A few months ago, I started a new music therapy group for children with special needs and wanted to include a song about playing the guitar. I wrote “Strum with Your Fingers & Thumb” specifically for the group, and it ended up being the inspiration for my new songbook.
This song is designed to give each child in the group an opportunity to strum the guitar themselves while I form the chords. I’ve used it a LOT in both group and individual settings, and it’s fun to see each child’s approach to playing the guitar.
Some are a little aggressive with their strumming, while others are extremely delicate and barely brush the strings. Some like to strum super fast, while others prefer an adagio tempo. No matter what, I just follow their lead with my singing and chord changes.
Here’s the song in action! This little guy was a BIG fan of playing the guitar, and always the first in line to strum when I started playing the song.
I think it’s important to give children the opportunity to play the guitar within a structured setting, because in my experience, they’re gonna try anyway (especially when I set it down to do something else like pass out or collect other instruments.) How do you incorporate guitar-playing into your sessions?
P.S. Did you know that you can gain instant access to a vast collection of over 200 songs (mp3, lead sheet, and instrumental track), videos, tutorials, and visual aides, plus ALL new releases from Listen & Learn Music?