Color Identification in Music Therapy | Listen & Learn Music

These dreary wintry days have me longing for spring and all of its colors, so I’ve taken that inspiration into my music therapy sessions and music classes with a few colorfully themed songs.

Identifying colors is an important developmental skill for young children, so it’s only natural to practice that skill in a musical context. In this post, I’ve featured two songs that creatively address color identification while targeting some additional goals as well!

Some of the goals addressed in these songs:

  • Increase ability to identify colors
  • Improve critical listening skills
  • Improve fine motor skills
  • Increase ability to utilize palmar grasp
  • Improve ability to follow directions

“Flower, Stand Tall” is a peppy song that can be quite challenging for clients and students. For this song, I arrange jingle bell wrist scrunchies into a pile in the middle of the circle. I encourage the clients and students to listen carefully, and then pick up the jingle bell that is the same color as the one named in the song. As the music plays, I have them shake it high in the air.

Flower, Stand Tall | Listen & Learn Music

A different color is featured in each verse, which makes for a fun learning opportunity. As an even greater challenge, I will pass out bells to each participant, and they must wait to play until their color is named. Waiting for their color to be called is a way to target impulse control as well as critical listening.

The song “Flower, Stand Tall” can be adapted to become increasingly challenging. For some groups, I may pass out two bells to each child. For others, I may decide to vocalize only the starting letter of each color (“Rrr flower, stand tall”), which is an adaptation that works well for clients and students who are working on letter sounds and pre-reading skills.

Any way you slice it, “Flower, Stand Tall” is sure to be a motivating song that addresses several important skills!

I love using rhythm sticks in my sessions, and “If You Know the Color Red” has been the latest hit song in my music therapy sessions and music classes. This song uses a familiar melody so that it’s easy to sing along to right away, and each verse has a fun rhyme (which my clients and students always love)!

If You Know the Color Red | Listen & Learn Music

Before starting the song, I typically prime my clients and students by having them identify colors, and also brainstorm various ways to play the rhythm sticks. By having a short primer prior to singing, the children are prepared and have an additional opportunity to practice their skills.

For “If You Know the Color Red”, I printed out visual aides for each color. Conveniently, the visual aide is linked in the facilitation guide (available to members of Listen & Learn Plus), so I didn’t have to spend extra time creating one.

Often, I will omit the color in the lyrics, hold up the visual aide, and give my clients and students an opportunity to identify and sing the color they see, which presents a chance for the kiddos to practice verbalizing colors and exploring their singing voices! Other times, I will ask them to identify an object in the room that is a certain color, and once they do that, then we sing the verse about that color.

I hope that these two colorful songs will inspire you and remind you of spring days sure to come! Both songs present adaptable opportunities to practice important life skills as well as early academic skills.

I’d love to hear from you: which songs are inspiring you this month?

You can listen to all of these songs in their entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for these original songs are available for download. As is the case for all Listen & Learn Music creations, we invite you to adapt this song as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.

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