We are often charged as music therapists in special education with collaboration on IEP goals that address instrumental activities of daily living for our secondary students, to help them participate independently in the community. We then have the challenge of teaching the information in an engaging and age-appropriate way, that improves comprehension and memorization, and transfers to daily life. As overwhelming as this task can be, MT-BC's are qualified to use or create music and supplemental materials that are up for the challenge!
We can call on an evidence-base, with information such as, music engages both hemispheres, music promotes engagement and attention, preferred-music is more effective than any one genre, etc., etc., to create effective songs. We can also access songs and materials that already exist, and adapt them to meet the unique needs of an individual student, or the varied needs of an entire classroom, through the use of musical elements like tempo, rest, dynamics, chord progression (i.e. standing on the dominant), and clinical skills such as rapport, reinforcement, and prompting.
Now that I got all of that off my chest! I would love to share some resources that you, as Board Certified Music Therapists, can adapt to give your students the gift of independence! Let's start with pedestrian safety! You know, I'm All About Those Signs... It is critical for our students to identify traffic and pedestrian signs and their meanings in order to safely travel within their community. The song, "All About Those Signs" is to the tune of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass." By the last verse, students have identified 8 signs in their community and the appropriate response to each! Grab a digital download of the lyrics and visual aid in my shop!
Then Let's Count Out the Money! It's hard to do anything without a little green, or in today's world, a little plastic! "Let's Count Out the Money" is to the tune of the 2011 hit, "Price Tag" by Jessie J. Students can identify the name and amounts of the 4 most common US coins, cash, and, of course, a debit card! If you want to make a purchase of your own, a digital download of the strategy is available in my shop!
Watch this little video for some ideas of how to use these strategies with your students!! Warning: You'll never listen to the songs the same again ;) EnJOY!