Rhythm and Strings Music Therapy Videos
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Music therapy video series information:
Music is an incredible tool for building skills as it has tremendous abilities to activate and engage our brains and bodies. Music is a global experience in the brain, it activates many areas of the brain which makes it such a strong base for learning! It is fun, activating and engaging! Music therapists utilize the elements of music (rhythm, melody, pitch) to target specific goals.
At Rhythm and String Music Therapy we work primarily with children with speech, communication and motor challenges and differences. Our sessions frequently target expressive and receptive language, communication, and motor skills. Explore our blog posts to learn more about how music targets these skills!
YouTube series "Songs from group music therapy" is a series we created for our students who are not in school due to COVID-19.
Movement: Music activates the motor cortex and gets our bodies ready to move. The steady pacing and structure of music helps to time these movements.
In these videos you will find movement songs that target:
Gross motor skills -arms, legs, torso movements: patting, clapping, stomping, stretching
Bilateral coordination/integration -using both sides of the body at the same time rolling hands, clapping hands, alternating stomping feet
Fine motor skills -small muscles such as those in the finger and eye: sign language, pointing, tracking
Motor imitation -"do what I do." Imitation skills are so important in the development of language and social skills. Almost every one of our interventions target this important skill.
Crossing midline- Crossing arms or legs over your center line. This motion encourages the right and left hemispheres of our brain to work together. It is activating, engaging and very important for the development of many skills.
Regulation: Teaching self calming and self regulation skills through music helps us retain this information so that it can be easily accessed in times of stress. Because music enters the brain globally, activating so much of the brain, we are able to retain information more easily when we learn it in rhythm and melody. For example, it's how we can learn how to recall the full alphabet with such ease!
Music based interventions that target self regulation:
Sensory: teaching children to provide themselves with deep pressure and integrate other sensory motor based movements aimed at regulating the body: Brushing legs, brushing arms, squeezing arms, squeezing hands, gently squeezing head and jaw.
Deep breathing: Taking a deep breath calms the central nervous system. We add deep breathing into several songs so that children can practice this skill while they are calm. We add it into a song so the information is easily retrieved later when they need to access it in a time of stress.
Expressive and receptive language
Music can enhance receptive language skills and retention of information as it activates many areas of the brain, allowing for many routes for a message to be processed and recalled. We create songs that ask /wh/ questions such as: "what is it?" "where did he get muddy?" "where is it?""who is it" "who has it?"etc.
The structure, predictability and timing of music helps to provide opportunities for successful expressive language. The repetitive nature of music provides many opportunities to practice this skill while maintaining novelty. When participating in a familiar music based intervention, a child knows what is coming because music is structured and a predictable pattern which allows their brain preps for output. Music is also a motivator and releases endorphins in the brain which encourages participation and attention.
We create songs that target several elements of language such as labeling, prepositions, and pronouns.
Frequently our songs will include a repeating chorus that targets a specific speech skill such as /m/ /ah/ in "Monkey Monkey", the "ooh" "ahhh" portion of our school age hello songs as well as the "ooh ahh" in Matilda the Gorilla. We may create songs targeting specific needs of a group participant in collaboration with the speech therapist as well.
In our music therapy sessions we provide many opportunities for communication. Often this is by providing an opportunity for a choice: Should we clap or pat our legs? Fast or slow? What should the frog eat, pizza or an apple? Do you want to sing "Grow Grow Grow," or "Bear Hunt?"etc. Providing choices encourages communication and also helps build a child's autonomy.
Please visit our blogs for more in depth exploration of these topics! We are always happy to answer any additional questions as well so don't hesitate to send us an email or give us a call!