“3 Auditory Skills” music therapy activities for auditory processing and discrimination for young kids

1. 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!
2. 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.
3. 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
                             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 7                                                     G                 A         D
                         La la la la la la la la la lah.          La la la la la la la la la lah

“Solar System Song” music therapy for children and adolescents

Age: 6-10 +/-
-Goal Area: Academic: Review of Solar System
-Objective: To help students learn the names of the planets and a few simple facts.
-Materials: song. You can also use pictures, mobiles, books….
-Method: Sing and teach
-Adaptations: (optional) Dress up the music and chords for older students.
-From: CanTeach.com with chorus by Amanda G. Ellis, MT-BC at “morewithmusic.com”
Margie couldn’t find their melodies but notes that it works well with “Ol’ Joe Clark” from Youtube. You can  tweak the chorus a little like
A                                                                                             G    A          
“Round and round the planets go round and round  the sun.”  

Chorus: With a round, round go around the planets go around the sun.
With a round, round, go around, the planets go around the sun. 
Mercury is hot and Mercury is small.
                                                                   G       A
Mercury has no atmosphere. It’s just a rocky ball.
            Venus has thick clouds that hide what is below.
            The air is foul, the ground is hot. It rotates very slow.
We love the Earth, our home: its oceans and its trees.
We eat its food.  We breath its air.  So no pollution, please.
            Mars is very red. It’s also dry and cold.
            Someday you might visit Mars if you are very bold.
Jupiter is big. We’ve studied it a lot.
We found that it has 16 moons and a big red spot.
            Saturn has big rings. We wondered what they were.
            Now we know they’re icy rocks-which we say as a blur.
Uranus and Neptune are so very far away.
Neptune has a frozen moon. That’s all there is to say.
Pluto – no more planethood. Your orbit doesn’t fit.
Neptune comes before you but you cross in front of it.  (by Margie)

“Mad Libs a-la Music” : Good for All ages – kids through adults

– Age: 6-12 =/-
-Goal Area: language arts
-Good activity for parents and teachers of special needs kids .
-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, pop songs, any group appropriate choice.
                                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)
Please send in any activities or musical processes  that you use with children, adolescents or adults of all ages and abilities. These could be activities for use for kids, adolescents or adults that have autism, adhd, add, down’s / down syndrome, speech language delays, oral-motor issues, physical disabilities, mental health issues, conduct disorder, cerebral palsy and other issues that we human have to contend with.  I’m also interested in any activities for people dealing with health issues, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chemical dependency, other addictions, grief, cancer, pain management and any other life issue.  I have just installed a “spam” locator which means that I’ll actually get the mail as mail. Please email me at margie@musictherapytunes.com and put activity in the subject line. Give yourself (or the author/composer)  all the credit you want or remain anonymous. Thank you!! – Margie La Bella at music therapy tunes