I’m going to be honest.

I spend a good amount of time perusing social media sites. I LOVE to check out what’s new on my two favorite FB groups – Music Therapists Unite and Music Therapy Business Owners.

Through these interactions and through emails with my newsletter subscribers  I’ve heard overwhelmingly that music therapists are sometimes just in need of some fresh ideas.

There’s been a lot of discussion on this lately, but I think it goes without saying that whenever you hear an intervention idea it is just that – an idea. You must use your clinical knowledge to adapt songs and activities so they are appropriate for your clients and directly targeting their unique goals. Enough about that!

Here’s an intervention that I use during my music therapy groups with young children with special needs: Animal Auditory Perception Training.

I know you’re probably wondering – what the heck is that?

Here’s how it works: Children must listen to my original Animal Moves song. When they hear me play a shaker – that’s the ‘snake’ – they must shake their bodies. They must continue listening to the song and when they hear me play the frog rasp – that’s the ‘frog’ – they must hop like a frog. The song continues and when they hear me play the canary stick – that’s the ‘bird’ – they must flap their wings like a bird.

The song continues rotating back and forth between different animal sounds and different corresponding animal movements. The children love it, especially when I start to speed it up and they are moving quickly between flapping their arms, hopping, and shaking.

This intervention addresses multiple goals:

– Improving and refining auditory perception skills and listening skills

– Improving receptive communication skills and direction following

– Improving gross motor skills

This intervention has always been a hit with my little ones, especially those that love animals.

Don’t just read, take action! Try out this idea and leave a comment below to let me know how it goes!

Join the discussion: what adaptations or variations would you make?