Are you getting into the swing of these virtual music therapy sessions?
I feel like it’s exercising a whole new part of my brain and is stretching my creativity (which is something I really like).
It took me a while to get the “wheels turning,” but once they did, I found a whole new set of tools at my disposal (think Zoom screen share!) and that helped spark my creativity.
If you’re feeling in a creative rut, though, or are lacking in planning time, I’m here to help.
I’m writing a series of blog posts where I share ideas for musical experiences that are working well in this new virtual format. I’m assuming your clients on the other end of the computer don’t have any musical instruments or manipulatives, like scarves.
The ideas are designed for elementary school age, middle school age, and teens, but can easily be adapted for other age groups.
Last week, I shared some musical experiences that can be used to target social/emotional goals.
This week, I have some ideas for musical experiences that can target motor goals. Adapt them as needed to account for your clients’ unique goals and musical preferences:
Moving To The Beat – Play a looped hip hop beat or create your own on GarageBand. Teach your clients a movement pattern. For example, crossing arms and tapping shoulders, or patting and clapping. String the movement patterns together, so you have an entire movement pattern sequence by the end (this is great for working memory and short term memory!)
Ask your clients for input on what movements to do next. My school-age and teen clients love when we use hip hop beats, but this musical experience also works great when paired with a pop song with a strong rhythmic beat, like “Stitches” by Shawn Mendes.
Creative Movement – This is one of my favorite musical experiences, because it’s so versatile and can be used in lots of different themed session plans. Here’s how it works. I choose a theme based on the season or an upcoming holiday, and pull up a variety of pictures to go along with that theme. For example, now I’m implementing a Spring theme with many of my clients. I pull up pictures of a flower, rainbow, bird, grass, bee, and butterfly.
I then play a song related to that theme and assign one picture to each client. Each client then comes up with a creative movement to go along with their picture, and teaches the other clients the movement. We perform the movements together as a group. For individual sessions, just have your client come up with creative movements for each picture and perform them together with you to the chosen song.
Dancing – I love to end my sessions with an upbeat song that gets everyone up and dancing. You can take client requests, or choose one ahead of time. We’ve been loving “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by Justin Timberlake (from Trolls) and “Rockin’ Robin” by the Jackson 5, to go along with the Spring theme. Prompt movements that target your clients’ motor/physical goals, such as clapping to bring arms to midline, and reaching up and down to work on strength and endurance.
I hope these ideas spark some new ones for you.
If you need more ideas, I’m doing something I have never done before and likely won’t be doing again soon:
Tuneful Teens 1 and Tuneful Teens 2 (which were just updated for 2020), Sensational Songs & Activities (most popular), Pop Song Mini Pack, and The Rap Pack For Teens (with 12 looped hip hop beats included) are all available at 50% off.
Plus, I just added a brand new E-Book to the collection (which is also 50% off!):
Check out what’s available. You can grab some resources for as low as $2.50 (like Bonus Rap Tracks/looped hip hop beats that can be used in the movement experience described above) and get your creative juices flowing for planning some awesome teletherapy sessions.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, where I’ll share more musical experiences that work well in tele-music therapy.