Shake, Rattle & Roll | Shaker Song for Music Therapy

One of my favorite things about music is that it can trigger memories, reminding us of good times or special people. “Shake, Rattle & Roll” always reminds me of listening to cassette tapes on the way to music lessons with my grandparents, and I am thrilled to be able to utilize this song in music therapy!

There are so many great ‘vintage’ songs that can be used in my work, and although the clients might not be familiar with older songs, their parents or teachers sure will! Using familiar songs is a tried-and-true way to engage parents and teachers, which always helps facilitate music therapy interventions.

Shaker songs are a staple in music classes and therapy sessions, so having a variety of song choices is important. What’s even better is not having to reinvent the wheel; sometimes using a familiar melody with adapted lyrics is the best way to go, which is certainly true for this goal-oriented song.

“Shake, Rattle & Roll”

Goals for this song include:

  • Increase directional awareness
  • Increase ability to follow directions
  • Improve fine and gross motor skills

The first thing I always like to do when passing out shakers is give my clients color choices. I encourage them to request their shaker in full sentences, with sign language, or whatever way is most appropriate for each participant.

Shake, Rattle & Roll | Music Therapy Song for Shakers

After the shakers have been passed out, it’s officially shaking time! And like so many Listen & Learn Music songs, the lyrics are flexible and can be adapted to fit the needs of each child or group.

For younger children, I sing the lyrics exactly as they are, and focus on simply shaking up high or down low. Additional lyrics, such as shake it to the right, the left, or on body parts can be added as an extra challenge. For some of my clients, I use visual aides that demonstrate each direction.

Since the chorus of this song is so catchy and the lyrics are simple, I encourage clients to sing along. Most the of the adults in the room are already singing along, so when the chorus comes along, the whole room is singing “Shake, Rattle & Roll”. This just warms my music therapist heart, plus I love hearing children singing and articulating so many “s” and “r” sounds.

Shake, Rattle & Roll | Shaker Song for Music Therapy

“Shake, Rattle & Roll” is a great goal-oriented adaptation of a crowd favorite. This song is sure to motivate children and adults alike, and will definitely get everyone moving, grooving, and of course, shaking! Tell me in the comments: which oldies song do you love to bring into your sessions?

You can listen to “Shake, Rattle & Roll” in its entirety right here. Lyrics, chords, mp3, and instrumental track for this original song 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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