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7 Must-Have Session Components

Can it REALLY be August?! Yes. Yes it is. But, never fear! Session organization tips are here! When working with a student or group, there are so many options for strategies: greetings and goodbyes, group instrument play or instrument sharing, visual aids, movement and more! So where do you start when you're overwhelmed by the number of students, classrooms and goals to address? I like to start with consideration for each of these important session components!






6 | ACADEMIC/SELF-HELP VISUALS (may also include props or manipulatives for younger groups)

7 | TRANSITION (aka goodbye)

As you know, there is a balance of repetition and novelty when working with our students. 1 & 7 | A great place to choose consistency over variety is in your greeting and transition songs! Identify the unique needs of your students and choose greeting and transition songs that are both purposeful in meeting those needs and ENGAGING! Repeat those songs throughout the year! 2 | Songs that encourage social interaction between students or between student and therapist and that teach important social skills are critical for the majority of our students! Provide an opportunity with each session for students to ask and answer questions or to shake hands and give high fives! 3 | Movement songs can involve direction-following or other forms of dance that promote purposeful movement and engage the brain! 4 & 5 | Alternate strategies that allow each student in the group to have an instrument with strategies that require turn-taking to practice important social skills as well as direction-following and attention, among other things. 6 | Finally, use visual aids and books or manipulatives and props to create tangible connections to language and academic concepts!

Once you identify those must-have components, organize your students - and yourself! - with a picture schedule! I love to use large bright graphics in my picture schedules so that everyone in the group can see clearly and have a defined expectation of how the group should go {although, we sometimes have surprise moments that are NOT on our picture schedule... but those just give us a chance to embrace change, right?}!

This Secondary Schedule Pack printable from my shop provides a short definition of each component and 13 bright and engaging picture schedule cards to represent each component and a variety of instruments! Then purchase any of the Pack Add Ons for printable strategy ideas and additional picture schedule cards! While the schedule and pack add ons are geared toward secondary students, you can use your amazing music-therapy-adapt-and-modify skills to use them with students of all ages! To learn more about these session components, as well as organizing with a picture schedule, learning dozens of new strategies and how to create your own, check out my eCourse Serving Secondary Students in Special Education and earn 3 CMTE's!

Ahhh, see now? August won't be so scary after all! Bring on the school year!


<3 Patina Joy

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