are offered exclusively to special needs children. Sessions are scheduled once or (if needed) twice per week and take place in clients’ homes. Services include music therapy, adapted music lessons, and therapeutic songwriting.
is the use of music to achieve non-musical goals.
Goals to address in sessions can be borrowed from a child’s IEP (or IFSP) or can be determined collaboratively by the parents and the music therapist. Goals may fall under the domains of speech, language, social skills, behavior, academics, or motor skills. Example links…
oral motor exercises – Oral Motor Exercises
vowel sounds – These Are The Vowels
consonant sounds – Voice Or Breath
words – Time For Music
short phrases – I Want
long phrases – I Gotta Go To The Bathroom
receptive identification – Point To
following verbal directions – Action Words
requesting – When I Want Something From (Jeff)
yes/no questions – Use Your Head To Show Yes Or No
wh questions – What Do You Use?
sign language – More, All Done
Adapted Music Lessons
are music lessons for special needs children. Lessons are offered for piano or guitar. Various percussion instruments may also be utilized to teach concepts of meter and rhythm. Lessons meet each student at their level of functioning and build upon each child’s strengths. For visual learners this may mean alterations to standard music notation using letters, numbers, shapes, or colors. Auditory learners may require more repetition during lessons and recordings to practice along with outside of lesson time. All students are more motivated when their song choices are recognized and welcomed. The ancillary benefits of learning to play an instrument are numerous:
- Teaches discipline and patience
- Results in a sense of achievement
- Provides an outlet for self-expression
- Boosts self-esteem
- Promotes creative thinking skills
- Improves auditory discrimination
- Increases hand-eye coordination
- Builds fine and gross motor skills
- Develops brain areas involved in language and reasoning
Not to mention the primary benefit… making music is fun!
provides children with a unique method to formulate thoughts and express feelings. With just a guitar, laptop, and microphone, a music therapist is able to establish a non-threatening environment leading to a greater degree of sharing than in a “typical” therapy setting. Brainstorming rhymes, composing melodies, and selecting instrumentation leads to an atmosphere of creation rather than confession. Therapeutic songwriting does not necessarily need to deal with a traumatic life event. For children with a communication disorder, songwriting can assist in generating thoughts, organizing ideas, and clearly expressing a message.