children songs

Learning Concepts Through Music Therapy

Have you ever asked your child to put something "in" the box and he/she puts in elsewhere? Then it is most likely that you child may have challenges with differentiating basic concepts such as in, on, over and under.

I have worked with many children who are confused with these everyday concepts and have no idea how to differentiate between in, on, over and under. This is a common challenge for most children and especially common for children with special needs and those on the autism spectrum disorder. 

Over and over again I have parents and other professionals asking me how I teach children how to differentiate between these concepts. I simple tell them, "I use music" as a fun and motivating tool to help them learn, understand and practice these basic concepts.

Just the other day I used the drum to help a 3 year old boy on the spectrum differentiate between "on", "under" and "in". We were singing 5 Little Monkeys jumping on the DRUM. I revamped the lyrics to make it more applicable in our music therapy session. When we were done with the monkey I asked him to put the monkey in various locations such as, "on the drum", "in the drum" and "under the drum". The little guy had so much fun hiding the monkey in all the areas he had no idea he was learning these concepts.

After this session I was inspired so I wrote a song to help you and your child learn these basic concepts through music. Feel free to adapt the words of this song to make it your own as well as to match the concepts to the particular environment for you and your child. In this song I kept all the concepts familiar to a music therapy setting (as it's mostly my working environment), but you may want to adapt the lyrics to school or home. For example, the first line is "I put my mallets in the box when it's clean up time". You may want to change it to, "I put my crayons in the box when its clean up time.

Please feel free to share your personal lyrics with us as we love to hear from you!

I hope you and your child will have fun learning these basic concepts and finding creative new lyrics to adapt to your particular environment. Have fun making the most with MEWSIC!

Download the song here! or by clicking the image to the right.

 

 

 

Click below to hear a sample of the song.

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For FREE songs, videos and tips on how to support children with special needs through music click here.

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Image Courtesy of Tuelekza/freedigitalphotos.net

I am a Music Therapist! I am an Advocate! #mtadvocacy

I am a Music Therapist!.jpg

January is Social Media Awareness month for music therapy advocacy.  #mtadvocacy

To me, an advocate is someone who believes who-heartedly in their cause, and demonstrates by example those values and beliefs, and seeks to educate others on the merits of their particular cause. 

I wasn't always a music therapy advocate. During my undergraduate studies in music, I soon realized that a career in music wasn't for me.  I knew the power of music, but I really wanted to be in a healing/helping profession. My faculty advisor suggested I consider music therapy and recommended I read Case Studies in Music Therapy, by Kenneth Bruscia. That day I became a music therapy advocate!  

This discovery caused me to move from Newfoundland to Vancouver to get my degree in music therapy.   That was 14 years ago this month!  Wow, how time flies.

Over the years I have learned and applied the modalities of music therapy, and have seen some amazing transformations in many of my clients.

My music therapy clientele has mostly been children with special needs, primarily autism. Over the years, I have heard so many parents say that they had tried every kind of therapy out there, but that music therapy is the only one that worked.  This is why I have been such an advocate for music therapy in everything I've done since -- as a music therapist, marriage and family therapist, child advocate, student executive, college professor, online blogger,  and in various committee positions.  Here is how I advocate for music therapy every day:

  • Doing
  • Showing
  • Proving 
  • Blogging
  • Modeling
  • Sharing
  • Educating
  • Loving
  • Encouraging
  • Supporting
  • Promoting
  • Researching
  • and more...

These are just a few qualities I have committed to as a music therapy advocate. Can you think of other qualities to add to this list? Please write in the comments below.

To celebrate music therapy advocacy month (#mtadvocacy) I am offering 50% off all my original songs.

Click on the image to the right and it will take you to the song list. 

Enter Code: MTAD2014

Offer Ends: January 31, 2014

Get Your Discounted Songs Now!

Happy Music Therapy Advocacy Month!

#mtadvocacy

Please share, like, post, pin and comment!

 

LET'S STAY IN TOUCH !

For FREE songs, videos and tips on how to support children with special needs through music click here!

FREE Christmas Song - Christmas is a Time

This is one of my favorite times of the year as I'm sure it is for many others as well.

The most favorite part of the season for me, is getting out the large selection of Christmas CD's I've collected over the years and playing them over and over. Somehow, I just never get tired of traditional Christmas tunes. They always tend to get me into the spirit of Christmas. It's kinda magical!

Speaking of getting into the spirit of Christmas, I was inspired to write an original song of my own. I began to reflect on all the things that Christmas mean to me, such as carols, giving gifts and playing in the snow (when I lived in Canada!). The song is called, Christmas is a Time.

In the spirit of giving I would love to share this song with you, your family and your child for FREE!!! I invite you to write your own lyrics to help your child refelct and create their own personal Christmas experiences within the song.

This FREE download includes:

  • track - vocals
  • track - instrumental (so you can make up your own lyrics)
  • lyric and chord sheet
  • sheet music

To download the song you can click on either image or click here.

I hope you and your family enjoy this song and in the spirit of giving, please share it with others! I'd also love to hear what Christmas traditions you and your family celebrate and use in the song.

Happy Holidays Everyone! And cheers to a prosperous and happy new year!

Musically,

John Mews, MA, MTA

Executive Director

Music Therapist

www.mewsicmoves.com

For FREE songs, videos and tips on how to support children with music click here.

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How a Music Therapist Adapts Songs to Fit Each Client's Need

I want to share an experience with you from a therapist who used my song, Leaves are Falling Down. click here for song

Nam Kim Kyo, a talented and creative music therapy colleague of mine share with me some of her adaptations of this song. She kindly has allowed me to share these with you to give you some ideas on how you might use this song with children who have special needs.

First check out her art props! She had her clients decorate the foam leaves into smiling life-like characters! What a great idea. Can you tell which one her client made? (You've got to love the big eye expression.)

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Client A:

This client has been diagnosed with Autism and has minimal verbal and communication skills. One of Nam's goals was to teach her client to recognize body parts and colors. Nam presented her client with red, yellow, orange and brown leaves made of foam. She then encouraged her client to match the correct colors while providing verbal, visual and musical prompts. She said her client seemed to be very engaged and was able to match the verbal/musical prompt to the proper leaf colors with success!

Client B:

This client has been diagnosed with Autism, Seizure Disorder, is non-verbal and is considered low functioning. Nam is working on teaching him how to reach, grasp and release, as this client often grabs objects but has trouble letting them go. Nam cleverly adapted the song's activity by turning the drum upside down, then having her client pick up the leaves and drop them into the upside-down drum with a verbal and musical cue! Fun!

These are just two ways in which you can adapt this song to fit an activity. I want to thank Nam for sharing her stories and artwork with us and encourage her to keep up the great work. 

How have you adapted songs to help address any of your child or client's needs? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or suggestion below. 

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Nam is practicing music therapy specializing in supporting children with autism and teaches music in Vancouver, BC. Canada.

 

 

 

For a download of the song click here.

For a download of the adaptive drum song instructional video click here.

For FREE songs, videos and tips on how to support children with music click here.

Let's Stay in Touch!