Music Therapy Goodbye Song appropriate for older children by Margie La Bella

-Age: 5-10
-Goal Area: Session closure
-Objective: Students will sing along (either echoing phrases, finishing phrases, or singing complete phrases- two phrases each stanza rather than one and it’s echo.)Let it be said  that the first half of each phrases is the most appropriate, social statement to teach.   The second half is more fun and elicits kid’s  attention. 
-Method:  Sing and do (I used google image and got pictures of all the characters, as a visual aid.)
-Adaptations: See objective.
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.
-Melody: adaptation of “I won’t grow up” from the musical “Peter Pan.”   http://youtu.be/HJ8nPYSNobg
The song can also be rapped, put into a blues form or whatever other melody you need for your age group and clientele.  
-Words:
…………c
See you later, alligator.
………dm          
In a while, crocodile.
……..g7
Stay sweet, parakeet.
 ……….c
Better swish, jellyfish.
 
Bye-bye, butterfly.
Out the door, dinosaur.
Take care, polar bear.
Give a hug, lady bug.
 
Certainly add in your own desired phrases and let us know about them, too. What can your class come up with? Here’s one more phrase: Ok, more: 
Gotta go, buffalo. And another: See ya soon, sweet baboon! Also Toodaloo Kangaroo!
 
PS: I tried this on my preschoolers today and discovered that it also promoted the labeling of the animals, as well as the sounds that the various animals make. Got lots of growls and sound effect from some usually quiet tykes!

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) https://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!)

“The Drum Fun Song” a music therapy drumming activity idea for kids

-Age: 3-10+
-Goal Area: To improve impulse control, waiting, turn taking,sharing,  and self expression.
-Objective: Students play then drum when 
-Materials: One large drum
-Method: Children sit around the drum with hands in their lap. (This can be a feat in itself!)  MT calls two students to play together while the other children create their own rhythms on their knees, hands, chests etc.)  When the verse is done, two more children can be chosen (by the teacher or the students whose turn is now over) and the song resumes. Therapist thanks both those who  played the drum and those who created their own body rhythms.
-Adaptations: Can be used with one child at a time, or with children sitting in their chairs (and positioning the drum between two children.)  Vary the beat for the age and abilities of your group. If the song is “too young” for your group, come up with a more popular song, vary the lyrics and use it that way!  
-Lyrics and concept by Jacqueline Bartoszek
Melody: Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain.
Words:
………D
Let’s gather round and play the Drum Fun Song.
…………………………………………………A7
Let’s gather round and play the Drum Fun Song.
.D………………D7………………….G…………….
When it’s not your turn, you clap or find a groovy beat to tap.
………D………………..A7………………….D
Let’s gather round and play the Drum Fun Song.
 
 
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
 

“Drum Circle Game” and 3 variations: a music therapy activity idea for preschoolers, children, adolescents and adults

-Age:

-Goal Area: socialization, creativity, interaction, cooperation and impulse control.

-Objective: Drum holders will remain in their proper place and make their drums accessible to the player.  The drummer will go around to their choice of drums and create a drum solo or drum accompaniment.

-Materials: Shape drums (or other drums) and sticks as needed. Optional place markers for people to stand on.  Chairs may also be used if needed.

-Method: Drum holders are to stand in a circle, holding their drums out in front of them.  Therapist begins to play a supporting song to facilitate the group’s goals- be it on another drum, piano, or guitar.  The drummer then plays a solo or accompanying drum line on any and all of the drums in front of him or her.

-Adaptations: !) Place markers or chairs may be used, if needed, to define the appropriate area to situate drum holders.  2) Drum holders may move their drums slowly to the song and the drummer has to really watch and move to play along.  3) Also holders may walk in a slow sideways step in a circle around the drummer, who has to keep up with them in order to make his/her music. 4) I do this with groups of up to 12 children with only 6 drums. We make this work for us by having half the group do the activity as above and half the group dance to the music and “freeze” when we stop to change drummers.   Let me know what you can think of!

-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes, thanks to Jamie.

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

“St. Patrick’s Day Group Dance” a great music therapy idea for all ages

Just letting you know that I have a great video of a standing or seated Saint Patrick’s Day dance taught on this video. The song is SIAMSA from The Lord of the Dance. This should be written up under activities for adults.  Change the words to reflect the needs of the group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijNW-gd0SU4

 

 

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

“Dancin’ like a Leprechaun” standing and seated version of a great Saint Patrick’s day music therapy idea

-Goal Area: receptive language, attention span, energy release, socialization

-Objective: Children will follow directions of lyrics. There are TWO versions here. One is a standing circle dance and the other a seated movement activity. Both are below.

-Materials: Song and children.  An area to perform a circle dance. Toy leprechaun (as a visual.)

-Method: Review each motion with the children. Sing and perform the motion one sentence at a time until all have joined in.  String the motions and sentences together and encourage all to move together.

-Adaptations: Perform one movement and ask the children to label the motion. Then, ask the children to tell you what comes next. This helps improve expressive language and sequencing/memory skills.  Once the children know the song, sing it increasingly  fast and quietr.   Experiment with loud, soft, fast and slow but be sure to end peacefully!

-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes.

-Melody-Words and chords:

 

Tune: The Irish Wash woman http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eS3J-rHpuag

Seated version:

Clapping like a leprechaun.  Round and around and around and on.

Tap your knees and give a squeeze. The leprechaun is going to sneeze!

aaaaahhhchoooo! ( This activity is a lot of stimulation. I usually repeat it several times going faster and quieter each time. I also ask the kids what comes next. And they always know!)

————————————————–

Jumpin’ like a leprechaun around and around and around and on.

Slide your feet and point your toe. St. Patrick’s day is near (here) you know.

Hands held high. Hand held low. Hands in the middle and round you go.

Let go of hands and site on the floor. Quiet down as you were before.

(1 2 3 4. 1 2 3 4. 1 2 3 4 stand up as you were before. )

 

 

 

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

 

 

Margie’s preliminary collection of music therapy activity ideas

http://musictherapytunes.com/AAA/Lesson%20plans%20for%20site%20August%202011gillbold9%20pt%20font.pdf   You may have to select this link,  right click and then press go to…..

“The Leprechaun Clown” Saint Patrick’s day Dance; a music therapy idea

Closely based on the Elf Clown by Susan Olson Higgins. 
 
Stand in a circle
Hold hands tight. Begin to walk to the right. (Pause.)
 
Now you leprechauns, spin around. 
Slap your knees and tough the ground.
Jump up tall and tap your toe. Tap it fast (pause) and tap it slow (pause.)
Wiggle your fingers and reach for the sky.
Clap your hands way up high.
 
All you Leprechauns, sit right down. 
And go to sleep you leprechaun clown!
 
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