Every other Sunday, I drive up a palm tree-lined road to the Chabad Center of Kendall to facilitate sessions for Friendship Circle Miami.
I’ve worked with Friendship Circle since 2010 and it’s one of my favorite programs to work with.
This past week something very interesting happened in one of the sessions.
I had just completed an activity and was transitioning to the next one when I noticed that the group was very disorganized. Some of the teens were walking around the room, some were not paying attention to what was going on in the session.
The next activity was the Be Flexible Rap that I use to teach clients about being flexible in situations where things don’t go as planned. (More about that intervention here!)
I turned on my iPod, connected it to the speaker and pressed play on the rap track for the song (rap track = the looped hip hop beat I use as the back track for rapping).
As soon as the beat started playing, there was a noticeable change in the room. I started patting my knees to the beat and the ENTIRE group started patting along with me, in synchrony. Those who were standing moved to their chairs and sat back down. The clients who were disorganized were suddenly moving, in time, with the rest of the group.
We entrained to the rhythm and it organized our entire group.
This is because research has shown that when our brain takes in information, it prefers it to be in an organized, structured form, rather than discrete bits of information.
This rap track provided the organization and structure that the group needed at that time. And, it helped sustain their attention throughout the activity so we could work on the therapeutic concepts in the Be Flexible rap.
If you want to learn more about how to use rap tracks in your sessions with school-age clients and teens, check out the Tune In To Teens E-Course. You’ll get free MP3 rap tracks and learn how to use them to target attention, social, communication and motor goals (PLUS the “cool” factor will be through the roof when you hit play and your clients hear a hip hop beat!)