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wisdom 10 Tips for Choosing and Creating Song Interventions for Young Children

Beth McLaughlin, LCAT, MSE, MT-BC

imagine 5(1), 2014

1. Repetition and Predictability. When structuring an intervention, remember that children learn through repetition and are comforted by the predictable form and structure of music. 2. Humor. Incorporate sound effects, surprise endings, and nonsense syllables; they make children laugh and keep them coming back for more. 3. Active Participation. Engage children with movement, instrument play, and dramatics, as they can help children more easily remember the lyrics and internalize the concepts and emotions of a song. 4. Creativity. Leave space for children to contribute their own lyrics or ideas for extending the song into different domains. A song should always honor creativity and authorship. 5. Broad Appeal. A good song should have broad appeal. Do children sing it all day long? Do staff call it an earworm? If so, it’s a keeper! 6. Visuals and Props. Use items such as puppets, scarves, pictures, and pom poms to invite active participation, engage the senses, and stimulate learning. 7. Language. Use sentence structure and vocabulary that is meaningful and accessible to the child. 8. Musical Tools. Don’t underestimate children’s musical sophistication; they are exposed to many styles of music through today’s media. Incorporate scales and modes, orchestration, and the elements of music. 9. Relevance. Demonstrate respect for children and their families by choosing songs that reflect their cultural background. Make sure the song’s subject matters to the children, reflects the skills they are learning, or the books they are reading. 10. Fun. Enjoy yourself!

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Profile for imagine

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...