Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If You Have An Instrument

Because many young children struggle with impulse control, music therapists often work to increase this skill. Any activity that requires a child to wait for cues or take turns playing will be valuable in addressing this area.

This activity is designed for all the little ones you might work with. Kids are asked to start and stop on a dime, but it becomes a game to them. It is a song I adapted from a friend, Amanda. And as I was writing it, I also had in mind a song that I learned in practicum at the hospital. I cannot take full credit for this.

A music-writing program is not readily available to me, so I will try to share this song with you as best as I can. I will post the song lyrics and chords, then include an mp3 recording of the song. I hope that it will be helpful in learning the melody. I would also suggest that you feel free to change the melody in whatever way you wish. If you think there is a better way that I can share future songs, please let me know by commenting on this post.

Song lyrics & chords

Various small percussion instruments

Task Analysis:
1. Teach clients that "rest position" means instruments are down and hands are in their lap.
2. Pass out the small percussion instruments to each child, reminding them to keep it in rest position.
3. Sing the song written above with guitar accompaniment, prompting children to start and stop as you say.
4. Take turns picking a child to lead the group. Sing the song again with guitar accompaniment, but let that child say "start" and "stop." Allow the child to lead a couple rounds of this.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed. If your group is small enough, everyone may get a chance to lead.

Extensions & Adaptations
You may need to cue the student to say “start” or “stop” when it is their turn to lead. If a student is not quite giving clear directions, therapist can help reinforce the child for any approximating behavior. (For example, if the child starts playing without saying "start," shout it yourself and play with them.)

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