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

Almost every single one of my students LOVES music. (There is that one who yells at me to “stop” anytime I start singing… but I try not to take it personally.)

Really though, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say my students light up when they hear a familiar song.

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Music can be the key to connecting with students on the autism spectrum. It can be a valuable tool for teaching new concepts to children with language delays. It can even be what saves your session when a child decides they just don’t want to participate today.

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Yet, sometimes my students have difficulty fully participating in children’s songs. Maybe they’re really only singing one word or muttering along. Maybe they need something visual to understand what the lyrics really mean. Maybe the song is just going too darn fast for them.

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That’s why I want to share with you some tools I’ve found to be successful when incorporating music in my speech therapy sessions:

 

pin for using music in speech therapy

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SLOW IT DOWN

I am forever searching for SLOW kid-friendly songs on youtube. Even wonderful children’s music channels can be too fast for my students with language disorders or processing difficulties.

While I have not yet figured out how to hack youtube and customize each video to the needs of individual students (bummer), there are some apps that allow you to slow songs down as needed. 
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The “slow down” app I have experience with is Anytune. It’s easy to use and free… but you lose the benefit of a cute animated video since it only works with music files. For that reason, it may be more appropriate for older students.

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BRING IT TO LIFE

I have a whole battery of little manipulatives I use for singing songs (some are pictured below). For just about any popular children’s song a kid might want to sing, you better believe Ms. Lindsey has some sort of toy or puppet ready to go. I want to create magic! The goofier, the better.

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Puppets really do get kids SUPER engaged! There’s just something special about them.

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Another option would be to use something like these Old MacDonald visual lyrics. Something like this is simple to use and excellent for home programming.

image of speech therapy old macdonald song language activity

 

You really don’t need to get fancy to have a productive, play-based speech therapy session. Just keep in mind, whether we’re using puppets or printables, there are some vocabulary opportunities that might get lost. Depending on the level of your student, that may not be a bad thing! Simple can truly be better. Either way, supports like puppets and visual lyrics allow you go as slow as needed, and that’s always a win.

 

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MAKE IT VISUAL

I LOVE Super Simple Songs on YouTube. Their videos are excellent quality and stinkin’ adorable.

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My students really do love these videos. Each one brings the song to life and provides context for the words being sung. Unfortunately, we’re back to that issue of it just going way too fast. I get tired of hurrying to hit the pause button, and my students get a little frustrated. Also, keep in mind these videos are not interactive. You will have to work a little harder to get it to be a joint activity between you and the student.

 

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My favorite option… DO ALL THREE

I kept running into drawbacks when I used the previous 3 methods. Each one has its place and works for different students… but I wanted an even better option. I didn’t want to have to choose between appropriate pacing and visual supports. That’s why I made this interactive songbook. I needed something that captured my students’ attention, lent visual support to comprehend the song, could be used for a variety of language concepts, and would allow me to go at THEIR PACE. (Whew! That’s a tall order.)

 

Click Here To View the Interactive Songbook

 

This little interactive pdf has been a game-changer for my sessions. It keeps my students engaged and, I’m going to say it just one more time, WE CAN GO AS SLOW AS WE NEED TO! 

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.I hope you found some of these recommendations helpful. Have fun bringing the joy of music to your speech therapy sessions! 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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Cheers,

Please Note: As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn from qualifying purchases. I will only share items I believe in whole-heartedly.

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