Make It Monday: New Visual Aids for My Music Therapy Clinic

One of the best things about long breaks from work is that I tend to get a bunch of stuff done for work. This break has been no exception, and I have a stack of new stuff to incorporate into therapeutic music experiences to enrich learning. I spent quite a bit of time over the past two days preparing my visuals for lamination, laminating (I had something like 40 sheets to laminate), and then cutting things out and prepping them for storage in my clinical area. It was a labor of love, to be sure!!

All of these resources are ones that are made or made up of materials that are not my own, so I cannot sell any of them to other people. I will link my resources in the descriptions below so you can find the same things, if you want. Some of them cost money - that will be listed below as well. I do not get any type of financial benefit from recommending or linking you to outside sites. 

You know me, I'm all about free stuff, if I can find it, and if not, I'll see about making my own.

The first batch of stuff that I made included the lyrics to several familiar folk songs - There's a Hole in the Bucket and Going on a Squeegee Hunt. These songs are great sequencing songs, and I find that having the lyrics written on sentence strips helps my clients with the sequencing process. In addition, we are working on reading comprehension, rhyming words, finishing sentences, and impulse control. This type of therapeutic music experience (TME) packs lots of opportunities to work on goals into one small folder of visual aids. Those will be stored in my clinic in a sentence strip box that I made out of foam board and duct tape - total cost to me for the box? $4.23 USD. The duct tape was expensive. I get the sentence strips at the Dollar Tree for $1.00 USD for 20 strips, but those are easily made out of paper or cardstock or posterboard.

The next visual aid that you see above is a list of Tracks. This is an original idea that came out of my listening center. The yellow cards simply say "Trk 01" and so on. I use these for music preference indications (kids sign their initials on the card corresponding to the track they like the best with dry erase marker), for song selection TMEs, for Soundtrack of My Life TMEs, and for several other things. It's just a handy tool to have. Again, I used my sentence strips for this, and I'll put poster putty or Velcro on the back so I can use them to guide music listening.

There's also a little bitty school bus in that picture. I got the bus from a Preschool Theme book, and I drew the options for using the bus with the familiar song, The Wheels on the Bus. Cost? About a dollar for cardstock, lamination, and Velcro.

The visual aids in the center were ones that I found on Teachers Pay Teachers. They cost me $4.50 USD, and I do not regret this purchase AT ALL! The file is called "Music Visual Supports and Schedules for Special Education and Autism" and it is a good bunch of resources. You can see some of them in the picture above on the purple and red sheets and the others in the picture to the right. There are 26 pages of instrument pictures, music activities (which are completely transferable into music therapy sessions), 8 1/2 by 11 inch posters of positive behavior expectations, smaller versions of the same expectations, a music social story about music class being loud, preference indicators, and a to-do and finished board. There are also some sentence strips to indicate choices. I printed everything out on cardstock and then laminated the entire thing. Some of these things will go into my communication binders - others will go on the wall or onto the cabinets for easy access when needed. Total cost to me? $4.50 for the digital download, about $2.00 for the cardstock, about $0.75 for the printing, about $2.00 for the lamination, and about $2.00 for the Velcro. I'd put the cost of this project at about $11.75.

The last batch of things that I made were things that I cannot really use outside my own clinic because they are not mine - I don't think I can even show the pictures of the visuals - none of it is mine, and I didn't even pay for the files. I have found a large stack of pictures of conductors that I use with my students during centers. They seem to enjoy using the batons, so I am going to use these pictures for a variety of TMEs focusing on motor skill development, expressive movement to music, music interpretation, pattern recognition and development, and social interaction through conducting. All of the pictures are from Google images and are not going to be used for anything other than education purposes. Those were the least expensive of the bunch - just took money for printing, for the paper, and for laminating. 

There's my latest Make It Monday! I'm pretty excited about formalizing my TMEs for each of these visuals and about discovering where I can use them in the TMEs I already do on a regular basis. One week of vacation to go!!


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