I know it can be tricky composing songs for clients.
We want the songs to be therapeutic and goal-oriented, but also catchy and engaging. (At least that’s what I’m thinking of when I’m composing for kids!)
Here are a few tips to get you started with writing songs for your clients:
- Repetition, repetition, repetition. When it comes to practicing a speech sound to work on clear articulation or practicing a motor skill to refine it, repetition is key. Our clients need multiple opportunities to practice a skill so they can refine or improve it. So when composing be sure to use repetition as appropriate.
- Add musical variety. Yes we love the I, IV, V, progression, but think about all the ways you can add variety to your songs. How about adding in some jazz chords, some minor chords, or a blues progression? Can you use a samba accompaniment or rock ‘n roll riff? Listen to your favorite songs and think about what it is that catches your ear. Is there a progression or musical element from that song that you could incorporate into your songs for kids?
- Sometimes simple is better. I find that many kid’s songs are too wordy and complex, which makes it difficult for a child to catch on to and learn. For our client’s with special needs, I think it’s even more important to make our songs simple and easy to learn. Use your discretion based on your client’s needs, but I’ve found that simple songs (that are not too wordy) can be the most effective.
- Use rhyming words. Adding rhyming words to the ends of phrases makes them sound catchy and easy to learn. It also helps prompt responses. For example, “What is the color of the scarf on your head? The color of the scarf is ________ (red)!” The rhyme helps prompt the response without giving the answer away!
I hope these tips help. Get composing! And don’t forget to submit your credits to CBMT!
Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net