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Music therapy: developing skills with rhythm sticks

In small group and 1:1 settings, small percussion instruments are a fun way of targeting multiple goals in one activity.

Rhythm sticks are one of my favorite tools! I hand each child a bumpy and a smooth stick so that they can create two sounds, a "click" and a "zip". Rhythm sticks help children work on bilateral coordination, gross motor skills, impulse control, imitation and following directions.

Following directions:

Play up high, play down low

Fast or slow

Stop! Go!

Click and "zip" (rub)

Quiet or loud

Make an X (L, T, V, 11, 1, unicorn horn, antennae, etc)

With my older classes we also work on beginning rhythm reading. Moving rhythmically together and/or playing in rhythm together promotes pro-social behavior and builds awareness of others! We also use rhythm sticks to tap out the syllables in each classmates name as we go around the circle.

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