TME Tuesday: Play and Pass TME

It is Tuesday, again, and here I am, looking for a new TME to share. That's not as difficult as it sounds, except that I do have some rules about what I will and will not share on this blog. Interested in those rules? Here they go. First, all TMEs shared need to be my work rather than the work of the others that I know. Even when I am sitting on a GREAT TME from someone else, I do not share it with others, because that is not ethical or supportive of their intellectual property. Second, I like to share things that I haven't shared before (but I do repeat things, on occasion). Third, I try to share TMEs that are appropriate for all sorts of age groups of humans - I don't see scores of value in sharing things that can only be appropriate for one group of clients. I want ideas, and then I'll adapt those ideas to the clients that I see. I trust that you do the same thing!

This TME is one that I use with all sorts of groups. We make decisions about how long to play, what tempo to use, and how to pass things to each other. It always includes some frustration and lots of laughter. Enjoy!!

 Therapeutic Music Experience
Play and Pass (Executive Function)
Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC

Purpose: To engage group members in executive function exercise (decision-making); social interaction; impulse control; entrainment to external stimulus; fine and gross motor development

Source: Original TME © 2014 by Mary Jane Landaker, MME, MT-BC. Based on traditional music therapy idea.

Materials: Instruments for each group member (must be easily passed); Metronome or beat source (keyboard or drum track) which can be set at different tempi

Environment: Group members sitting close enough to each other to pass instruments without having to leave their seat.

Play, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, **
Pass, 2, 3, 4, **

**The number of each count will be determined by group members during discussion and decision period of time. The numbers do not have to match.

Procedure: R = Reinforcement opportunities; C = Redirection/Cue opportunities; A = Assessment
1.      C=start metronome/keyboard between 80-95 beats per minute
2.      A=assess whether group members show s/s of entrainment and attention (i.e., moving to the beat, watching the group leader, other behaviors)
3.      C=ask the group members to decide the following (keeping in mind the logistics of the instruments that are present and the group members):
a.       Number of beats to play
b.      Number of beats to pass
4.      R=reinforce group members for offering suggestions and/or making decisions
5.      C=distribute instruments to group members (pass out instruments or invite group members to choose their own instrument)
6.      A=assess whether group members play the instrument or just sit with it in their hands
7.      R=reinforce group members for participation in playing
8.      C=get the attention of the group members through a five-count (5…4…3…2…1…STOP)
9.      A=assess whether group members stop when cued
10.  R=reinforce group members who do stop when cued. Redirect group members who do not stop
11.  C=start the play/pass sequence, keeping a steady beat
12.  A=assess whether group members are able to complete the play/pass pattern
13.  R=reinforce all group members for participating
14.  C=continue to play/pass until all group members have played all the instruments present in the group
15.  C=stop the group using the same five count
16.  R=reinforce group members who do stop when cued. Redirect group members who do not stop
17.  C=keeping the beat going, ask group members to assess their performance
a.       Was there enough time to play?
b.      Was there enough time to pass?
c.       How could the experience be changed to have more success?
d.      Would it be an easier experience if the tempo was changed?
e.       If the number of beats changed?
18.  R=reinforce all suggestions
19.  C=lead group into decision process
20.  Repeat steps 11-18 until group members appear to lose interest, show s/s of disengagement, or time runs out

Therapeutic Function of Music:
The beat provides the foundation for the experience itself offering an external stimulus for physical entrainment and patterning. The beat offers group members with a predictable stimulus to encourage completion of the experience.

Variable based on client needs and preferences
Variable based on client needs and preferences

Variable based on client needs and preferences
Variable based on client needs and preferences
Repetitive and sparse
Chart adapted from Hanson-Abromeit, D. (2010). A Closer Look at the Therapeutic Function of Music. Presentation at 2010 American Music Therapy Association National Conference: Cleveland, OH.

·         The group leader sets the tempo, number of beats, and play/pass pattern

  • Change the pattern of the metronomic stimulus in order to differentiate between 2-4 beat patterns and 3-6 beat patterns


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