Does anybody else feel like they have so much information in their brains that it’s impossible to organize? I keep thinking I should take up meditation and attempt to de-clutter the years of education, experience, and random useless information that I’ve acquired, and turn it into a coherent, intelligent library from which I can extract relevant information at appropriate times.
Now that I’m writing this I’m realizing that this metaphorical description of the inside of my brain mirrors almost exactly the actual state of my bedroom. I’m sure there’s no connection…
At any rate, yesterday I gave a presentation about music therapy and The Music Initiative to a parent support group (for parents of children with Down Syndrome).
I’ve done presentations on music therapy before, of course, but this was the first time I presented on The Music Initiative and attempted to show parents how they could use music themselves, to support the needs of their children.
I am confident in the effectiveness of music therapy, and I believe that parents can use music at home to great benefit. Many already do! But I admit that I was still a little nervous about being able to effectively impart that belief and appropriate knowledge to the unknown and trusting faces staring back at me.
I am happy to report that my brain cooperated (for the most part!) and I feel that the presentation went fairly well. And while I really enjoyed getting to talk about music therapy and how parents can use music at home, I found that I liked even more the unstructured discussions that arose based on the questions that the parents had.
Here are some of the ideas that were brought up at this round table:
Set your child up for success by providing prompts and structure for what you’re asking them to do.
Example: when singing the song “Apples and Bananas,” leave a pause before the word your child is working on saying. “I like to _______, apples and bananas.”
Break things down to their simplest part. The end goal might be reading comprehension, but start with the basic understanding of each word.
Try singing instructions to your child to get them do learn or do something functional.
And most importantly, think outside the box! We are all creative and you have permission to adapt and alter preferred music to best meet the needs of your child.
Please feel free to share any music-based activities or tricks you use at your home. Creativity begets creativity and you never know how one person’s idea can trigger new ways you might want to try using music.
Have a great weekend!