Old Song, New Tricks: A Summer Classic and Free Ocean Scene!

Summer is here! But don’t let summer-vacation-itis get the best of your creativity!

Here’s a familiar song approached in a different way.

Think back to your playground days…. Remember…

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea!
To see what he could see, see, see,
And all that he could see, see, see,
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea!

Of course! What a fun hand game, and a repetitive, catchy tune. Talk about a music therapist’s paradise.

I’ve chosen to use the song with a couple of my groups. I pass out the drums (well, cajon tabs), and I start to play the song. I’m lucky enough to have a partner right now, so I use her to demonstrate what exactly I’m looking for with the drumming. Peer model’s are also a-mayy-zing.

I have them drum every time we sing the word ‘sea/see’.

OceanWe sing through a couple times, and once they get the hang of it, I send around a sheet and have the clients choose what they want to sing in the song next (lyrics & pdf to come!!) Then I use a dry erase marker to cross out the ones that have already been picked. This way, the song stays interesting and somewhat novel, plus my clients love making choices. Give them choices- give them voices

And as the song slowly goes on, we sing faster and faster!

Here’s some ways you can use this song in your summer sessions…

Think about this for groups: Pass out the drums, and challenge your group to listen and play every time you say ‘sea/see’. Depending on the group, you could also do this with body percussion!

One step further could be to have the group only play on certain lines, so 1 & 3 or 2 & 4.

You could also encourage them to play on a certain ‘see/sea’ in each line, so just the first or last.

Using a sheer blue cloth could be a great way to incorporate sensory play in the music. Moving it up and down, side to side, make your own ocean!

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see,
And all that he could see, see, see,
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea!

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,
To see what he could see, see, see,
And all that he could see, see, see,
Was   starfish   in the deep blue sea sea sea!

The starfish in the sea, sea, sea,
Was happy in the sea, sea, sea,
And all that he could see, see, see,
Was a   shark   in the deep blue sea, sea, sea!

The shark in the sea, sea, sea….and so on!

Here’s a PDF of the visual I use as well, enjoy!    Ocean

Presenting…Strategies for Dodging Distractions!

     Have you ever been in the middle of a presentation and lost your train of thought, gotten sidetracked by things happening around you, or gone on a lengthy tangent about something completely unrelated to the topic being presented on? First of all, welcome to the struggle bus–there’s a seat open in the back. Second, feast your eyes on the graphic below and absorb some helpful strategies and tips from the lovely people at toastmasters to help these distractions become a little less distracting. All the information below is adapted from this quick four minute video.

The distractable's Guide to giving a distractionless presetation-2.png

NFAR Race for Autism

NFAR RaceCalling all super runners, super walkers, and super supportive sideline cheerleaders alike! If you know any superheroes who love to have a great time, learn about autism research, gather resources for parents and professionals, and support a wonderful cause be sure to talk to them about the NFAR Race For Autism. The National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR) raises money through fundraising and donations. The foundation uses 100% of donations to support “local autism initiatives” and has detailed information on how and where to send donation on their website (linked above). I was incredibly lucky to have been able to attend the NFAR Race for Autism on April 6th as part of a resource fair educating parents and professionals about the various services provided by The Music Therapy Center of California and Banding Together. You don’t have to be an avid runner or devoted athlete to participate in this race because there’s something there for everyone. This event brings together families and individuals in the San Diego community that share the same passion for supporting Autism research. After greeting several familiar faces and meeting plenty of new ones, there were surely none that left this event without a smile. I loved being able to piece together the bigger picture of how music therapy supports those with special needs and how we can connect with organizations such as NFAR to build a stronger foundation for families to lean on. This SUPER organization realizes that “by creating a concerned and active community, we will help to ensure a brighter future for our children.” So dust off those superhero capes and break in those running shoes because you won’t want to miss this event next year!







March to the Beat of Your Own Drum

This weekend I’ve had the pleasure of co-leading a drum circle for the Autism Tree Project Foundation’s NCL Girls Mentor Program. My co-intern, Noriah, and I facilitated various interventions involving non-verbal communication, socialization, direction following, and other attention related skills. These future female rock stars impressed me with their energy, spunk, and willingness to listen and learn from one another. The following infographic outlines the philosophy, approach, and techniques I have adopted over the past few months for leading drum circles. 

ATPF Drum Circle-4

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 3.16.31 PM

If you’re interested in volunteering or know anyone who would benefit from this program, visit the ATPF website at http://www.autismtreeproject.org/programs/girls-mentor-program