Saturday, Oct. 17th, we participated in the Boo at the Zoo event. It was a fun-filled, candy-packed day of excitement! There were so many amazing kids and parents all dressed up in amazing costumes. My family and I had costumes in Alice in Wonderland style. Our tent was all decked out in wonderment as well. We handed out 5000 PIECES OF CANDY!! We had a drawing for one FREE 8 week session of The Learning Groove. And, the winner is…
Congratulations Kelly E! We are looking forward to you joining our November Rockin’ Red Learning Groove Class (revision…now the Rhapsody Garden Classes).
This was such a great event for Access Music Therapy. As we were handing out candy to the kids, we could hear the roar of the animals. It was a sunny, breezy fall day. The attendees appeared to be having so much fun. I think we may do this every year. What should our theme be next year??!!
As I am planning sessions for this beautiful month of March, I want to share a couple activities that I have put together. Below you will find a songwriting activity you can use for children and teens, “Leprechaun Songwriting,” and a going sorting activity for children called, “Pot of Gold Coin Sorting” activity. Have fun and follow along to find the laughter and fun! And, when you’re done and you’re pining for more, slide down the rainbow to the Guitten blog for the parade of activities!
Goals: Self expression, DBT-Mindfulness, One Thing at a Time, ACCEPTS: Contribute
One to one or group
White board and markers
A simple Irish song such as: “An Irish Lullaby,” “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” “My Wild Irish Rose.”
1. Ask the clients to think about what they would do if they each had a pot of gold to spend.
- List their ideas on the board.
- Work together to fit the ideas into a pre-composed melody.
- Sing the song all together.
- Give them each a copy of the song.
Based on DBT, it’s important to engage in activities, and contribute to someone or something. Songwriting is a way to give something nice to someone else. In this activity compare yourself to people coping the same as you or less than you. Even though you don’t have a pot of gold to spend, compare where you actually are at now, to others who are less fortunate than you.
Does this song help you to create an opposite emotion? Did it help you to push away other thoughts for awhile?
What other kinds of sensations can you add to this activity? Smell, taste, touch, vision?
A visualization activity based on the songwriting.
Have a green punch or treat that is green color.
Have a scent of mint, spearmint, or lime.
Come up with your own.
Pot O’ Gold Coin Sorting
Goals: Educational concepts (counting, sorting, colors, money)
Method: Demonstration and One to one or group
Variety of coins (gold coins can be purchased at dollar stores)
Pots/cups in gold color
- with numbers on the pots/cups for children to count the number of coins
- with each coin taped/glued to the front of the cup/”pot” for children to match the coins to the correct pot.
- pictures from magazines ads of items that the client/student would be interested in purchasing.
1. Begin by singing, “Leah’s Leprechaun Song” from Prelude Music Therapy Book One.
2. Teach the value of each coin.
3. Sing the “How much is a penny worth?” from the Prelude Music Book Four.
- The children sort the coins by attributes (size, color, and/or denomination)
4. Sing, “Check the Price” use the pictures to pretend they are buying a product with their coins. Also, “How much is that doggie in the window” can be changed to “How much is that _______ in the window.” Have fun with it!
5. End by singing, “Leah’s Leprechaun Song” again.
Use color songs to learn colors of coins.
Use number and math songs to learn about the value of each coin.
The Guittens are here! I have been bustin’ at the seams to share them with all of YOU! They are available for purchase at: www.GUITTEN.com. They are hand crafted by yours truly.
The Guitten’s purpose is to:
1. Protect the head of the guitar. Why? Because while working with children and elderly over the past 10 years, I have had moments when I needed to use my hands to assist clients/patients. I’ve almost lost control of the head of the guitar. The ends of the strings are very sharp, and can actually draw blood if poked. The Guitten solves that problem by covering the sharp ends.
2. The Guitten hides the tuning pegs. This way, cute little kiddo fingers cannot attempt to re-tune your guitar.
3. If left on while putting your guitar in your gig bag, the Guitten will protect the inside of your bag from ruin. See this photo. This was my gig bag before I started using the Guitten.
So, with all of that, I created the Guitten (patent pending) to protect the head of the guitar. They fit any standard acoustic guitar head. At this point, I have four collections. They can be purchased at www.guitten.com
The collections include: Flower Garden, Backyard Buddies, Farm Friends, and the Easter Guitten Collection. Each Guitten has it’s very own name.
Flower Garden Guitten Collection
Top row from the left: Partita Petals, Green Gatsby, Patchen Polka, Banjo Blue. Bottom row from left: Seresa Sunflower, Pinky Petals, Eartha Blossom.
Lullabies & Laments
Lullabies and laments build resiliency is the optic for this post. All year round, but specially in March, I always make sure I have a good selection of Irish songs, lullabies, and hymns with me for music therapy sessions. I love Irish music. I’m a violin/fiddle player, and when I’m visiting a hospice patient with the fiddle, they always request Irish type of music. In the Irish tradition, there are many song styles. I have compiled a list of the top 6 Irish songs styles:
Top 6 Irish Song Styles
Lament songs are about loss.
Humorous songs are funny songs.
Rebel songs relate to an actual historical
event expressing an Irish point of view.
Emigrant songs lament the issue of Irish emigration.
Aisling songs are songs in which a woman character
personifies the country of Ireland.
Irish ballads tell stories.
According to Dr. Nancy Lee’s book “Lyrics of Lament: From Tragedy to Transformation,” Haitians who survived the rubble of the recent earthquake were seen walking together singing laments in the midst of their difficult situation. A sign of human resilience. Laments are a human response to tragedy.
According to O’Callaghan (2008), lullabies have been traditionally used to comfort, soothe fears, and express love. We associate them with lulling babies to sleep.
Lullabies not only help children, but adults too. Lullabies help to create psychological order during chaos and increase their resilience. How? (more…)