There is no denying that summer is here in Miami.

Hot temperatures, afternoon rainstorms, staying inside to soak up the AC. Yup, summer is definitely here!

At the Children’s Resources Summer Camp, there’s a different theme for each week of camp. I love this, because it gives me a creative jumping off point for planning therapeutic music experiences. Last year, we did a Musical Game Theme, a Pirate Theme, an Ice Cream Theme and a Camping Theme that was a blast for the students.

This summer, the first theme was Hawaii.

I decided to go all out – I broke out my Hawaiian lei, my sunglasses, and of course my ukulele.

To start off, we sang an Aloha Song with the ukulele, in lieu of our usual Hello Song.

Then, we used the Rainbow Handbells to play the chords for “How Far I’ll Go” while we sang. You can find the complete instructions for facilitation here. This musical experience is a fantastic way to target attention goals.

Following that, I pulled up a YouTube video of traditional Hawaiian music. I found one that also had some pictures of Hawaii rotating through as the music played.

Then, I passed out blank paper, crayons, and colored pencils to each student.

I told the students that as they listened to the traditional Hawaiian music we were going to draw a picture of Hawaii or what we thought was being depicted in the music. For most students, it was more concrete for them to draw what was on the screen and that was just fine! They put their own spin on it, and I loved seeing all the creative touches they added: volcanoes, birds, and tropical flowers.

This activity was a way for the students to be introduced to Hawaiian music while also having the opportunity for express themselves artistically.

All the research I did for this session theme made me want to take a trip to Hawaii. Anyone else feel the same way?