I use my iPod at work on a daily basis. I just plug it into my handy dandy speaker, and then I have my entire library of tunes at my fingertips. Most of the time, I use the iPod to play songs to accompany instrument or movement activities – circumstances where playing my guitar is not convenient or possible.

But last year while I was brainstorming ideas for one of my higher functioning classes, I came up with a great new (at least, for me) way to utilize the iPod. My students love current songs, movies, and listening to the iPod, so why not combine all three into a game of Bingo? I set to work creating snippets of songs (about 20 seconds each), both from movies and artists I know my students like, using the Mac music-editing program Garageband. Then I created Bingo sheets, twelve for each version of the game. They turned out like this:

I bought those little plastic googly eyes to use as bingo chips, which I store in mini plastic ziploc bags (one for each student). And then I created a playlist of the song snippets, which I just set to shuffle and then hit play. Then I can assist the students instead of dealing with the iPod, which just plays on its own.

iPod Bingo has become the students’ favorite activity, and I use it as a reward for completing other music therapy tasks that aren’t quite as exciting. While they think it is just a fun game, it actually fosters critical listening, social interaction, and team work. Over the next month I’ll be putting together iPod Bingo: Holiday Edition.