When you work with little kiddos, it’s bound to happen. Eventually, you will catch a cold *cue dramatic music*. Last week, I finally caught my first cold of the year and ended up losing my voice for several days.
I hadn’t lost my voice this badly since college and I was having a minor freak-out…until I remembered that I could lead all of my early childhood music therapy sessions because I have access to the whole collection of Listen & Learn Music recorded tracks (perks of membership!).
I browsed through the Dropbox folder, packed up my speaker, and was able to lead sessions all week while using my voice only minimally throughout.
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Increase ability to follow clearly stated directions
- Improve gross and fine motor skills
- Improve body part identification
- Increase ability to utilize palmar grasp
- Improve ability to cross the midline
- Increase directional awareness
“Put the Scarf on Your…” was a perfect choice for my backup plan sessions! My clients are consistently motivated by scarves, and I knew it would be a great choice to maintain engagement, especially when I have limited use of my voice.
Each child had a chance to make a choice about the color of their scarf, and I was able to use visual aides and nonverbally prompt clients. I was actually able to prompt clients more than I typically would, plus I was able to model verbal and physical prompts and cues to a new staff member.
I had recently introduced rhythm sticks to my preschool classes, so as part of my backup plan, I chose “The Toolbox Song”. This is one of my favorite Listen & Learn Music songs, but it is challenging!
This song requires modeling for many of my clients, and they were actually much more successful when I was able to model throughout the entire song instead of playing my guitar and singing.
Because I didn’t have a voice, I felt that a gross motor movement song would be challenging. Not only was I unable to give verbal cues, but I was a bit concerned about not being able to give verbal redirections (many of which are often needed when kiddos are up and moving!).
That’s when I remembered “Body Cross, Applesauce”, a movement song that could be done in our seats! This song utilizes bean bags, which provided some extra sensory stimulation for my clients.
Not only was “Body Cross, Applesauce” a great addition to my backup plan, but it was also an effective way for my clients to release some energy and move their bodies in a gentler way. My clients also benefited from crossing midline so many times as well as identifying left and right, and having so many opportunities in one song to do it!
There are so many recorded instrumental and vocal tracks in the Listen & Learn Music collection, and they really were a lifesaver when I lost my voice last week. It’s important to have a backup plan for all sessions, and thankfully I was able to create an effective and goal-oriented backup plan that was appropriate for each group due to the variety and easy access Listen & Learn Music provides.
Let me know in the comments below: what songs would you include in your backup plan?
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.