I was going to close out this Musical Mini-Series by going straight to a wrap up, but yesterday something happened in one of my sessions that I just had to share with you.

I was working with one of the classes at Children’s Resources Educational Center (a school for children with special needs here in Miami). The session was right after lunch and everyone was dragging just a bit.

As I started the Hello Song, with energy and large arm motions, I noticed the eye contact was not there from the students. Now to be clear, I don’t need direct eye to eye contact (that would be uncomfortable for anybody!) I am just looking for students to be facing my direction, with their head and eyes focused in my direction.

But as I was singing Hello I noticed the heads and eyes were down.

Instead of getting louder and more energetic in an effort to get their attention, I got quieter and quieter. The quieter I sang, the more heads I saw popping up! One by one, their heads popped up and I saw eyes on me. As softly as I could, I sang “It’s time to say……..” (pause) “HELLO!!!!!!” (as loud as I could).

That did the trick! Heads were up and eyes were on me.

I used dynamics to capture the attention of my students.

Pretty cool that we can use specific musical elements (like melody, the V7 chord, and tempo) to guide and direct our clients, right?

This musical mini-series has been fun to put together. I even dusted off my notes from Music & Development class and Music & Rehabilitation class (circa 2003) at University of Miami.

To wrap up, I truly believe that enhancing our musical presentation will improve our clients’ therapeutic experience. That’s why I bust out my primary instrument every so often and have seen some remarkable responses from my clients.

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below to let me know how you work to enhance your musical presentation for your clients, and what specific musical elements and instruments you’re using to do so.