There is one question that comes up every time I talk to a family interested in music therapy for their child: “What do you do in a session?” Good question! While there is more awareness now than there used to be, most people haven’t experienced a session before.
At Rhythm and Therapy, we provide all of the instruments and materials that we need, like speakers and music. All that the family needs is a space for sessions to take place. Our suggestion is that it’s a room that doesn’t have too many distractions in it, like toys or electronics. Many families choose to have their child receive music therapy services at a school or daycare.
A typical session starts with a hello song. This routine helps the child realize that it’s time for music, as well as giving a great opportunity to work on social and speech skills.
The rest of the session is filled with other activities designed to meet the child’s goals. These can include singing, playing drums, shakers, rhythm sticks, and more. Considering what we’re working on, there may be pictures on the iPad or actual pictures on a felt board that they can touch and move. With older kids, we might do a song writing activity or a recording project.
Just like we use a hello song to start the session, we end with a goodbye song. This helps the child transition back to whatever comes next.
Every session is a little different, because the children are different — sometimes a child is stressed or “not in the mood”, and we then quickly adjust our planned session to meet more immediate needs. Hopefully this gives you a general idea of what goes on in a music therapy session!