Every other Sunday, I lead music therapy groups at the Friendship Circle. These are some of my favorite sessions to plan because I really have to think ‘outside of the box’ to meet the needs of the group. The children and teens who attend are between the ages of 6 and 16 and most are on the autism spectrum.
The main goals I have are for the children and teens to work on social interaction and group cohesion. To address these areas, I implement a variety of musical games. Thus begins my series of posts on this very topic! I love musical games because they can be adapted for a variety of populations and goal areas. The first in the Musical Games series is…
Here’s how to prepare:
1. Make a variety of blank hangman sheets. Answers can be popular music artists (Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Miley Cyrus) and popular song titles (“Yellow Submarine,” “I’m Yours,” “Party in the USA”)
2. Prepare a variety of things the players must do if they guess a letter that is incorrect. Some examples…
- Spell your name on the drum – one hit for each letter
- Sing any Beatles song
- Do five jumping jacks with the tambourine
- Sing the first part of your favorite song
- Pretend to conduct an orchestra
- Do a “silly shaker dance”
Here’s how to play:
1. Split the group into teams. (You can have them each come up with a team name, too, for fun.)
2. Each team takes a turn to guess a letter.
3. If the guess is incorrect, that person must choose something from a hat and perform that action (examples listed above).
4. Each team continues until one can guess the final answer.
5. Once the final answer has been guessed, sing a song with the group related to the answer (for example – if the answer is Jack Johnson, sing one of his songs. If the answer is “Poker Face” sing that song).
Have YOU ever tried this musical game with a group? How did it go?
* Looking for more inspiration for your adolescent groups? You’ll want to check out this resource ~ Tuneful Teens: Creative Ideas for Engaging Adolescents in Music Therapy *