The Sound of Music!

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here I am most unfortunately, tone deaf, but does this stop me from having a good sing a-long with my class every day? Never! Especially with the powers that are ‘youtube’.

There is plenty of evidence to support the fact that Music therapy is a very successful means of communication for children with SEND, and today I thought I’d share a bit of my research into it over this wet bank holiday 🙂

Music therapy helps pupils who find it difficult to communicate with the world around them. As music is non verbal, it allows learners to connect with the world around them using music. It allows the pupil to communicate in their own personal way. First of all, you are able to develop the listening skill, and the process of listening. Some pupils may like to take their time to respond to the sounds they hear, and some may respond to a quicker pace, but music is so adaptable; loud, quiet, slow and fast there is a sound for everyone. Watch your learners as they share a response with you, and over time, do they share the same response?  Can you then develop vocalisations and sound making? Intensive interaction can be developed with the use of the sounds initiated by the pupil, and developed into a turn taking activity. With a more able learner, might the song stimulate speech or signing?

Music may encourage social skills, which may link in nicely with any PSED targets you have for your pupils. Music can be a nice way to lead a whole class activity, where every pupil still benefits from it. Music is also an inclusive subject, so try mixing your sensory learners with higher functioning pupils in your school, and see how they respond to each other. Encourage social skills such as; turn taking, waiting, listening, eye contact (with other pupils, not just adults) and expression of feelings. All of these are so important to our learners, which means we can justify why our classrooms are filled with the sound of music!

I’m a big advocate for physical activity, and music is a fabulous way to get pupils moving and developing independent movements. Develop fine and gross motor skills with a variety of interactive play activities. These could be with just the exploration of the instruments, as you encourage learners to reach and grasp for the beater, or you could develop movements with interesting props that brings the piece to life. Encourage pupils to stand (with or without frames), or walk where possible to the beat and develop co-ordination. As ever, there will no doubt be a physical target that can get ticked off in this wonderful music session!

You may use music as part of your daily routine to help the pupils understand what is happening next, and within this you probably deliver most of the ideas and targets suggested above. You may introduce new songs to your curriculum topics, which then link Music too every subject on your timetable. With clever cross curricular links, you can use music to show pupil progress in Literacy, Cognition, MFL, PE, ICT (if you don’t know about it, google ‘soundbeam’) …. and it won’t stop there!

Music is just an amazing tool, and if you are lucky enough to have a musical staff member in your turn then use their strengths, and if not, you tube will never let you down! So this summer term, let’s get the tunes out, and give our pupils ample opportunities to develop their ever important skills 🙂 Enjoy! I know I will!

www.soundbeam.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Thematic planning made easy.

 

My school plans half termly, using a theme to bring all the subject areas together. I always find a really good, exciting book or poem and break it down into really small steps, which can be linked to all curriculum areas.

At home, I have a 2-year-old son, so we do enjoy a few Cbeebies programmes. The other day, we watched a sound poem recited by ‘Magic Hands’ and it was wonderful, and got me thinking about how wonderful this could be at the centre of a topic. So, I had a google and found a similar sound poem (The Sound Collector by Roger McGough), and here are some examples from verses 1 &2 of how I would use this for a whole term, bringing in a wide range of cross curricular links. (I’m using loose curriculum areas as each school is different, and the topic could well be anything you like, as you could change some of the words to fit into a theme 😉 ) Hopefully I exemplify how to expand on certain words and phrases in order to get creative and exciting with your planning ideas!

Please message me if you ever need ideas on your sensory themes as this is my favourite bit!

POEM

Literacy/ communication and language-

  • Make each verse into a sensory poem by finding lovely props for each line, this can make a nice whole class starter activity, or be lengthened into a small group activity.
  • Develop communication strategies
  • Develop mark making throughout using various media as stated in poem- crumbs, bubbles, cereal etc.
  • Develop tracking- left to right and up and down.
  • I find Literacy can fit onto lots of the activities below….

Numeracy/ cognition-

  • Each week use number rhymes, counting, shape/ colour activities running alongside the following
  • Verse 1- put items in and out of bags/ develop object permanence/ sort items into bags
  • V1- explore telling the time/ explore daily routine/ explore night and day
  • V2- make toast/ cut it into quarters etc/ hand out plates and toast to each child
  • V2- fill a tuff spot with cereals, glitter, sand and dig!! Explore, fill, empty, pour.
  • V2- make cornflake cakes exploring measure. Add cornflakes to cornflour to make interesting gloop.

PSED-

  • Verse 1- Explore strangers/ family members/ people around school who help us
  • V1- can we practice and refine dressing skills/ look in mirror use props to make ourselves look different
  • V2- can we share our cornflake cakes with friends from other classes?
  • V2- A scraping noise can sound horrible! What sounds do we like/ dislike? Can we share our likes with a peer?

Physical development-

  • Verse 1- what can we carry/ grasp/ lift/ pass
  • V1- fine motor skills- feel and explore bread crumbs, add glitter and sand to make it extra sensory/ explore on a light box.
  • V1- turn locks, explore toys that can be pulled/ turned/ slid
  • V2- crunch cornflakes with our feet- what other textures can we walk over/ feel with feet/ hands?

Understanding the world-

  • Verse 1- Explore morning routines
  • V1- explore sounds as stated/ use a switch to control the kettle
  • V1- explore animal sounds
  • V2- make toast, explore and taste different toppings
  • V2- popping! What else can we pop? Explore different textures and of course make bubbles. Can we make gloop that might pop? What about popcorn!
  • V6- I would really explore the word silence, with reflection and mindfulness in mind.

Expressive arts and design-

  • Verse 1- what sounds can we make?
  • V2- explore bubble art/ bubble printing/ bubble paint
  • V2- spread with marmalade- paint with orange scented paint/ what else could we spread?
  • Experiment with sensory paint- add colours, textures, foam, scents.
  • V1-6- could you make a fab display of sound socks or gloves? Filling said items with lovely sensory items for children to feel and think about?