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language can be very helpful. In a pediatric healthcare setting, options may include another music therapist, a translation specialist, or a Child Life Specialist. In an educational setting, teacher or a bilingual assistant can be contacted. Regardless of the setting, a professional/colleague who speaks the native language can facilitate understanding of the client feedback, and can also act as a supportive resource. Native-language songs may not only be useful in ‣ clinical settings, but also may be effective tools for learning a second language! 2. Begin by learning and using a simple vocabulary based on the following categories: Greetings (e.g., ¿Hola, que tal? = ‘Hello, how are ‣ you?’) Music words and instruments (e.g., ‘cancion’ = song ‣ or ‘la guitarra’ = guitar) Words that encourage and validate (e.g., ‘esta muy ‣ bien’ = it is very good; ‘que bonito’= how beautiful) Simple requests (e.g., ‘digame’= show me; ‘toque ‣ la maraca’= play the maraca) Concepts such as colors, numbers, and shapes (e.g., ‣ ‘rojo’ = red; dos = two; círculo = circle) Emotions (e.g., ‘feliz’ = happy; ‘alegria’ = joy) ‣ 3. Own both what you know and what you don’t know. Be honest and open. Be willing to learn through the process of speaking. Clients will not only appreciate your effort, they may also appreciate the opportunity to teach you words!

References Darrow, A., & Mallow, D. (1998). Multicultural perspectives in music therapy: An examination of the literature, education curricula, and clinical practices in culturally diverse cities in the United States. Music Therapy Perspectives, 16, 27-32. Matney, B. & Stock, C. (2009). Music therapy in bilingual early childhood education. Early Childhood Newsletter (Fall 2009), 15, 19-20. Moreno, J. (1988). Multicultural music therapy: The world music connection. Journal of Music Therapy, 25 (1), 17-27. Silverman, M. J., & Hairston, M. J. (2005). A descriptive study of private practice in music therapy. Journal of Music Therapy, 42(4), 262-271. Wolfe, D. E., & Waldon, E. G. (2009). Music therapy in pediatric medicine: A guide to skill development and clinical intervention. Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association.

What Are My Resources? Music therapists working in early childhood settings tend to have a wealth of songs and strategies in their native language, and may be wondering how to incorporate the second language into what they may already have. A music therapist does not need to be completely fluent in the client’s native language to offer bilingual music therapy experiences. A therapist may find it less overwhelming to simply learn one word or phrase to use in a weekly session. For example, during a song or strategy using the guitar, the therapist may ask, “¿Como se dice guitar en español?” (i.e. “How do you say guitar in Spanish?”), or point to their guitar and say “¿Como se dice?” The follow up question would then be, “¿en ingles?” (in English) or “¿en español?” This way the therapist and the children are both actively engaged in the bilingual learning process, bridging the two languages.

Bill Matney is employed by the Lewisville Independent School District, where he currently works with early-childhood bilingual co-teach classes. Bill is an adjunct lecturer at Texas Woman’s University, and runs a book publishing company ( that focuses on materials for music therapists and music educators.

Conclusion This article is meant to support those therapists who find themselves working with clients and parents who speak a different language. The hope is that music therapists realize that one does not need to be completely fluent in his or her client’s language to facilitate bilingual, multicultural music therapy. The authors would like to encourage music therapists not to be intimidated by what they don’t know but rather to feel empowered while constantly developing and utilizing new skills.

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Beginning Spanish Resource Spanish for Health Care Professionals book (Harvey) ‣ Rosetta Stone® at ‣ Jose Luis Orozco at ‣ Roots and Branches: Spanish Folk and Traditional ‣ Songs for Music Therapy and Music Education – Sarsen Publishing: ‣ available Summer 2010. About the Authors

Contact: Christina Stock received her Master of Arts in Music Therapy at Texas Woman's University. She works as a music therapists at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Her interest in music and culture has led her to pursue research and interventions involving the needs of Spanish-speaking second language learners. Contact:


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imagine 2010  

Additional early childhood music therapy resources available at

imagine 2010  

Additional early childhood music therapy resources available at