptations:
a) People going through substance withdrawals or who are experiencing any sort of tremors will have difficulty cutting out lyrics. In this case, you may cut the lyrics for them OR allow them to handwrite the lyrics.
b) Use glue sticks rather than bottles of glue. The reasons for this are obvious, I think.
c) Patients can change lyrics/add to lyrics/etc. to make the song exactly how they’d like.
d) For people with visual impairments, make text large and easy to read. Give them fewer lines of lyrics to read so as not to overwhelm them.
e) It is easy for patients to get overwhelmed with the amount of words on a page. Plan accordingly by providing fewer choices: larger text, fewer lines, fewer pages.
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: 18-29
Goal Area: Self knowledge and expressions
Name of Activity: Past, Present, Future
Objective: Members discuss feelings, life events, decisions, and goals.
Materials: List of current and past popular songs.
Method: Members write down a song from the list (or their personal song choices) that represents their past, present, and future. They discuss these with their peers. The group may end by singing along to a group song choice.
Adaptations: Please tell me!
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: 18-29
Goal Area: self-expression
Name of Activity: CD Cover
Objective: Clients draw/paint how they feel about themselves or a given situation, share their art, and discuss with the group.
Materials: art supplies, possible background music
Method: Clients create and share.
Adaptations: (optional) A relaxation exercise can precede this. Any other ideas out there??
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com

 

———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———

 

MUSIC THERAPY ACTIVITIES FOR ADULTS by musictherapytunes.com
Age: 10 through older adulthood
Goal Area: reality orientation, cognitive stimulation (geography, factoids, cities, monuments etc..)
Name of Activity: “Around the States”
Objective: People will research, discuss, share information. Folks will listen, sing and/or improvise along to the music (recorded or live.)
Materials: Interesting facts about the States to be studied, music (recorded or live) sung by an artist from that particular state, or about the state.
Method: Michelle writes: Beginning in Florida, where we are located, we teach (or review) well-known (and maybe some little known) facts: where it is on a map, capital, nickname, famous cities, monuments, etc. Then we talk about different musicians from Florida. You may choose to only listen to part of a song or you might pass out lyric sheets and sing along with the iPod or guitar. Songs can be from famous artists or bands born/originated in that state, state songs, songs about that state, songs about characteristics of that state, music videos, etc. This activity is great for reality orientation and cognitive stimulation, especially in mid- or low-functioning groups. It is best completed over time, as it would be difficult to cram all this information in with just one session. Follow some general direction; you may zig-zag all the way up the Eastern United States, or continue west and then loop back towards the East, etc.For example, today we started in Florida. Aerosmith sings a song called “Last Child” about Tallahassee (part of the song played on iPod). Creed formed in Tallahassee (sang “With Arms Wide Open” using lyric sheets). Lynyrd Skynyrd originated in Jacksonville (but “Sweet Alabama” was saved for AL). And because FL is the sunshine state, we played a piece of the song “I’m Walking On Sunshine” (playing percussion instruments with iPod). With some songs, even if you’re only listening to them by iPod, you can get people to join in the recording by playing percussion instruments.
Submitted by: : Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com
twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

 

Age: adult (geriatric or brain injured)
Goal Area: to maintain attention span
Name of Activity: Symphony of Words
Objective: The client plays a specific instrument each time a particular word is used in a familiar song.
Materials: guitar, chosen song, rhythm instrument, or bell that blends with the key of the song.
Method: Set the instrument(s) up in front of the client. Ask the person to play that instrument each time they hear the word ________. Play and do. An example for the song below is to have the person play each time the word “mountain” is used.
Adaptations: (optional) Have a few instruments to be played for different specific words.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics and Chords:
D
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
A
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
D D7 G Gm
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain She’ll be comin’ round the mountain..
D Asus A D
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
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Age: adult (can be used with young children through geriatric; the music reaches everyone. If you need to, vary the movements.
Goal Area: Motor: coordination, sequencing, cardio
Name of Activity: Seated Irish Dance
Objective: Clients will perform the steps needed to successfully perform dance.
Materials: Siamsa from Ronan Hardiman”s Lord of the dance (track 11)
Method: Practice yourself, teach part by part, and do. Adapt as need by to address client needs. Begin steps as theme begins (easy to hear.)
There are a few “blank” spaces where I have the clients pretend to play the sounding instruments.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Tap right foot 8 times, then left foot 8 times.
-Roll arms around and clap 3 times. Repeat 3more times.
-Clap hands under right leg 4times. Repeat with left leg.
-Alternate tapping knees with and without crossed arms 8 times.
-Stretch hands up and clap 3 times, put hands on hips and clap 3 times, bend with hands down and clap 3 times. Repeat once
-Take a few measures to improvise then do it all over again.

 

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Age: Open for ALL ages. I’ve worked with younger kids for 25 years, so filling up this section would be wonderful!
Goal Area: You get to pick
Name of Activity: Please, send in your own ideas for this section. They don’t have to use this format. This is just the one I learned!
Objective: To expand this section for all music therapy fans, students, and professionals so we can help others in the journey.
Materials:
Method:
Adaptations: (optional) There is a key at the top of this page that explains the color coding. Don’t stress over it.
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com You can also send them to me here: Margie@musictherapytunes.com
Lyrics,chords, solfege, melody used: Lyrics are nice to get. Chords as well, but these are not mandatory. For a complex melody I’m going to send people to YouTube so they can hear it.
Age: Adult: All ages actually 4-99
Goal Area: Both cognitive and gross motor
Name of Activity: Lord of the Dance Activity
Objective: Group will perform a sequence of movements to the song.
Materials: “Siamsa” from “Lord of the dance:
Method: Follow the dance steps below
Adaptations: End with a free dance componant
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margielessonplans@gmail.com
Steps: counting a slow 8 beat intro (counting on the “half” note = one beat.)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
R heel then toe heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe (repeat for beats 5, 6 ,7, 8)
L heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe heel-toe (repeat for beats 5, 6, 7, 8)
Round & round, clapclapclap round&round clapclapclap (repeat this arm/hand gesture for beats 5,6,7,8)
Clap under Rt leg then Lf leg Under right under left (continue)
Tap knees Tap with arms crossed (repeat pattern for beats 3,4,5,6,7,8)
-then for 8 beats-
Beat 1-Hands up (clap clap clap) Beat 2- Hands in the middle (clap clap clap)
Beat 3- Hands down (clap clap clap) Beat4- Hands in the middle (clap clap clap) Continue for beats (5,6,7,8)

 

Lastly, 8 beats of free motion, jumping, dancing, waving or whatever you like.
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Age: older adult +/-
Goal Areas: cognitive and social
Name of Activity: Name that Tune
Objective: Clients will listen to a song excerpt and name the song. Clients will choose one of the songs from among the excerpts and tell the group what that song means to them personally.
Materials: a variety of song choices that you will present on an instrument of your choosing, song sheets, board to keep score, markers, pen
Method: Divide clients into teams. Therapist plays a short excerpt of a song. When a client guesses the title correctly, a mark is made on the scoreboard for their team. When one team has enough points, all players share how one of the song excerpts presented is meaningful to them.
Adaptations: (CDs with age appropriate songs, perhaps a specially prepared cd made of song clips, and lyric sheets
Submitted by: (optional name and email) Margie@musictherapytunes.com
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Age: adult/older adult/hospice
Goal Area: social, cognitive, emotional connection, personal/group discussion, to stimulate memories and self-expression.
Name of Activity: Where were you When??
Objective: To stimulate relationship through discussion of topics elicited through song lyrics.
Materials: A variety of songs on topics relevant to the levels, needs, abilities, experiences and age of the particular group.
Method : Present a variety of songs to the group. Ask what they would like to sing. Discuss feelings, events, memories etc as brought up by the song.
Here are some conversation starters and topics that Michelle found helpful:
Submitted by: Email: michellerjs at gmail dot com Website :beyondthemusicmt dot blogspot dot com Twitter: beyondthemusic facebook fan page: Beyond the Music: a resource for MT/MT interns

1) Career. What did they do with their life, did they keep more than one job, where did they work, what did they enjoy about it?
2) Hometowns. Where were they born, did they spend much time there, did they live any other places, what was their favorite home, what was their house like, did they have good neighbors?
3) Travel. Where have they traveled, what was their most memorable trip, who did they go with, how long did they stay, what would they suggest someone see if they were going to travel to that place, do they have any stories they could share?
4) Family. Spouse, children, grandchildren, names, ages, their education, their careers, where do they live, how often do they visit, pets?
5) Hobbies. What is your favorite activity, how much time do you get to spend doing this, what would you like to learn, do you share this hobby with anyone else?
6) Current events Have you heard about (blank), what do you think about that, what do you think we should do about it?
7) Things around the room. Decorations, jewelry, clothes, pictures, personal items.
8) Weather.
9) Religion. Be careful to respect their religion and don’t offend. Don’t share much of your own beliefs, especially if you disagree with theirs. Do show interest. Where do they go to worship, do they participate in choir, are they involved in any other way?
10) Friends. Where did they meet, what interests do they share, how long have they been friends, do they have kids/grandkids? You can basically ask everything above all over again in relation to their friends.
11) Future What are they looking forward to doing today, do they have exciting plans in the near future, do they have family visiting soon?
12) Holidays. What are they doing to celebrate, do they have any good memories about that holiday past, what is their favorite holiday, what do they enjoy most about that holiday?
13) Memories. Wedding, birthdays, holidays, major events?
14) Other interests. Music, food, movies, television shows, books, games, sports etc.?
———There’s lots of overlap between ages and goal areas. Check them all out.
Don’t forget to check out the lyrics, chords and uses of songs as potential activities! ———

WHAT IS MUSIC THERAPY?? by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

My first definition must come straight from the American Music Therapy Association itself: (see musictherapy.org)  ….. Ok,  I just finished this blog and their definition is all that’s needed. Enjoy.

What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

My translation for today: This means that music therapy is purposeful, client-specific, scientific, and supported by research and data that is used to prove and point out it’s efficacy. The real therapy occurs between two people and not between a person and an electronic listening device.  It’s all about the relationship! (The relationship, however, can involve listening and working with recorded music.)  This therapist must have attended an approved 4 year music therapy program and had many hours of observation and clinical experience. Many states want to require that music therapists obtain their master’s degree. 

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.

Music therapists work on goals that are not about music. My simple definition is that music therapy is not teaching about music. It’s teaching and reaching through the tool that is music and music making activities. Goals are about the muscles, feelings, concepts, language use, and how to get along in this world.  Too many to name here! (See below.)

After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.

These are some of the tricks of the trade that we use. With my classes, we move in ways to show that we have understood the concepts mentioned through song lyrics, other groups might write fill-in-the-blank songs reflecting their experiences and understanding of things, they may sing out their feelings through songs they identify with, they may listen to music and engage in guided meditation followed by verbal processing of the thoughts and feelings that came up. Too many people have been through very tough times, even by ages 3 and 4.  They could also play out  those feelings through vocal and/or instrumental improvisation. There are as many possibilities as there are people and situations. 

Through musical involvement in the therapeutic context, clients’ abilities are strengthened and transferred to other areas of their lives.

For example, a child with emotional difficulties might express anger by drumming or loud singing, and then be able to function with less aggression in the classroom.  A student with adhd may learn to attend to and process auditory stimuli better and pay better attention to his teacher.  A kid with autism may be able to remember story-songs about social situations that he can apply to real life social situations. A person who had a stroke may be able to walk with a regular step and rhythm after his MT session. 

Music therapy also provides avenues for communication that can be helpful to those who find it difficult to express themselves in words. Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings.
 

Music therapy is an active, engaged, participatory activity that allows for expression through words, or not words.   DrummING, dancING, movING, singING, playING…..  Actions and verbs that show involvement.  There is motivation and commitment by both the giver and the receiver. And the best news is that giving and receiving are often a two way street.

Wow: I just looked up other definitions of music therapy and came across this page http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/music+therapy.  LOL.  Their definition of MT is so good because it goes back to the AMTA!  Full circle! 😀

Here is the entire page from the above link which was originally referenced from musictherapy.org:

Music therapy is a technique of complementary medicine that uses music prescribed in a skilled manner by trained therapists. Programs are designed to help patients overcome physical, emotional, intellectual, and social challenges. Applications range from improving the well being of geriatric patients in nursing homes to lowering the stress level and pain of women in labor. Music therapy is used in many settings, including schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hospice, nursing homes, community centers, and sometimes even in the home.

Purpose

Music can be beneficial for anyone. Although it can be used therapeutically for people who have physical, emotional, social, or cognitive deficits, even those who are healthy can use music to relax, reduce stress, improve mood, or to accompany exercise. There are no potentially harmful or toxic effects. Music therapists help their patients achieve a number of goals through music, including improvement of communication, academic strengths, attention span, and motor skills. They may also assist with behavioral therapy and pain management.

Physical effects

Brain function physically changes in response to music. The rhythm can guide the body into breathing in slower, deeper patterns that have a calming effect. Heart rate and blood pressure are also responsive to the types of music that are listened to. The speed of the heartbeat tends to speed or slow depending on the volume and speed of the auditory stimulus. Louder and faster noises tend to raise both heart rate and blood pressure; slower, softer, and more regular tones produce the opposite result. Music can also relieve muscle tension and improve motor skills. It is often used to help rebuild physical patterning skills in rehabilitation clinics. Levels of endorphins, natural pain relievers, are increased while listening to music, and levels of stress hormones are decreased. This latter effect may partially explain the ability of music to improve immune function. A 1993 study at Michigan State University showed that even 15 minutes of exposure to music could increase interleukin-1 levels, a consequence which also heightens immunity.

Mental effects

Depending on the type and style of sound, music can either sharpen mental acuity or assist in relaxation. Memory and learning can be enhanced, and this used with good results in children with learning disabilities. This effect may also be partially due to increased concentration that many people have while listening to music. Better productivity is another outcome of an improved ability to concentrate. The term “Mozart effect” was coined after a study showed that college students performed better on math problems when listening to classical music.

Emotional effects

The ability of music to influence human emotion is well known, and is used extensively by moviemakers. A variety of musical moods may be used to create feelings of calmness, tension, excitement, or romance. Lullabies have long been popular for soothing babies to sleep. Music can also be used to express emotion nonverbally, which can be a very valuable therapeutic tool in some settings.

Description

Origins

Music has been used throughout human history to express and affect human emotion. In biblical accounts, King Saul was reportedly soothed by David’s harp music, and the ancient Greeks expressed thoughts about music having healing effects as well. Many cultures are steeped in musical traditions. It can change mood, have stimulant or sedative effects, and alter physiologic processes such as heart rate and breathing. The apparent health benefits of music to patients in Veterans Administration hospitals following World War II lead to it being studied and formalized as a complementary healing practice. Musicians were hired to continue working in the hospitals. Degrees in music therapy became available in the late 1940s, and in 1950, the first professional association of music therapists was formed in the United States. The National Association of Music Therapy merged with the American Association of Music Therapy in 1998 to become the American Music Therapy Association.

Goals

Music is used to form a relationship with the patient. The music therapist sets goals on an individual basis, depending on the reasons for treatment, and selects specific activities and exercises to help the patient progress. Objectives may include development of communication, cognitive, motor, emotional, and social skills. Some of the techniques used to achieve this are singing, listening, instrumental music, composition, creative movement, guided imagery, and other methods as appropriate. Other disciplines may be integrated as well, such as dance, art, and psychology. Patients may develop musical abilities as a result of therapy, but this is not a major concern. The primary aim is to improve the patient’s ability to function.

Techniques

Learning to play an instrument is an excellent musical activity to develop motor skills in individuals with developmental delays, brain injuries, or other motor impairment. It is also an exercise in impulse control and group cooperation. Creative movement is another activity that can help to improve coordination, as well as strength, balance, and gait. Improvisation facilitates the nonverbal expression of emotion. It encourages socialization and communication about feelings as well. Singing develops articulation, rhythm, and breath control. Remembering lyrics and melody is an exercise in sequencing forstroke victims and others who may be intellectually impaired. Composition of words and music is one avenue available to assist the patient in working through fears and negative feelings. Listening is an excellent way to practice attending and remembering. It may also make the patient aware of memories and emotions that need to be acknowledged and perhaps talked about. Singing and discussion is a similar method, which is used with some patient populations to encourage dialogue. Guided Imagery and Music (GIM) is a very popular technique developed by music therapist Helen Bonny. Listening to music is used as a path to invoke emotions, picture, and symbols from the patient. This is a bridge to the exploration and expression of feelings.

Music and children

The sensory stimulation and playful nature of music can help to develop a child’s ability to express emotion, communicate, and develop rhythmic movement. There is also some evidence to show that speech and language skills can be improved through the stimulation of both hemispheres of the brain. Just as with adults, appropriately selected music can decrease stress, anxiety, and pain. Music therapy in a hospital environment with those who are sick, preparing for surgery, or recovering postoperatively is appropriate and beneficial. Children can also experience improved self-esteem through musical activities that allow them to succeed.
Newborns may enjoy an even greater benefit of music. Those who are premature experience more rapid weight gain and hospital discharge than their peers who are not exposed to music. There is also anecdotal evidence of improved cognitive function.

Music and rehabilitation

Patients with brain damage from stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other neurologic conditions have been shown to exhibit significant improvement as a result of music therapy. This is theorized to be partially the result of entrainment, which is the synchronization of movement with the rhythm of the music. Consistent practice leads to gains in motor skill ability and efficiency. Cognitive processes and language skills often benefit from appropriate musical intervention.

Music and the elderly

The geriatric population can be particularly prone to anxiety and depression, particularly in nursing home residents. Chronic diseases causing pain are also not uncommon in this setting. Music is an excellent outlet to provide enjoyment, relaxation, relief from pain, and an opportunity to socialize and reminisce about music that has had special importance to the individual. It can have a striking effect on patients with Alzheimer’s disease, even sometimes allowing them to focus and become responsive for a time. Music has also been observed to decrease the agitation that is so common with this disease. One study shows that elderly people who play a musical instrument are more physically and emotionally fit as they age than their nonmusical peers are.

Music and the mentally ill

Music can be an effective tool for the mentally or emotionally ill. Autism is one disorder that has been particularly researched. Music therapy has enabled some autistic children to relate to others and have improved learning skills. Substance abuse, schizophrenia, paranoia, and disorders of personality, anxiety, and affect are all conditions that may be benefited by music therapy. In these groups, participation and social interaction are promoted through music. Reality orientation is improved. Patients are helped to develop coping skills, reduce stress, and express their feelings.

Music and hospice

Pain, anxiety, and depression are major concerns with patients who are terminally ill, whether they are in hospice or not. Music can provide some relief from pain, through release of endorphins and promotion of relaxation. It can also provide an opportunity for the patient to reminisce and talk about the fears that are associated with death and dying. Music may help regulate the rapid breathing of a patient who is anxious, and soothe the mind. The Chalice of Repose project, headquartered at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana, is one organization that attends and nurtures dying patients through the use of music, in a practice they called music-thanatology by developer Therese Schroeder-Sheker. Practitioners in this program work to relieve suffering through music prescribed for the individual patient.

Music and labor

Research has proven that mothers require less pharmaceutical pain relief during labor if they make use of music. Using music that is familiar and associated with positive imagery is the most helpful. During early labor, this will promote relaxation. Maternal movement is helpful to get the baby into a proper birthing position and dilate the cervix. Enjoying some “music to move by” can encourage the mother to stay active for as long as possible during labor. The rhythmic auditory stimulation may also prompt the body to release endorphins, which are a natural form of pain relief. Many women select different styles of music for each stage of labor, with a more intense, or faster piece feeling like a natural accompaniment to the more difficult parts of labor. Instrumental music is often preferred.

Precautions

Patients making use of music therapy should not discontinue medications or therapies prescribed by other health providers without prior consultation.

Research and general acceptance

There is little disagreement among physicians that music can be of some benefit for patients, although the extent to which it can have physical effects is not as well acknowledged in the medical community. Research has shown that listening to music can decrease anxiety, pain, and recovery time. There is also good data for the specific subpopulations discussed. A therapist referral can be made through the AMTA.

Resources

Organizations

American Music Therapy Association, Inc. 8455 Colesville Road, Suite 1000 Silver Spring, ML 20910. (301) 589-3300.http://www.musictherapy.org.
Chalice of Repose Project at St. Patrick Hospital. 312 East Pine Street, Missoula, MT 59802. (406) 329-2810. Fax: (406) 329-5614. 〈http://www.saintpatrick.org/chalice/〉.

Key terms

Entrainment — The patterning of body processes and movements to the rhythm of music
Physiologic — Characteristic of normal, healthy functioning

 

 

 

What Music Therapy is NOT! by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

Hello reader,

In  the future I’ll try to offer an explanation of music therapy. Let me start things off by telling you what music therapy is NOT.   I’d love to hear from you about what your conversations on the topic entail. I work with young kids, so there is a lot more to say on this topic regarding other populations.  After reading this – – what do you think?

1) “Oh, so music soothes the savage beast?”  No. Heavy metal probably won’t calm a bucking horse. Bach won’t tame a hungry lion.  Carefully selected music specific for a certain effect as chosen by a trained and schooled professional may, however, lower blood pressure, heart beat, galvonic skin response and breath rate among other things . But that’s positive only if you want that response. It may also lower levels of cortisol in your saliva, perception of danger (think anxiety over medical procedures) and pain levels. And specially prepared and selected music may lower levels of anesthesia during surgery and pain medication post surgery.

2) “What about the “Mozart Effect?” Won’t music make by baby smart, immune from sickness, more social, digest it’s food better, sleep better, and require fewer diaper changes? No. What Mozart and other gentle classical music WILL do is provide a more calm and restful, relaxed atmosphere for your baby to progress  in an  environment more conducive to healthy development.  You still need to be a good parent and appropriate music for your baby is wonderful. But having it in the background does not a valedictorian make. (P.S. I guess I haven’t really written about Don Cambell’s work or the tested Mozart Effect. Sorry! I guess they both have to do with putting the brain into a real and beneficial “ready state.” )

Certain classical pieces are played at tempos that “jive” with or make the body “sinc up”  with helpful tempos. Different brain waves operate at different tempos/speeds. Your heart, breath and other functions operate best at certain tempos. There is a powerful, measurable human condition  by which we tend to sinc up and match with what is going on around us. This phenomenon is called entrainment .Definition: 1.To pull or draw along after itself.2. Chemistry To carry (suspended particles, for example) along in a current. (from the online Free Dictionary, whatever that is.)   Entrainment Plays an important role in music therapy.  This is why music can have such a positive effect on us – or negative effect. Something to possibly think about.

3) “How nice is that! You must just love it!”  It is and I do! But music is a part of our present culture and social climate that is often taken for granted. It’s everywhere. It’s like oxygen.Vital.  Imagine today’s society with no music in the grocery store, on computers, phones, movies, advertisements, TV shows, radios, radio ads, computers, plays, games, instruments, social programs, restaurants, bars  or offices. It’s so ubiquitous that we forget what it’s actually doing TO US. It is a powerful and significant force! It is just as meaningful as any other type of therapy be it physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy etc.   I love that comment because ” It is and I do” but those words open up a door for conversation about what music therapy really is on a deeper level.     :)

4) All (fill in the blanks) Kids just automatically love and respond so well to music!  Well yes, but- what music will have what effect?  My job is to figure out which music will have a desired response. Then, some teachers tell me certain kids “don’t like” music.  Those children may have sensory systems that desire sameness and get stressed out with different sounds, or loud sounds, or soft sounds. What about high pitches and low pitches? Medium? (I wear cotton in my ears all day bc I can’t tolerate the highs any more.) What about unexpected, unpredictable noises that can happen in a music therapy class with 11 other children?  What if the way certain instruments look and play scare them? Ew, what if they don’t want to, or can’t reach out and touch an instrument? So many factors. What if the kids who Love music only want to play certain songs and never others? (Like Happy Birthday…..)  What if they space out to music and actually de-focus or get distracted by the combination of sounds. Or can’t tell one sound from another and “tune out?”  What if the music brings out the sadness of life events to a child, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

This is where the specifically trained music therapy professional with LOTS of experience and knowledge comes in. My next blog will talk about what music therapy IS and about the training of a music therapist. What do you think about this??  I’m curious.

For Music Therapy Students and Pro: About Transposition by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

Major KEY
How to tell
I
ii
iii
IV
V/V7
Vi
C
no #, b
C
Dm
Em
F
G
Am
D
2 #
D
Em
F#m
G
A
Bm
E
4 #
E
F#m
G#m
A
B7
C#m
F
1 b
F
G#m
Am
Bb
C
Dm
G
1 #
G
Am
Bm
C
D
Em
A
3 #
A
Bm
C#m
D
E
F#m
Minor Key
Am
none
Am
B
 C
Dm
E
C
Bm
2 #
Bm
C#
 D
Em
F#
D
Dm
1 b
Dm
E
 F
Gm
A
F
Em
1 #
Em
F
 G
Am
B7
G

On Transposing: (for “non-musicians”)

I transpose a song when the key it is in is too high or low for my purposes – most often too high or low for me or my class to sing along. How do you know what key a song is in? There are at least two ways. Most often the first and last chords in a song are the same as the “key.”  You can check this by observing what the most frequently used chord is. This works best for the vast majority of songs.  Included in this chart is a column called “how to tell.” You can often identify by counting the numbers of sharps (#) or flats (b) at the very beginning of the song.  Of course, you can always use a  guitar capo to raise the sound of your music.

 

HOW TO USE THIS CHART:

Simple. It’s like algebra. Ok- it’s like balancing gold on a scale. If you want the song to balance out even, just add the same thing to each side of the scale. So to go from the key of C to the key of E, just be consistent and add the same amount of half-steps to each side. OR use this chart. Change all the Cs to Es, all the Fs to As, and all the Gs to Bs or B7s (because B7 is much nicer.)  Change from one to the other, but be consistent.  That’s all there is to it. To go from Am to Em, change all the Ams to Ems, all the E’s to B7s etc.

See, not hard…just keep the balance consistent.  Notice that the I, IV, and V chords are in bold. That’s because these chords are very good friends and tend to travel through songs together as a group.

Another reason to transpose is that the chords are too tricky or uncomfortable for you to play.  You don’t see many guitar songs written in crazy keys like B, G# or Db.  Here are some more common transpositions: Again, play a song in the way that suits your particular needs or those of your group.  Not so hard, really.

BY Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

 

from to optional capo fret
Bb A , C 1 to make A sound like Bb
F E, G 1 to make E sound like F
Gm Em 2 …
Fm Em 1…
Cm Am 2

For Music Therapy Students: Choosing the “Right” key by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

I thought I’d write a post on choosing a key to sing in when facilitating a  music therapy experience.  This is for student music therapists and new practitioners.

One of my tricks is that I turn my guitar one full step “too low.”  I don’t think of letter names, actually, I just perceive my guitar as a step down. But, in reality, rather than EADGBE, my guitar is actually tuned to DGCFAD.  After that, I play it on capo 2.

You may think that that negates the tuning. Yes. It does BUT it lets me remove the capo if a song is too high for me to sing comfortably. Singing in a key that you sound pleasant in is significant.  And it makes the strings easier to press down on which can be a great side effect/benefit.  That’s a guitar playing trick in and of itself if you have a guitar (or fingers) that make pressing on the strings a challenge!

Secondly, use the capo. Capo 2 too low? Raise the capo and sound better in the new raised key.  Men and women find it hard to sing in each other’s keys and a capo can really remedy this issue.

Another thing to remember regarding keys is how far away the recipient’s ears are! If a song is too low for you, then you won’t be able to project so the group can hear.  If a song is too high and you are in a hospital for an individual session you might hurt that persons ear and come off as yelling to them.  Capos can help here by raising the capo and key or taking the capo off and being able to sing a whole step down.  This assumes you had tuned your guitar down a step and were utilizing the trick described above. I mean the…. adaptation.

Lastly, using the capo might make you think that pre-tuned melodic instruments would no longer be in the correct key and therefore sound bad.  Not necessarily the case. Think about this:  with the guitar in G major the pentatonic scale is g,a,b d, and e.  What if your song in G is too low to sing.  Well, if you sing the song in C major more comfortably ….your pentatonic G scale still contains g,a,c,d, and e.  These notes are all much in your C major scale! They will blend in well enough to make the key change worth while.  Any dissonant notes can function to resolve nicely in C. Not too bad in D major as well.

Transposing by hand (if ya’ll still do that kind of thing without internet help) is a lot like algebra or chemistry. Didn’t that make you feel better ????!  NOT hard: just keep adding or subtracting the same amount of steps from each side of the equation depending on if you want to go up or down.  If you’re going from the key of C to the key of D, then just add a whole step to each chord.  From G to E would be 3 half steps or 1 1/2 steps down.

 

 

Music Therapy Students Singing off Key? No way! What’s your experience? by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes

[Gee, I think I ticked some people off by writing about this topic. Look, I’m not meaning to offend anyone and maybe I’ll tone this down, but this is a topic that has affected me about three times over the past twenty years as an internship supervisor. I’m not commenting on vocal quality because the heart always trumps over the natural voice.  It’s the musicianSHIP that reaches people, not the vocal quality or lack thereof, or the confidence or experience or lack of.  That can always come later. So here’s my original blog. Really, it’s not meant to offend anyone!! It’s just something I was thinking about one day. ]

Shouldn’t all music therapists automatically sing on key? Isn’t that a basic requirement, like dentists should know virtually everything about teeth? Or taxi drivers know how to drive?  Or Tax examiners know math?? But, really… isn’t singing on key —  and the auditory, perceptual and physical skills required 100% vital to doing a good job as a music therapist?  If you can’t sing on pitch you maybe shouldn’t be allowed to get to the internship level! If you need to hear the melody on piano to match the pitches, maybe music therapy isn’t for you.  A closely related field may be a better fit; a win-win. Like psychology, speech therapy, OT, special education…..

When I was in school, every music therapist major had to take a basic singing course and participate in chorus. Every music therapy student also had to major or minor in piano. It is true that some music therapy students  audition and are brilliant on various other instruments. I personally can’t figure how someone could be a great trumpet player or violinist and not hear when they are singing out of tune.

There are lots of tone qualities that a singer’s voice can embody. Some people who are not  “great” natural singers simply need to open their mouth, stand straight and breath more to“sound better.”   – – Problem solved.    How you use your voice and your musical sensitivity is maybe more important that it’s timbre or tone quality. That’s where the heart and feeling and intuition of sensitivity and musicality come in.  Raspy, breathy, thin, full,  operatic, pop, jazzy, (etc.) can each please the ear.  It’s the spirit of the voice that transmits its message.

More than fifteen years ago, I was presented with two music therapy students who really could  not sing on pitch.  One switched into psychology, which I thought was a great idea, because she had great insight into what was happening therapeutically and I don’t know about the other. She did have a point when she asked why she was allowed to get as far as she did. That really wasn’t fair to her.

I’m assuming that vocal and piano class are essential in the education of all music therapy students.  Write to me and let me know about your program and/or experience.  Have you had a student who was new to singing who learned to sing well?  A student who did not?  I’m just throwing this topic in to see what you all are thinking. Let me know. Either way.

20 Graduation Songs for preschoolers, kindergarten, and older children app. for Music Therapy students

It’s that time of year for us to start planning for graduation and moving up! Here are some of the songs I’ve used in the past mixed in with a few new ones that I hope to teach the kids this year.  Please let me know what songs YOU use or have seen with your kids!  I’m looking for some new ones! Lyrics and chords should be on google and versions/samples up on you tube or amazon.  Some songs can be adapted to suit the needs of your kiddles.  More ideas are all over the “Videos” page.

2. There’s a train by Janice Buckner

3. All one Family under one Sky by Janice Buckner

4. Every single person makes the World go Round by Janice Buckner

5. It’s a Marvelous Day by the Learning Station

6. the Bear Hunt

7. Planting Seeds of Love by Pam Donkin

8. Best Day Ever by Sponge Bob (the movie)

9. My Roots Go Down  by Sarah Pirtle

10. Peace in my fingers” by Susan Salidor

11. What can you Do?    http://youtu.be/7MKmbyfhkkE

12. Family by Laurie Berkner

13. Love Grows by  Carol Johnson (?)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlpBQabQDxM (select,  right click, and pick go to…)

14. All for One in High School Musical

15. Oh, What a Miracle by Hap Palmer

16.  I’ve got the Sunshine in my Hands by the Partridge Family

17. Stand by Me

18. One Small Voice (a show stopper and you can sign to it.)

by Sesame Street  http://youtu.be/LujaFaxx1xQ

19. You Raise me Up by Josh Groben. http://youtu.be/oni0tO_HN30

20. There was a lovely Princess (an act out or little “play” song) http://www.musictherapytunes.com/wp/?p=459

by Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

Please let me know what songs YOU do for graduation/moving up/shows with the people you work with! Let’s aim for 50 and then more. (They can be with any age!)

For music therapy Interns and newbies: “But I can play it at Home – just not HERE!!”

I am challenged to try and help the following scenario: maybe you can help me out and mention how you made it through this point.  To grossly overgeneralize there seems to be two camps of students. 1) Those who are more comfortable musically 2) Those who are more comfortably “socially.”

I have a student who “gets” music therapy. She sees what’s going on, who’s doing what and why it’s good for them. She knows what the kids need and why the activities are good. She addresses behavioral issues in a positive way. And she has such an excellent voice.  But she’s rather new to guitar and piano.

She’s bumped into a new issue when playing and singing songs in our class.  Some of the newly acquired guitar skills seem to go “out the window” during the actual session.  And she tells me “I can play this at home,” and “I did it for clinical practicum class!”

I figured it out and she agreed.  What’s happening is that at home and at class she is able to just play the song. In a music therapy setting, she has to 1) remember the chords and words,  2) sing along 3) lead the kids into participating along  4) pace the activity  5) correct any behavioral problems and 6) make any musical adaptations to foster success while 7) ignoring any adult conversation between the grownups in the room (which I try to handle…) and there’s probably an 8,9, 10. I said “No wonder the chords leave you.!”

How to get around this?  Hummmm.  Just REALLY practice your guitar skills. Know your string names, and basic scale notes C.O.L.D.  To not have these basics down would be like a gym teacher having to think “move left foot forward, move right foot, pick up left leg and move it forward” while trying to teach kids running basketball dr ills.  Why do this to yourself? Really now…

To busy to practice? Watch TV with your guitar in your lap. Move your fingers to the various chord shapes silently without strumming. Do this instead of petting the dog.  Just keep acquainting your fingers to those patterns on those strings.  Make a recording (CD or MP3) of the songs you want to learn and play it while you exercise, clean the house, do your laundry and sing the melody but substitute the chord names for the lyrics.  Drive around singing the songs and move your left hand on the steering wheel like it was the guitar. You’re just drilling the shapes of the guitar chords into your subconscious so you don’t have to think about them while you’re doing the other nine things at once!  I don’t care if you have to play your alphabet chords (A ,B7, C, D, Dm, E, Em, F and G) on your hamburger before you eat it, but get those chords second nature!

Also, try to learn to tune your guitar by ear. That way it’s more automatic than cerebral and will be quicker.  Just tune it once a day. But the once a day is the important piece. Tuning it 7 times before your weekly MT placement will not do the trick. It’s the everyday part that is effective.

Please let me know what your secret is for the issue of having to do 10 things at once. I’d love to hear from you.  :)- Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

Soon, I’ll make a VIDEO on guitar chord patterns that sound good and are useful but not that difficult. Check out my video page here and my youtube channel “MusicTherapySongs1.”

P.S. If you are reading this, it is with the permission of the student involved. I’ll miss her and wish her the best of everything.

 

A Facility Video! A Great Idea

I just saw a fantastic video on you tube!  You have to see this:  It’s called “St. Charles Hospital Rehab Rocks!” http://youtu.be/N4tuJeQe7Oc

Apparently, the music therapist position there is relatively new. Kudos to you, Lee! What a great way to bring the entire rehab staff, nurses, doctors, patients, assistants, families, and community involved in a positive informative, joyful, inspirational and informational video that results in everyone winning!

Viewers get to see physical therapy, music therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and the many faces of those who work together to bring young and old patients to greater wholeness.  There’s even a gorgeous therapy dog shot in the sequence.

Nice to see how the music therapy segments demonstrate how music therapy is an effective treatment modality used to increase a patient’s motor control, muscle strength, range of motion, breath capacity and control, coordination, concentration, postural strength and much more!