Family Archives - Access Music Therapy
March is Sing with Your Child Month

March is Sing with Your Child Month

March symbolizes rebirth and growth, and it reminds us that our children of our most precious resource. To celebrate the importance of making music with children, and since March is Sing with your Child Month, I have included a list of fun activities you can do with your child which incorporate singing. I love sing-able books! I’ve provided a list of wonderful books you can read and sing with your child. Don’t worry. Your child doesn’t care what your voice sounds like. Just go ahead and sing with your child! With the invention of Pinterest, you can now find all sorts of activities to do with your child. Some may cost a lot, and some won’t cost anything, like singing. Singing supports your child’s development.


Sing with your childMusic and singing supports your child’s development. According to Psychology Today, musical training increases brain volume and strengthens communication between brain areas. Listening to and making music with your child is not only an auditory experience, but it is a multi sensory (hearing, touch and sight) and motor experience (from finger tapping to dancing).  Being involved in music increases the connections in the brain.

Babies Love Singing

baby singing

Here are some easy, well-known songs to get you started:

1. Humpty Dumpty
2. Ring-a-Round the Rosy
3. Baa Baa Black Sheep
4. ABC’s
5. Twinkle Twinkle
6. Make up your own song!

Your child will learn rhythm, pitch, listening skills, speech development, and memory skills. The more you sing to and with your child, the more he/she will learn these skills. Repetition is key. To make it more engaging, change the way you sing the songs. Make changes, for example, volume (loud like a lion, or soft like a mouse), speed (fast like a rocket, or slow like a snail), with your eyes closed or open, with accompanying instruments (shakers, bells, or pots and pans) with a recording.

sing-able books


Sing-able Books

Here’s my list of suggested sing-able books.

The Seals on the Bus (Sing to the tune of: “Wheels on the Bus”) by Lenny Hort & C. Brian Karas
Sing-able Books










The “Itsy Bitsy Spider”
Sing-able Book










All of Raffi’s books are sing-able

The Leaves on the Trees (Sing to the tune of: “London Bridge” or” Wheels on the Bus”) by Thom Wiley
Sing-able Book




Jamberry  (Sing to the Tune of “One Little, Two Little”) by Bruce Degen
Sing-able Book




“Octopus Garden” by Ringo Starr & Ben Cort
Sing-able Book




“Knick Knack Paddy Whack” (Sing to the tune of: “This Old Man”) by Christiane Engel
Sing-able Book
I hope you enjoyed this post. Having fun and singing to your child is one of the most important things you can do to bond with your child. Be silly, spontaneous, and sing with your child! If you want to learn more song, have fun with other parents, check out my Learning Groove Classes. They are Music & Movement Classes for parents and children under 5 years old. They are 8 weekly classes held at Access Music Therapy in Duluth. Next class starts March 10th.

Saying Good-Bye

Saying Good-Bye

It’s “Show & Tell Tuesday!” I want to share a book with you that I think is so amazing for little kiddos going through the loss of a loved one.

Saying good-bye can be a very hard thing when a child has to say it to a loved one. Christine L. Thompson wrote a book titled, “Scarlet Says Good-Bye,” and it’s a book for children to process their thoughts and feelings about a loved one dying in hospice care. It provides a story and activities for children to do alone or with family. It helps the child to remember the person and the time spent.
The book can be purchased at Scarlet Says Good-bye
Scarlet Says Goodbye

This book can be used by therapists, hospice employees, and family members to initiate talking with a child about what they are thinking and feeling. It teaches children what hospice care is, how children can talk with the dying loved one, and a place in the book for the loved one to leave a written message to the child.
My Wish for you

As a music therapist, I love using “Scarlet Says Good-Bye,” by Christine L. Thompson because it includes many activities in the second half of the book that can be adapted and expanded upon in a music therapy session. I really like the activity that encourages the child to pretend he/she is a “reporter”. Christine offers questions that the child can ask the loved one. These pages are perfect for the music therapist to assist in developing these questions into songs with a child. For the child, developing their loved one’s answers into melodies can help him/her remember the moments and conversations with the loved one more easily. Songwriting the words into lyrics and melody can bring the “reporter’s” experience to a deeper level. In addition, a recording of the song can be a keepsake that could be treasured for years to come.
It’s just a great book! So many wonderful ways it can be used to bring about processing for a grieving child.
Thank you Christine for writing it, and signing my copy!!

Jody Tucker

Top 5 Reasons Music Can Decrease Disruptive Behaviors in Children

Top 5 Reasons Music Can Decrease Disruptive Behaviors in Children

Music therapy can facilitate a WHOLE BUNCH of positive responses from children. Here’s a poster with the top five reasons music therapy can decrease disruptive behaviors in children.


1. Music instantly commands attention.
2. Music inspires wonderment (for example, if a child observes a musician in performance, it inspires his or her motivation to learn an instrument.)
3. Music therapy offers a safe haven from which to explore feelings.
4. Song lyrics make it easier for children to find words to express themselves.
5. Opportunity to play an instrument encourages on-task behaviors.

Music therapy has been successfully utilized in the treatment of emotionally disturbed children with conditions such as affect regulation, communication and social/behavioral dysfunction. Some techniques used in music therapy for children include: live music making, drumming, creative songwriting, guided imagery and music for relaxation, and a variety of other music activities to facilitate reducing anxiety, increasing coping skills, and communication skills. If you are interested in music therapy for your child, please fill out this form or call us at 218-349-1792.


2013 in Review

2013 in Review

So much happened in 2013! On a personal note, Joe and I celebrated our First Anniversary, June 17th. It was a beautifully and carefully planned day! We both surprised each other with fantastical events which included a lovely scavenger hunt, a blustery, but romantic picnic up the north shore, a restful train ride, a super movie, dinner, and drinks. It was the best day EVER!
This year, my daughter Emily had some milestones. She graduated from high school, got her driver’s license, and started college at University of Northwestern St. Paul. We’re very proud of her!


My daughter Lizzi turned 15. Unfortunately, she had to say goodbye to her best friend who moved to Guam. This next February we will celebrate her Sweet 16th, and we will have a crazy big party!


My husband, Joe, started a new job with Prime Appliance, and it was a very good decision for our family.   (more…)

Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life

Calvin & Hobbes ponders…

Many of you know that I work with some awesome children and young adults with special needs. I also work with hospice patients through Essentia St. Mary’s Hospice. I have dedicated this blog to sharing my observations, experiences, and suggestions with my readers. Over the years, I have witnessed a number of hospice deaths, attended, and performed for many funerals, including five of my family members. As a musician, it seemed natural to perform for some of those personal funerals, but I knew when it would be too difficult for me. I’ve worked in hospice care as a music therapist for nine years, and with that I’ve been involved in performing the music for many patient funerals and memorial services because of the connections made through music therapy sessions. Altogether, I’ve witnessed funerals that had much love and attention invested in them thus making them very meaningful, and others, not so much. There were times when a preacher didn’t even remember the deceased person’s name during the eulogy! Nobody wants that. Obviously, planning such an event takes a lot of preparation to make it meaningful and less burdensome on the family. For a many reasons, I am proposing that you think hard about planning ahead for your own funeral.

“When the time comes to die, make sure that all you have to do is die!” ~Jim Elliot”
Elisabeth Elliott,

The Journals of Jim Elliott

It’s never too early to plan and share your own end of life wishes with those you love. Preparing for your celebration of life allows others to make informed decisions. It gives you time to communicate your wishes to those who may be left with the responsibility of making decisions on your behalf. The funeral or memorial service alone is a huge undertaking. Would you want to leave the funeral planning to your family members who are in the midst of their sadness? (more…)

Recital of AMT’s Shining Stars!

Recital of AMT’s Shining Stars!

The 2013 AMT Recital was a great success! Our young people shared their music with everyone. I am so proud of all of their hard work. Thank you to all of the parents who support music therapy for their children, and everyone who attended the recital from Primrose, in Duluth, MN.
2013 Recital Collage 2

Jody Tucker
Thank you to Bailey Aro for the beautiful photography at

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