When it comes to creating musical experiences for my school age clients, here’s how it typically goes:

As soon as I know the goal I’m targeting (typically a goal in the attention and perception realm, since those skills translate directly into having success in the classroom and a work environment), my immediate next step is to examine the music I’ll be using to help target that goal.

Music selection is critical.

The music is what will draw our clients in, capture their attention, and keep them engaged as we work together on their goals and objectives.

The majority of my clients and students are into pop music and pop singers – everyone from Ariana Grande to Justin Bieber to Billie Eilish.

So once I have goals and objectives in place, I look closely at the music by these artists and see how can I use their songs therapeutically.

This is the creative challenge that my brain LOVES!

Today I’ll be sharing some ways I use pop music to target attention and perception goals. The great part about this is that you don’t have to use songs by Ariana, Justin, or Billie just because my clients prefer them (in fact you shouldn’t!)

All you need to do is insert your clients’ and students’ preferred music into this musical experience and you’re good to go.

Here’s how I use pop songs to target attention & perception skills, specifically auditory sequencing:

I begin by finding a popular or client preferred song that has a strong beat.

Then, I teach a movement sequence or instrumental sequence to go along with the chosen song.

Simple as that!

Remember, simple can still be effective. And by using client preferred songs, or songs they recognize from the radio, my clients are immediately engaged and ready to participate.

Here are some examples of what this might look like with popular songs out now:

“Summer Vibes” Pegato Remix by Walk Off the Earth

“Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake

“Savage Love” (clean version) by Jason Derulo

  • Verses: Rhythm sticks 3x / maraca 3x / triangle 3x
  • Chorus: Drum 3x / tambourine 3x / jingle stick 3x

“Bang!”(clean version) by AJR

  • Verses: Three drums of three sizes in a row, hit one per beat with a rest at the end
  • Chorus: Rhythm sticks 3x / maraca 3x / triangle 3x

“Dynamite” by BLS

  • Verses: pat pat clap rest
  • Chorus: clap clap snap snap

“Jalebi Baby” by Tesher & Jason Derulo

  • Verses: Three drums of three sizes in a row, hit one per beat with a rest at the end
  • Chorus: Rhythm sticks tap down 2x / up 2x

If these ideas piqued your interest, then you’ll be glad to know that the doors for The Attention & Perception E-Course will be opening very soon (mid January 2022). Yay!

The Attention and Perception E-Course was created for music therapists, educators, and other professionals who want to deepen their understanding of attention and perception, and use that knowledge to create engaging and effective musical experiences to target those processes.

Join the waitlist by entering your name and email below, so you don’t miss when the doors for enrollment are open (and close again).

When you join the waitlist, you’ll hear about special discounts and promotions, and how you can access free bonus material.

Plus, you’ll get a Pop Song Rhythms freebie right away, so you can get a sneak peek of the materials you’ll get inside the course.

Over the next few weeks on the blog, I’ll be highlighting some of the special features of The Attention & Perception E-Course that make it stand out from other continuing education courses.

More than 400 music therapists, educators, and professionals have taken Wholesome Harmonies E-Courses and successfully put the ideas into use in their sessions and classrooms.

Lynda Miller, MT-BC had this to say about The Attention & Perception E-Course: “Thank you for creating this course!  I have been encouraged, inspired, and moved to action by the way you presented this subject.  Instructions to “Stop now and fill out creativity worksheet” were effective and I used several of the ideas that same week.  My clients have responded positively to both the interventions and my renewed excitement.  Your E-Course has been worth every penny and my clients  and I thank you!

And Michelle Nettle, MT-BC said: “I hope you keep creating more E-Books and CMTE online courses. I love all the ones you currently have available. You are great, and your ideas and presentation are so creative and also easy to implement, as you do a great job of “breaking” all the interventions down. Thank you and please keep creating!

If you’re interested in learning more about the E-Course, be sure to hop on the wait list now!