Language Therapy, Little Friends, Music

Ideas for Incorporating Music in Your Speech and Language Therapy Sessions : Any Easy Way To Make Speech Therapy FUN Again

I have little friends in preschool who LOVE to sing. They light up when they hear music. But some kiddos have difficulty participating and if you listen closely, they’re really only singing one word or muttering as best they can. Here are some suggestions on what we can do in speech therapy to help them out:

 

pin for using music in speech therapy

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MAKE IT SLOW

I am forever searching for SLOW songs on youtube. Even wonderful children’s music channels such as Super Simple Songs often (not always) have tempos that can be too fast for children with language disorders or processing difficulties. Their videos are excellent quality and stinkin’ adorable however, so here’s a link:

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Seriously… so cute, right?
(By the way: I have written a letter to youtube about this topic- if you see a “slow down” button next to the HD option in the future, let’s high five)
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While I have not yet figured out how to hack youtube and customize each video to the needs of individual children (bummer), there are some apps available that allow you to slow songs on your iPad for your speech therapy sessions.
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The “slow down” app I have experience with is Anytune. It’s easy to use and free (my two number one qualifications for any app). When using Anytune (as opposed to youtube) you loose the benefit of a cute animated video to go along with your song- and that is no small loss. For that reason, these apps may be more appropriate for our older kids with diagnoses such as dysarthria, apraxia, etc. I am still searching for alternatives but for now, click here for a more comprehensive list of “slow downer” apps.

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MAKE IT TANGIBLE

I have a whole battery of little manipulatives I use for singing songs. Whether a kid wants to sing Old MacDonald, Baby Bumble Bee, or Itsy Bitsy Spider, you better believe Miss Lindsey has some sort of toy or puppet ready to go. I want to create the magic. The goofier the better.

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One of the best investments I have made is buying a these bee finger puppets. These little critters help my kiddos engage in music whether or not they’re ready or able to single along. I passed one bee out to each therapist in my clinic and so far, these little guys have also helped a nonverbal child say a /z/ and another autistic child demonstrate reciprocal play and turn-taking. Pretty cool! But that’s a story for another post.

Anyway. We are SLPs and should be the magical, toy-rich creatures God intended us to be. Get you some finger puppets (like this way-cool spider!) or dolls to help your little friends engage and sing during speech.

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MAKE IT VISUAL

Visuals can be SO IMPORTANT for our younger kiddos and non-readers. Pictures are communication. That is why I created a resource to help kids participate in Old MacDonald. I use these visual lyrics in a variety of ways for my kids who have trouble singing along. 

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image of speech therapy old macdonald song language activity

 

.When using a visual like this, remember to always format it left to right, top to bottom, to promote pre-literacy skills. Additionally, only pictures representing key words are included. So many of my kids aren’t to the point where they can speak in 3 or 4 word phrases, much less sing along to an entire song of sentences. If they are ready to sing, they can produce the key words on their own with the help of the visual lyrics. If they’re not ready to sing, they can point along. When you provide them a pause, they can fill in the word with their words or by pointing to the appropriate picture. Bottom line is- they can participate! Who doesn’t love that?

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If you are interested in hearing more therapy ideas and getting some FREEBIES then please join me as a VIP! AKA A “Very Important Pathologist” 😉

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I hope you found some of these recommendations helpful! Have fun making music in speech!

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