Rice Or Roti

Music Therapy speech song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Client will produce the /r/ sound in isolation and within words.
Domain: Speech

I recently had an initial session with a new client of Indian ethnicity. After we finished, I was invited to stay for a home-cooked meal, which consisted of three types of curry. I learned that curry did not have to have a soupy consistency and I learned that the curry could be eaten with roti (a type of bread) or rice… I knew what that was. It was all very good and I was thankful to be fed.

Shortly after, I was brainstorming on how to best address the client’s goals – one of which was improving the letter R sound. Rice… Roti… cuRRy… lots of R sounds there. Plus, they would be words frequently used in this household.

I watched several Bollywood videos on YouTube and then set out to write my first Indian-inspired song. I thought the tune I came up with on guitar worked well and for the recording (through the magic of technology) I was able to utilize numerous traditional Indian string instruments (santoor, sarod, sitar, and surbahar) and percussion instruments (tablas and kanjiras) that I neither own or actually know how to play.

Although the targeted R words were chosen specifically for this client, I’m hoping the song will be helpful to others of various ethnic backgrounds. The most important facet of a speech song is its ability to motivate a client to sing along, and I’m hoping the melody, harmony, and instrumentation will be intriguing enough to elicit participation from numerous clients. For those not familiar with Indian food or culture, this could serve as a conversation-starter about cultural diversity.

An instrumental version is included for download to adapt the song to the needs of your client. You may have them participate for the /r/ sounds or the R words or even sing all of the lyrics.

Download includes:

  • Rice or Roti [mp3 audio file]
  • Rice or Roti (instrumental) [mp3 audio file]
  • Rice or Roti – Lyrics [PDF]
  • Rice or Roti – Lyrics & Chords [PDF]


Rice Or Roti