Tag Archives: iPad Apps

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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3 Resources I’m Loving: For Piano Lessons

5 Sep

In my summer blog series, 3 Resources I’m Loving, I’m sharing my favorite 3 resources at the moment for different purposes! Check out my last post about Summer Visuals.

September means back to school, which also means that it’s finally PIANO LESSON TIME! I’ve been having a blast creating new visuals, songs and activities to support my adaptive piano lessons and have really found myself excited to teach piano–something I never thought I’d say. I spent most of my days as a student avoiding the piano like the plague (no, seriously–you wouldn’t believe the excuses I’ve given to avoid playing it in public!), but have really fallen in love with it over the past year. I use the piano daily in my music therapy sessions and have been feeling totally inspired for all the lessons I’ve been teaching. I thought I’d share 3 of my favorite things to use right now in my piano lessons.

photo (6)1. Hand/Desk Bell Set. GUYS. If you don’t have a handbell set or xylophone, go get one right now!!!!! These bells have been a huge source of motivation for my kiddos. Beginning students can use them to play their songs, learn solfege and practice note identification. It’s super easy to color-code visuals to match (I have little fish I like to use…this is also great for working on color matching, visual tracking, etc).

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset2. VISUALS! LOTS AND LOTS OF VISUALS! I can’t stress this enough–a good visual can totally make or break teaching a new concept. I have basic piano keys/staffs with velcro to work on note learning and identification, rhythm value cheat sheets, solfege visuals and more. For some quick downloads, see the post about my much-requested lesson game, Miss Kerry’s Musical Melee, and click on the links for the rhythm and note cards.

photo (6)3. FUN APPS! For new piano students, I highly recommend Tune Train. Your students will looooove composing their own song by extending the train track and hearing it played back to them paired with different musical styles (hip hip, pop, classical, etc). It’s a great way to introduce concepts like harmony and pitch while also working on fine motor skills (isolating one finger to draw the line) and decision-making. Other fan favorites are Flash Note Derby and NotateMe Now.

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3 Resources I’m Loving: iPad Apps

25 Jul

In my summer blog series, 3 Resources I’m Loving, I’m sharing my favorite 3 resources at the moment for different purposes! Check out my last post about Music & Relaxation.

One of the most important tools I carry around with me as a traveling music therapist is my iPad. I use it for a variety of purposes: documentation, scheduling, recording, pulling up youtube videos, fun apps for clients to earn…you name it, and I probably use my iPad for it! Below are three apps I’ve been using a lot this summer to work on goals ranging from communication and choice making to social skills and following directions.

photo (1) 1. Bla Bla Bla. Price: FREE!

This app is TOTALLY AWESOME for communication goals! Bla Bla Bla is a sound reactive app that uses the microphone on your iPad to control images on screen. Users can select a fun face from the menu, which will begin move as they vocalize. If it’s a soft sound, the face will move a little bit, but it really goes bonkers as you get louder. It’s fun demonstrating for clients and watching as they realize that the only way to move the face on screen is to vocalize. I’ve seen kiddos shake it, touch it, etc…but it’s really exciting when they start to make the connection and begin to use their voice.

photo (4)2. Beamz. Price: FREE!

This app is for all your cool kids and teens who dream about becoming a DJ. *Insert Dubstep Music Here*. The Beamz library contains tons of songs in different genres (anything from HipHop to Bluegrass) with corresponding sound effects that can be played simply by swiping purple lines on the screen. No matter what sound you hit, it’s guaranteed to sound great and go with the music. You can even record your song and listen back to it! I’ve used this app for social skills (turn taking, following directions, imitation), communication and emotional expression.

photo (3)3. Real Guitar. Price: $0.99 (WORTH IT)

I loooove using this app in sessions because it’s appropriate for all ages, has a high-quality sound and is really easy to use. Real Guitar allows you to select desired chords, put them in whatever order you want and pick a strumming or fingerpicking pattern. Clients can play along with you (or you can follow their lead) or you could even play along with preferred recorded music. This is awesome for clients working on fine motor skills—I have them point their index finger and practice strumming on both the iPad and my actual guitar.

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Miss Kerry’s Musical Melee: For Music Lessons

23 Jun

For many of my adapted piano lesson students, sitting at the piano for 30 minutes can be really challenging. I always try to keep our sessions fun and engaging by bringing in other instruments like desk bells or boomwhackers, getting up and moving around or even playing games! My latest creation, Miss Kerry’s Musical Melee, has been an absolute hit with my clients and is now something they ASK for at the end of our sessions.

 The main concepts of my game are:

  • Clapping 4 beat rhythms
  • Music note identification (naming the note as well as finding it on the piano)
  • Solfege with hand signs
  • Basic composition of melodic and rhythmic lines

The rules? Players roll a dice and select a card based on the color of the space they land on.  Cards will prompt players to clap rhythms, ID note names or complete a challenge card (i.e., play notes on the piano, sing their solfege, compose a 4 beat song). When players reach the end of the board, they have to complete one challenge card to finish the game!

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What You’ll Need:

  • File Folder
  • Laminator (because…well, you should know by this point that EVERYTHING I own is laminated!)
  • Game Board
  • Playing Cards (create your own or print the ones below)
  • Game Pieces
  • Dice or Spinner
  • Ziploc Bags

I liked this game board template at The School Supply Addict and decided to color it in myself to match the construction paper I had on hand. However, if you google “game board templates” you’ll be able to find a bunch to suit your needs, whatever they may be!

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I used these basic rhythm flashcards found at Susan Paradis: Piano Teaching Resources because they were cute, small and portable. You could also try these rhythm cards found at Layton Music.

I also used these music note ID flash cards from Making Music Fun, and plan to repurpose them for all of my music lessons.

**FREE ALERT!** I made my own challenge cards, rules sheet and cover page, which you can download for FREEEEEEE here: Miss Kerry’s Musical Melee.

If you’re a traveling music therapist like me, you’re going to want your game to be compact without a lot of pieces. Divide your cards up into Ziploc bags, clip them into your file folder (bonus points if your paper clips double as your playing pieces!) and download a Dice App like this one. Now, you’re ready to go!

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Miss Kerry’s Musical Melee is definitely a beginner level game, but it could easily be adapted for any skill level or age by increasing the difficulty of the questions and topics covered. Feel free to adapt as needed—I’d love to hear how you use it with your clients. HAVE FUN!

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