As I type this post Steve and I are about 3 weeks away from our wedding day! I could not be more excited!

Thank you to everyone who replied or commented on my Here Comes the Bride Post with fun song suggestions for our reception. We have lots of great songs to choose from – let me know if you think of any more!

Amidst the whirlwind and excitement of wedding planning, I have not forgotten the importance of immersing myself totally and completely in my music therapy sessions, and leaving all else outside the door. (That seems to be a pretty good rule of thumb at other times as well!)

As I’ve written about, I love when my clients are the ones who help me generate new and creative ideas. Last week, I watched one of the children I work with line up four drums in a row and begin playing them in a random order. That sparked this idea:

Drumming By Number:

I lined up four drums.

I placed a number on each drum: 1, 2, 3, 4.

I told him: “Listen, watch, and repeat after me.”

Then I played one drum at a time while saying the number of that drum. For example: “1, 2, 3, 4”

Then he repeated back by playing the drum and saying the corresponding number: “1, 2, 3, 4”

Then I played: “2, 4, 3, 1”

He echoed back and played “2, 4, 3, 1”

This continued for a while. Then we switched and HE was the leader and I followed the patterns he came up with.

* Variations: add drums of different sizes and timbres. Add more numbers. Use letters. The list goes on and on depending on what your client need to work on. Just yesterday during this activity I began singing on a different pitch for each number (1 = do, 2 = re, 3 = me, 4 = fa). Very effective!

It was the coolest experience because we both were partners in coming up with the activity. He was so engaged, we did this activity (with variations) for TEN MINUTES!!! That is a long time for any child to attend to an activity, no matter how engaging it is.

In that time, we packed in skill-building in many different areas: sequencing, imitation, attention, improvising, eye-hand coordination, just to name a few. I am looking forward to adding many different variations on this activity. For now, I would love to hear from YOU!

Leave a comment below and let me know how you use drumming to work on the skills I listed above (imitation, improvising, sequencing, etc.)

Image courtesy of [africa] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net