More Than Just Tapping: All The Ways to Use Rhythm Sticks

Rhythm Sticks Songs

One of the most versatile instruments in my musical arsenal is definitely rhythm sticks. There are SO many things you can do with rhythm sticks, and SO many goals that can be targeted, too!

Lucky for us, Listen & Learn Music has some great goal-oriented songs designed to be used with rhythm sticks, and included in the collection are songs suitable for the youngest of clients as well as middle schoolers.


{GGB 67} Wearing Multiple Hats in Music Class

Guitars & Granola Bars Podcast: Episode 67 | Listen & Learn Music

There is a whole lot of crossover when it comes to being both a music therapist and a mom…especially when you teach early childhood classes and have young children. Jaime and I can check both of those boxes, and have a whole lot of experience playing both the role of music class teacher and mom at the same time.

In Episode 67 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast, we talk all about having our own kids attend our music classes: the benefits, the drawbacks, the funny and memorable moments. This episode is a fun one whether or not you’ve played these dual roles yourself!


Teaching Social Skills Through Song

Teaching Social Skills Through Song | Listen & Learn Music

One of the most important skills all children must learn is appropriate social interaction. Social skills enable us to connect with others, but are often very abstract for children and can be difficult to teach.

Whenever something is difficult to teach children, I always write or look for a song about it (maybe because I’m a music therapist!), and that’s where Listen & Learn Music comes in: if there’s a song I need, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll find a catchy, goal-oriented one that fits the bill.


Monthly Session Plans are Here!

{August 2018} Session Plan Cover

When it comes to session planning, I used to be a last-minute kind of gal. I’d stay up late the night before a new week or month of sessions and classes, stressing myself out looking for songs and materials that were appropriate for my students’ goals and various classes.

But now that I have so many resources of my own from which to choose, the planning process is a lot less daunting. I’ve actually even come to enjoy it! However, I know not everyone does, which is exactly why I decided to start sharing my session plans each month.

When I sit down to plan my sessions, my goal is to create a cohesive plan that also complements any seasonal or holiday theme for that month. I want to make sure there is plenty of opportunity for fine and gross motor movement, verbal exchanges, social interaction (if working in a group setting), and lots of room for student and client input.

These session plans can be used for music therapy, early childhood groups, classrooms, and anywhere else you use music to help children learn and grow. They address a variety of goal areas, utilize all kinds of instruments, and encourage creativity.

Here are some of the objectives targeted this month:

  • fine motor skills
  • following directions
  • turn-taking
  • sustained focus
  • directional awareness
  • discrimination of loud/soft and fast/slow
  • impulse control
  • transitions

In August, I’m focusing on rhythm sticks and guitar for instrument play, and using the stretchy band for gross motor movement. Of course, these items can be substituted or omitted based on your own participants’ needs and goals.

You asked, and I am more than happy to answer. I’ve created a truncated version of the August session plan, which includes the entire song list and 4 full songs (facilitation guides, lyrics/chords, mp3s, and instrumental tracks).

Hopefully this will help clarify what is actually included in my monthly session plans and how the materials look. Follow the link below to check out this completely free sample:

Sample Monthly Session Plan

Rather than make session plans available separately each month, you can sign up once to receive them on a monthly basis for just $10/month (it’s easy to cancel anytime). For that $10 monthly cost, you get…

  • mp3s and instrumental tracks
  • lyrics and chords
  • facilitation guides
    • goals/objectives
    • procedure steps
    • suggested instruments/materials
    • and adaptations

…for all 10 songs. Every month. $10 for all of that is a pretty sweet deal, right?!

And for those of you who are members of Listen & Learn Plus, all of my monthly sessions plans are included :)

I know it’s still early July, but this is the perfect time to start planning your August sessions and classes (one less thing to stress about as summer starts winding down). Monthly session plans for the following month will be available no later than the 15th so that you can get a jump start on planning each and every month.

Monthly Session Plan from Listen & Learn Music

{GGB 66} All Things Disney!

Guitars & Granola Bars Podcast | Episode 66: All Things Disney!

Fun fact: both my co-host Jaime and I are total “Disney people” and have been from an early age. As a result, Disney has played a huge role in our lives, from taking Disney vacations, to using Disney songs in our music therapy and early childhood work, to sharing the love with our own children.

In Episode 66 of the Guitars & Granola Bars podcast, we talk about our favorite ways to incorporate Disney music into our classes and sessions along with our favorite personal Disney experiences.


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