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Music therapy: A multi-sensory learning approach

A multisensory approach enhances learning by engaging more of the brain.

Learning that involves multiple senses offers many avenues for a message to be deciphered and information to be retained. During our music therapy sessions we utilize tactile, auditory and visual senses to teach and increase opportunities for participation.

Visual: Adding a visual element can offer an additional avenue for information to be understood and retained. We create visuals for 90% of our activities (my laminator gets a lot of love!). Most of our visuals are from Creative Commons where you can search through pictures and art that creators have given permission to use and share (some permissions vary). When creating visuals be sure to use pictures with minimal background clutter, especially if presenting to a group.

Tactile: Each song offers opportunities for a tactile experience. Often in our songs with visuals we have a specific movement or pattern of movements for each picture. Movements such as patting, stomping, brushing, and clapping give tactile feedback and engage the brain.

We choose movements that increase right/left brain interaction, cross lateral movements, and movements that target sensory regulation. When using movements in collaboration with visual and auditory choose movements that best represent the information being presented. We also offer tactile experiences through playing instruments and songs with props (stuffed animals, scarves, etc).

Many of our activities offer opportunities to use sign language which is both visual and tactile and offers children an additional way to contribute and participate (while developing fine motor and imitation skills!). Activities are highly structured and consistent to enhance learning, comprehension and participation.

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