Wordless Wednesday: {7.31.13}

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Monday Music and Movement: {Alphabet Soup}


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We have been on a food kick lately with the blog posts, so I’ve decided to add one of my favorite interventions to the list! Today’s Monday Music and Movement activity focuses on improving academic skills like pre-reading and letter identification. To begin, collect the appropriate letters for your group. For mine, I printed out this alphabet, laminated the sheet, and cut out each letter. If you want to get really fancy, you can add a small magnetic strip to the back of each letter and make a laminated cut out of a spoon After attaching a magnet to the underside of the spoon, you can “catch” each letter that is requested.

The lyrics are sung to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”:

I have a bowl of alphabet soup,

A letter for me and a letter for you.

Sip sip sip on the alphabet soup,

What letter should we eat? 

There are many ways to adapt this game depending on the number of children and level of development. For more of a challenge, request the first or last letter of a word, or show visuals of animals or objects and have them choose what letter it starts with. If you have a large group of children, give each of them a lowercase letter, and on their turn, have them choose the capital letter that matches theirs. To make the game easier, print out a second set of letters. During the individuals turn, hand them a letter, and tell them to find the match.

While kids are playing, they are also making secondary gains like improving receptive language, turn taking, self-regulation, and sensorimotor skills. It just so happens that all of these goals are prerequisite skills for full inclusion kindergarten classrooms!

Friday Favorites: {In the Summer}



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Today’s Friday Favorite is a piggyback version (same melody, different lyrics) of the song “In the Jungle”. I got this song writing idea from my fabulous internship supervisor at The Family Partnership, Sarah Woolever. You can use this song to meet goals of choice making, turn taking, sight words (names and foods), food identification, and if the kids are older you can even talk about healthy vs. less healthy food choices as well.

You will want to find or print off a variety of foods, include the names of the foods on the cards so you can work on sight letters/words. You may want to print out a few more than the clients you have in the group in case they all hate green beans ­čÖé┬áIf clients are old enough to read, you can write out the ┬ályrics on a large notepad or have it on a powerpoint. If not, just have a felt board for them to place food pictures on to with their names on it.

Start singing/playing the chorus of the song…

In the summer, the hot, hot, summer

We like to have fun in the sun

In the summer, the hot, hot summer

We like to eat lots of yummy food

Now the children get to make a choice during the verse and put their food next to their name on the board

In the summer, the hot, hot summer

__(name)__ likes to eat yummy __(food__

In the summer, the hot, hot summer

__(name)__ likes to eat yummy __(food)__

Then everyone can join back in for the “a-wim-o-weh” part

Here’s a link to a lead sheet for The Lion Sleeps Tonight so you can see the melody and chords from Wikifonia! We hope you enjoy song writing all about food with your kiddos!


Monday Music & Movement: {Songs for Septuagenarians}

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Most of the older adults I work with are in their late eighties and older. However, I have had the privilege of working with some younger clients this summer, hence the post title, as they are in their early 70s. I wanted to do a song share for some of the new-to-me songs that I have been learning for my clients!

All of the links below will take you to sheet music at Wikifonia. From there, you can transpose and download in the key that fits your or your client’s voice best. I included some songs that are more popular and not new ones I learned, but are definite favorites of my clients. In addition, I usually have luck using Beatles, Elvis, Cash, and songs of faith as well but didn’t want to have 100s of links on this post!

I also wanted to share a cover version of the first song below, “Mission Bell”, that I shared for a music therapy and culture based podcast [Urban Therapists] I have with a colleague, Tyler Hogan MT-BC, that you can listen to here (starts around min 31). Hope your clients love the songs and that you have a great time using the songs with your clients!

Mission Bell – Donnie Brooks

All I Have To Do Is Dream – Everly Brothers

Matchmaker – From “Fiddler on the Roof”

Tammy – Debbie Reynolds (additional lyrics here)

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley┬á

Wake Up, Little Susie – Buddy Holly, Everly Brothers, & Others

Happy Trails to You – From “Roy Roger’s Show” [I love to use as a goodbye song at the end of a session]

July news: It’s grant-writing month!


After a week of fun at Autism camp for Lyndie, and camping with the family for Andrea, we are ready to kick it into high gear and start brainstorming (and singing!) new ways to make music therapy more accessible to the community. Great news…the sunshine and good company have paid off!┬áIn an effort to continue advocating for music therapy and providing services for a variety┬áof populations, we are devoting July to exploring and writing grants!

This month, Andrea and I will be focusing on grant opportunities for the upcoming year. This spring we had the privilege of receiving grants through Arts for Academic Achievement and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. These funds allowed us to provide group music therapy in ESCE and MHC classrooms in the Minneapolis Public Schools, as well as developmental music classes during Ramsey County Library reading hours.

In addition to these larger grants, there are also waivers and grants through the county that can be used to cover ongoing, individual music therapy services. Examples could include Consumer Support Grants, Family Support Grants, Developmental Disability Waivers, Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals Waiver, and Elderly Waivers. If you are interested in receiving a grant for an individual or group session, please leave us a comment and we will help locate and develop a plan for potential grant options with you!

Here is a link to the Minnesota Department of Human Services webpage with more information on grants and waivers!

Wordless Wednesday: {7.3.13}

You may have noticed we are posting less frequently since summer arrived. We have been having a blast enjoying the sunshine, meeting new clients, and for Lyndie, being at autism camp! The rest of the summer will be filled with grant writing, watching construction FINALLY happen at the new clinic location, and preparing for new classes starting in September. Be sure to keep up on the news by subscribing to our blog via email by clicking on the button to the right!

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