We love using movement to music in our music therapy sessions. Depending on the child, or group of children, we move for many reasons. Sometimes we are moving to help with sensory regulation, sometimes we are moving to activate the brain and body, sometimes we are targeting a specific motor challenge area such as reaching and grasping. We love creating movement songs based on the individual needs of the children we work with.
Want to create a movement song? Here's how we typically get started:
Movement for sensory regulation:
*Use a steady beat and repetitive chorus
*Include regulating sensory movements such as patting legs, brushing legs, brushing arms, squeezing arms, squeezing feet, etc.
*Include a part where children can practice taking a deep breath to teach this important calm body technique
Movement for activating the brain and body:
*Include actions that encourage crossing midline (pat/cross, roll hands)
*Use activating movements such as clapping, patting, jumping, stomping, marching
*Vary the tempo....consider speeding up during the chorus and then slowing down through the verses
Movement songs to target a specific gross or fine motor skill
*Choose the target goal action as the repetitive chorus for many opportunities to practice target goal
*Utilize props and/or instruments for grasping/releasing, pointing (targeting isolation of index finger and limb control)
*Sign language added for fine motor or motor imitation
Rhythm and String Music Therapy is now on YouTube and we've shared a few of our motor songs! Visit our YouTube channel to see a few of our motor planning ideas.