Are your clients and students as into Encanto as mine are?

I don’t know about you, but I constantly have “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” stuck in my head!

Over the past few months, I’ve found some creative ways to work the wonderful music from this movie into my sessions in a therapeutic way.

Here are a few of the ideas that I’ve used with middle and high school students with autism. All were created for virtual sessions, but can easily be used in-person as well:

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

I originally had instructed my clients to do different movement patterns to the verses and chorus. For example, stomp and clap to the verses, and pat and snap to the chorus. I created a static movement chart with pictures of each movement pattern.

But THEN! I discovered Rhythm Play Alongs on YouTube (have you seen these?)

The Rhythm Play Along videos highlight the movement picture as it matches up with the music, which is super helpful for virtual sessions where I can’t be the one to point to each movement picture.

This musical experience can be used to work on sustained and selective attention, as well as gross motor skills.

“Waiting On a Miracle”

There’s something about the 6/8 meter of this song that makes it ideal for movement with instruments or scarves. I instructed clients to move down and up to the beat for the verses, and side to side for the chorus.

This musical experience can be used to work on sustained and alternating attention, receptive communication, and gross and fine motor skills.

Song Discussion

After moving and playing instruments, I showed clients a picture of the entire Madrigal Family. We then had a brief discussion as a way to encourage communication. The communication could be through them verbally telling me their favorite character or by pointing to their favorite character.

We then talked about their favorite song or songs from the movie. Clients could either verbally share, or raise their hand as I “took a poll” to ask which song or songs were their favorite.

There is nothing more motivating than a favorite movie and music to encourage communication, right?

“Family Madrigal”

We ended the session by dancing to the upbeat “Family Madrigal” (which is one of my favorites).

All in all, there was a lot of movement in this Encanto-inspired session, mostly because of the limits of virtual therapy. But I already have the wheel turning for in-person musical experiences, as as well as more that can be done virtually.

Encanto Name That Tune?

Encanto Finish the Phrase?

Encanto Karaoke?

All sound good to me!

And if you’re in need of more creative ideas for your sessions this summer, check out the Virtual Music Therapy Session Planning Pack for SUMMER!