“Two Excellent Finger Poems” for fine motor skill development. Gr8 for music therapy and music education. By Margie La Bella of Music Therapy Tunes.

-Age: 1-5
-Objective: Children move fingers and hands in the way prescribed by words/lyrics.
-Materials: fingers. Possibly pictures depicting each direction.
-Method: Develop hand motions for each line, don’t worry: each sentence suggests a motion.Show the children the hand motions and then add in each line one at a time. Eventually, put the motions and words together so as to do the entire poem.
-Submitted by: Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes
-Author: Unknown
-Melody-Words and chords:  This is a chant. Use an animated tone of voice and go for it!

 

My 5 fingers

1 finger points. 2 fingers walk.

3 fingers stand up and talk, talk, talk.

4 fingers count 1-2-3-4.

Oh, look: I’ve got one more!

1-2-3-4-5

5 fingers up. 5 fingers down.

5 fingers go ’round and ’round.

5 fingers here. 5 fingers there

10 fingers to wash my hair.

 

I have 10 little fingers

 

I have 10 little fingers and they all belong to me.

I can make them do things. What would you like to see?

I can close them up tight. Or make them all hide.

I can make them jump high, or make them go low.

I can folk them up quietly and sit like so.

“Going on a bug hunt” summer song for kids via music therapy / education for preschoolers, kindergarten, and elementary aged students by Margie La Bella of music therapy tunes

Age: 3-8 
Goal area: Expressive and receptive langauge, abstraction (pretending) 
Method: Sing and do.
Adaptations: Make up your own parts of the stories. Have each bug be represented by it’s own instrument and played while moving/when the other kids move. 
 
Original Author Unknown on the site http://www.preschooleducation.com
Chanted like “We’re going on a bear hunt”

We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re going to catch some big ones.
What a sunny day! Are you ready? OK!

Oh my! A bee!
A black & yellow bee,
Flying over the flowers.
BUZZ…..

We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re going to catch some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh, my! An ant!
A tiny, black ant,
Crawling through the grass.
Shh…

We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re going to catch some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh, my! A grasshopper!
A big, green grasshopper,
Hopping around the tree.
Boing, boing…

We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re going to catch some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh, my! A butterfly!
A pretty, orange butterfly,
Floating in the sky.
Whoosh, whoosh…

We’re going on bug hunt!
We’re going to catch some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh my! A spider!
A big black spider,
Creeping on the tree. Creep, creep…

 

 

 

 

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!!

“Five Little Fish” rhythmic sequencing music therapy song for kids

Goal: to improve auditory memory, language skills, oral-motor skills, sequencing skills, number concepts, fine motor skills
Materials: Pictures of 5 different fish.
Method: Show the children the 5 fish pictures, count them slowly and tell the group to raise 5 fingers, Count them. Then sing the rhyme with the children adding in the motor component (blub and pop rhythms.) After the children are familiar with the chant, leave out the words “blub” and “pop” and have the children fill in the blank.
You can even have the children be the fish by lining them up and asking them to jump with the words “blub” and “pop,” Another variation is to have them play one instrument for those words, for example blub would be the cymbol and pop would be the drum.
5 little fish blowing bubbles to the top.
One went blup and the other went pop
blup blup pop pop pop (repeat 3 more times)
4 little fish blowing bubbles to the top.
One went blup and the other went pop
blup blup blub pop (rest)  – repeat 3x.
3  little fish blowing bubbles to the top.
He went blup and then went pop
blub popop blub blub – repeat 3x
2  little fish blowing bubbles to the top.
He went blup and then went pop
blupblupblub   popopop
1 little fish blowing bubbles to the top.
He went blup and then went pop
blub blub popop blub
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

Pop Pop fourth (4th) of July song for kids with a bonus chant

Goal: to improve auditory memory, language skills, oral-motor skills, sequencing skills, number concepts, fine motor skills
Materials: could include glow in the dark strips, and 5 pictures of different fireworks
Method: Show the children the 5 picutres of fireworks, count them slowly and tell the group to raise 5 fingers, Count them. Then sing the rhyme with the children adding in the motor component (tap and clap rhythms.) After the children are familiar with the chant, leave out the words “bang” and “pop” and have the children fill in the blank.
You can even have the children be the fireworks by lining them up and asking them to jump with the words “bang” and “pop,” Another variation is to have them play one instrument for those words, for example bang would be the cymbol and pop would be the drum.
This chant is a variation of the little chant:
5 little sausages cookin’ in the pan. One went pop and the other went bam. And so forth with 4,3,2, and 1.
4th of july rhyme. Dress this up for “older” kids by making all kinds of rhythmic variations on the bang/pop verse. If your kids giggle at the word bang, change it to pow or boom.
Examples of the variations include: bang bang bang pop rest (ta ta ta rest), or bang bang bang pop pop (ti ti ta ta ta) This turns it into an auditory memory drill.
5 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.
One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang (tap knees) Pop pop pop (clap hands 3x)
repeat the above line three more times. (ta ta titi ta)   or last time: Noisy, noisy make it stop!!
4 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.

One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang bang pop pop pop (titi ta, titi ta)
3 little firecrackers shooting/flying to the top.
One went bang and the other went pop.
bang bang bang pop pop  (titi tah, ta ta)
Here’s a bonus song:

Fireworks go snap,snap,snap!                               
c-r-r-r-rcrack!  Zap,zap,zap!
Fireworks make me clap,clap,clap
On Independence Day!
—  —  —  —  —  —
I was Born in the USA! Born in the USA!
I Was Born in the USA! And it is Independence Day!
 
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
 

“Doo-wa-ditty” summer creature song for music therapist and music education teachers by Margie La Bella of Music therapy tunes

Name: Doo-wa-ditty summer song (sea creatures)
Age: 3-7
Goal area: academics (sea creatures) language skills
Materials: Song, toy sea creatures, pictures thereof,
Method: Have each child tell you the name of a sea creature and possibly even the way they move. Incorporate the answer into the song lyrics and sing.
Adaptations: Have children pick out an instrument to represent their creature and play in turn.
Medody: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR5yhKQo3dc  at 41 seconds in
Original Author Unknown from  http://www.preschooleducation.com
Sung to: “Doo-wa diddy diddy”
C                            F                              C
 There I was just swimming in the sea
              C                                            F                   G
singing Doooo wah diddy diddy dum diddy dee
C                                          F                        C
All the sudden there’s a dolphin next to me
              C                                     F                 G
singing Dooo wah diddy diddy dum diddy dee
           C (or just scratch strings percussively)
 
 She swam fast  (she swam fast)
 she dove deep.  (she dove deep)
 
she swam –  fast dove deep
Hey this dolphin’s pretty neat!!
 
repeat above with the following suggestions: 
 Dolphin-swimming
Crab-pinching
whale – breaching
shark swimming
mermaids plug nose and shimmy down
 
 
 
 
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
 

“Can you Move with Me” A summer bug song for kids

Can you move with me (may be on Pam’s CD)
Goal area: receptive language, creative movement
Method: Therapist shows children pictures of creatures that move in different manners.
The children practice moving in the various ways and then move in ways specified via song lyrics. Stop the lyrics in mid sentence and wait for the kids to fill in the missing words. This begins to facilitate learning of the lyrics.
Adaptations: Children name creatures that fall within the different movement categories.
To give the children more time to process and respond by moving – – have the other adults echo each phrase after you.  Or try doubling each phrase ie: Can you wiggle like a worm…wiggle like a worm. Can you squiggle, can you squirm – – squiggle, can you squirm ?   Maybe do the whole thing with a drum and mark time as need be between each line. Adapt as needed.
               E
Can you wiggle like a worm,
Can you squiggle, can you squirm?
Can you flutter, can you fly,
             B7
Like a gentle butterfly?
                   E
Can you crawl upon the ground
Like a beetle that is round?
                              B7  E
Can you move with me?

 

 
Can you flip? Can you flop? 
Can you give a little hop?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake?
Can you dance like a bee
who is buzzing in a tree?
Can you move with me? 
 
 
 
 
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
 

Summer Topic Song: “A hunting / camping/ fishing /sailing / swimming we will go” by margie labella of music therapy tunes

A hunting we will go.
Goal area: academic (bugs, bug habitats and their role in nature) language and turn taking
Materials: plastic toy bugs, (real bugs in a jar and a magfifying glass) or large pictures
Method: Each child either thinks of a bug, or chooses a bug from among the manipulatives.  Discuss that particular bug and sing.
Adaptations of the song include: see below the activity
   D
A-hunting we will go. A-hunting we will go.
                                       G
We’ll catch a __ and put it in a box.
        D                A            D
And then we’ll let him go.
Another song with the exact same write up would be to the tune of “Skip to my lou.”
Sample lyrics could include
An ant crawed up the tree. (Repeat 2x) That’s what you see outside/in nature.
A grass hopper jumped up high.    (As above)
A snake slithered in the woods.,,
 A worm wiggled in the dirt.,,,,
You can certainly prompt language discussion and objects within categories with this song.
 Ask “what did you see at the ____? ”  “What did you bring with you?” “What did you wear?”  “Who did you go with?”
“Who did/brought what?” and countless other questions.
Answers that you can sing back through the lyrics include:
Daddy brought a tent.  Daddy brought a tent.  We went camping and Daddy brought a tent.
We ran after fireflies.
We got lost in the woods.
We heard a giant bear.
The crickets by the tent went chirp, chirp, chirp.
Tom will bring the juice.
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

“Baby Bumble Bee summer song” gr8 for music and speech therapy for children

Name: Baby bumble bee
Age: 3-10
Goal Area:  Language (bi-labial production of “b”  sound.
Method: sing and do the motions. Pause before the words “baby bumblebee” and really emphasize  the “b” sound. Pace the song so that the children  have time to pronounciate.
Adaptations: ) Present the class with pictures of each verse and have them put them in the proper sequence. 2) Have each child find the correct picture in sequence and hold that picture up while the class sings. 3) Have each child in the group sing the different verses into a toy or real microphone.
Melody at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxV2bCzQ5IA
            E                                                              A  (F#M)                    B7
1. I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee. Won’t my mommy be so proud of me.
       E                                                                  A                 B7 E
I’m bringing home my baby bumble bee.  Owch! He bit me!
(Motion here is to cup your hands in front of you like you are carrying a bee, Emphasize that this is not a smart thing to do….but just for the song you’ll allow it.)
2. I’m smushing up my baby bumble bee. Won’t my mommy be so proud of me.
I’m smushing up my babby bumble bee.  Now I gotta eat ‘im!
(Motion is to clap your hands and drag them across each other. In other words…smush them.)
3. I’m lickin’ up my baby bumblee bee…….(as before)
uh-oh: I don’t feel so well.  (Motion is to pretend to lick hands; a point that you’ll have to emphasize the pretend part thereof.)
4. I’m throwing up my baby bumble bee. …..
Whoa! What a mess.   (Do I need to explain this motion? For the faint of heart or faint of administration, you can change this to coughing up. If you have to, you can leave this out.Of course, all the kids love it!)
5.  I’m cleaning up my baby bumble bee…
I’m NOT gonna do that again.  (Motion: to wipe a make believe table with a wipee or to do a broom sweeping motion. )
6. Optional verse: I’m never gonna catch a bumble bee.
And that’s that!

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