Have you been doing any virtual music therapy sessions?

I’ve been doing virtual adapted lessons, but just had my first virtual music therapy session with a group of teens last week.

I have to tell you – it was so good to see those faces on Zoom. I am really missing everyone, especially because we didn’t have any closure at our last session.

I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical about how virtual music therapy would actually work.

I imagined tech issues, sound issues, lag issues, and people talking over one another.

And while we did have a few tech issues, I’m here today to tell you that it IS possible (with some patience and a sense of humor) to have a successful virtual music therapy session.

If you’re feeling a little stuck for new ideas, though, I’ve got you covered.

In the next few blog posts, I’m going to share some musical experiences that have been working out really well in teletherapy. They can be used for individual or group music therapy sessions.

This week, I’ll share musical experiences that target social/emotional goals. Adapt them as needed for your unique clients:

Virtual Greeting Song – Easy peasy – Take your usual greeting song and ask clients how they want to greet each other virtually. We’ve done virtual high fives, virtual hand shakes, virtual fist bumps, peace signs, and of course waving (lots of waving!)

Themed Song Discussion – These are some of my favorite musical experiences for teletherapy. In the Tuneful Teens 2 E-Book, I share a multitude of themed song discussion ideas.

Here’s how it works: First, choose a theme or topic. Themes can be based around an upcoming holiday or season, or a topic that is relevant based on your clients’ current needs. Next, choose a song or songs that relate to the topic you’ve chosen. Then, formulate questions to facilitate a discussion based on the song and theme. In the session, you’ll sing the selected songs and ask questions to facilitate a discussion on the chosen topic.

In many of my initial online sessions, I’ve been using the topic of friendship, since many of my clients are feeling disconnected from their friends.  We’ve sung “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars, “With a Little Help From My Friends” by the Beatles, or “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story. After singing through one of the songs, I ask: How are you connecting with your friends virtually – Google Hangouts? Zoom? FaceTime? What’s the coolest thing you’ve done with your friends virtually? Who is one friend you could reach out to now, to see how they’re doing?

After the discussion, I summarize all the things that were shared and we sing the song again.

Remember to utilize all the cool online tools at your disposal. With Zoom, you can share your screen so your clients can see the sheet music, song lyrics, and discussion questions.

Musical Games – These have been a GREAT way to connect with my current clients and to asses new clients that I’m meeting for the first time online. I created a musical game called Guess Who that has been a hit for my elementary and middle school students, as well as my teen clients. This game allows me to work in their favorite songs and singers, which immediately engages them and helps build rapport. Both Tuneful Teens 1 and Tuneful Teens 2 are full of musical game ideas and ready-to-go templates.

If you’re interested in purchasing Tuneful Teens 1 or 2, or any other E-Book, I’m doing something I’ve never done before:

You can grab some resources for as low as $2.50 and get your creative juices flowing for planning some awesome teletherapy sessions.

I’ve just added a brand new resource to the collection (which is also 50% off!):

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, where I’ll share some creative movement experiences that work well in tele-music therapy.