3 Ways to Seussify your Sessions this March

1 Mar

As you can tell from some of my previous blog posts, I’m all about using the brilliance of Dr. Seuss in my sessions every March for Read Across America Day. Check out these 3 fun ideas I’m using in sessions this month to celebrate Dr. Seusss

 

  1. Singable books! Some favorites are Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb and My Many Colored Days.  For “Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb,” I have a cute monkey stuffed animal that we’ll use to work on body identification and following directions by having him play the drum like the monkeys in the book. “My Many Colored Days” works great for little ones learning about colors, so I love to have my kiddos search for instruments to play that match the colors on each page.Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 11.25.41 AM
  2. “Green Eggs and Ham” from The Learning Station. I’ve used these fabulous visuals from Mommy Lessons 101 and an adapted version of “Green Eggs and Ham” to target anything from sight words to music note learning. I laminated the eggs and use dry erase marker to write targeted concepts, activities or conversation starters on the backs. Sing the song, flip over an egg, and complete the task on the other side!

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3. Dr. Seuss rhyming. I made some basic picture/word cards for some IEP students working on rhyming goals, and find they work GREAT for simple rhythm or songwriting activities. You can either use the cards as a jumping off point and have students draw one card and rap or drum rhyming words they can think of, or have them look for the sets of matching rhymes. Simply download them for {FREE}, laminate and use! There are also other great Seuss-themed cards available for free at Sweet Rose Studio.

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Singable Book: Your Personal Penguin

16 Feb

K, so I really love this book. And by, I really love this book, I mean that I love it SO much, it was a reading at my wedding in December!

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My favorite ways to use it:

  • Snuggly song: This is perfect for parent-child bonding. Encourage kiddos to sit with a caregiver and rock back and forth to the music as they listen. You can even have them hold hands with you, a caregiver or a peer and waddle around the room like penguins.
  • Sign language: I like teaching and using using the signs for I want,  penguin, go, and of course, hug…because what else are those little penguin wings for?
  • Conversation starter: I love talking with my kiddos about who their own personal penguin is. Usually, Mom, Dad or a sibling are a great place to start. We talk about telling your personal penguin “I love you!” and sharing the things that they like about each other.

Special thanks to Marlayna Photography for capturing the moment when we decided to be personal penguins for life on 12.19.15.

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4 {Clean} Valentine’s Day Dance Songs

2 Feb

Valentine’s day doesn’t have to be all about mushy gushy love—it’s also a great excuse for a dance party. I like using these songs for anything from instrument play to lyric analysis, and find they’re great for facilitating conversation about friendship, love and what it means to share a relationship with another person. You’ll also look extra cool for using songs heard on the radio right now. Now, go spread some love (and your best dance moves)!

  1. Love is the Answer (Aloe Blacc)

2. Electric Love (Borns)

3. One Call Away (Charlie Puth)

4. Lay It All On Me (Rudimental ft. Ed Sheeran)

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Activity Inspiration: Holiday Sing-Along

7 Dec

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.49.05 AMFor the rest of the year, I’m keeping my blogging short and sweet…because I’m getting MARRIED on December 19th!

I wanted to share my most-used visual this month: FREE Holiday Song Icons. Print, laminate, velcro and use again and again. I try to go for songs that don’t overtly mention Christmas (“Sleigh Ride” and “Let It Snow” are two faves), but can’t resist other classics like “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” (great for playing on bells) and “Rudolph” (use a red shaker for your nose!). Wishing everyone a great holiday season–I’ll catch you in 2016…with a brand new last name. 🙂

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Activity Inspiration: We’re Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner

23 Nov

November is a great time to talk about FOOD…which just so happens to be one of my favorite things. I created this little activity to open conversation about Thanksgiving dinner foods and family traditions with my kiddos, so you can keep it as traditional or creative as you want. If you’re going the traditional route, you might want to make some food item picture cards like mine to help structure the activity. But if you’d like your clients to come up with their own favorite foods, give them a blank square and have them draw the item and share it with the group!

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Pass out some instruments, start a simple drumbeat, then sing or chant the words:

“We’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and we’re gonna make something yummy!”

Choose a client to drum/play their food word a few times, then get everyone in the group playing it. Each time you add a new food item, see how many words you can sequence together! It can get really silly if you’ve got a big group, especially if you’ve got creative food choices (ie CANDY, CANDY, CANDY). Sometimes, we even pretend the gathering drum is a table and practice asking for different food items (“Can you pass the turkey?” “Yes, I can!”) and pass the cards to a steady beat.

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#AMTA2015: Kansas City, Here I Come!

9 Nov

11230964_10153344446274541_8716665946176669922_nI’m really excited to be traveling to Kansas City for the 2015 AMTA National Music Therapy Conference! I’ll be presenting with one of my music therapy bests, Michelle Erfurt, on Friday at 9AM. Our concurrent session, Present the Best Version of You: A Mission-Building Writing Workshop, will be totally interactive, and you’ll work in small groups to create a mission statement that you can put into use immediately. You’ll also find me facilitating a table at the Networking Luncheon on Friday at 12pm.

If you’d like to connect at conference, let me know. I’m always happy to meet and make new music therapy friends over coffee (or, let’s be honest—happy hour!).

Can’t wait to see you there!

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Activity Inspiration: Boogie Monster (+ MORE Monster Ideas)

26 Oct

9781935414100_p0_v2_s600At the end of October, I love doing monster-themed songs and activities. This can be great for kids who don’t celebrate Halloween, or friends who may be scared of other Halloween themes (ghosts, witches, etc).

One of my new finds this fall has been Josie Bissett’s Boogie Monster book. It’s like it was written for music therapists—the text is interactive, asks questions and each page has a different dance move that goes with specific body parts. Can it possibly get better, you ask? Yes, I say…because you can buy it as a complete set with the book, a CD of dance tunes and FURRY MONSTER LEGGINGS that kids can wear while you read/dance to the story. Let me repeat: you can buy FURRY MONSTER LEGGINGS that match the monster in the story. I know, I know–it’s amazing.

Example A: I mean, LOOK at those leggings. Come on. It's brilliant.

Example A: I mean, LOOK at those leggings.

After we read, we like to have a dance party to Recess Monkey’s “Boogie Monster”, which was written to go along with the book.

For added fun, we might even watch the boogie monster breaking it down all over NYC.

Feeling like your boogie fever isn’t satisfied yet? Keep your dance party going!

Blame It on the Boogie (Jackson 5)

Boogie Wonderland (Earth, Wind and Fire)

WAIT. You still need one more monster activity to round out your session?

Try the FREE Monster Music App and have fun creating your own monster dance tune. This one is guaranteed to crack you up, and has fab opportunities for vocalizing/speech goals.

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