The countdown to summer break is on! For many of my music therapy sessions and music classes, we only have a few weeks left before we’ll part ways for the summer. Although most therapists and teachers who work with school-aged children look forward to summer break, it can be a challenging time for our clients and students.
Endings are never easy, and although we might continue working with the same kiddos next year, there are still a lot of changes happening for them. Between schedule changes and weather changes, the prospect of new classrooms, new teachers, and classmates can be totally overwhelming.
As a music therapist, it’s easy for me to present these challenging topics and transitions in a fun and upbeat way. Below, I’ve featured two songs that I’ll be using to help my clients and students transition to summer break!
Some of the goals addressed in these songs:
- Increase verbalization
- Increase knowledge related to spring and summer seasons
- Improve object identification
- Improve understanding of seasonal and school transition
“Spring Into Summer” is a peppy little tune that details the season change, and can incorporate singing and verbalization (so many S’s!!), but can be used in several different ways.
Visuals can be paired with the lyrics, which is especially helpful when encouraging verbalization, because the children can see the representation of the word they are saying, singing, or hearing. Fine motor skills can also be addressed through sign language, or participants can brainstorm movements to match the lyrics.
With such descriptive action words, such as “spring”, “jump”, “march” in this song, there is lots of potential for movement, and when clients and students are able to choose the moves, they are thinking creatively and often collaborating with peers, which bumps this seasonal song up to the next level.
“Summer Break (Let’s Shake!)” explains that the end of the school year is near and that there are lots of fun things to do during summer break. This song can be used in similar ways to “Spring Into Summer”, but I’ve taken this song in a little bit of a different direction in the past.
When using this song in my sessions and classes, I’ve encouraged participants to create their own lyrics about what they’re looking forward to in the summer. For my clients and students, I will have them share or create a drawing to help them brainstorm lyrics.
When working with older kiddos, I usually use drawing as time for them to brainstorm, and then I will encourage them to write down their lyrics. Once that is done, I love to practice the song with their new lyrics and create a recording that can be sent home, which is always so motivating, and the parents love it too!
These two songs are prepping all of my clients and students for the end of the school year. I’ve found that the best way to help students transition to summer is to acknowledge their worries and maybe even sadness about the school year ending, while also reminding them of all the special things that happen during summer break.
Let me know in the comments below: how have you prepared your students and clients for the transition to summer?
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 these songs as needed to best serve your students and/or clients.