What is Music Therapy?
Music Therapy is comprised of music-based activities and experiences that are tailored to the specific emotional, social, motor, communication, and cognitive needs demonstrated by each child. These music-based activities are determined by a music therapy assessment process that examines chronological and developmental milestones standard to each child’s age cohort. The music experiences used in therapy include the following:
Music Therapy Program at Learning Together
- Instrument playing
- Rhythmic Games
At Learning Together music is an integral part of each child’s day. Music is used in each classroom to facilitate transitions that may be challenging such as clean up time and circle time. In addition to this daily music routine each classroom participates at least twice a week in a music group run by a Board Certified Music Therapist. In these groups turn taking, attending to task and following adult directions are some of the goals that are worked on by all students. Academic goals such as color identification and counting are also incorporated into the music experience here because learning through music is fun. Music is a positive environment where children are able to learn and express themselves in a safe way. In music children are given the opportunity to learn in a stress free environment while having fun.
Most children love to move and express themselves through dancing, jumping and moving around. By using music to facilitate all kinds of movement each child is able to grow and use their muscles to the best of their ability. Music stimulates our senses and reaches children directly at their level. Music is a naturally social experience for everyone involved. Using music allows children to develop their self-expression, communication skills and self-regulation skills. This helps them work towards establishing positive relationships in the future as well as within their music groups. By incorporating music into our daily routines we are able to make connections and establish positive relationships between children while having fun. All music activities that are used here are designed to be positive and success oriented experiences.
Based on each child’s needs some children receive individual music therapy sessions, and others are involved in small group music therapy sessions comprised of two or three children. In addition all children attending Learning Together have music at least twice a week as a group with their entire class.
Handwriting Without Tears
Preschool children enter the classroom with a variety of experiences and different, continually evolving abilities. The “Handwriting Without Tears: Get Ready for School” curriculum is accessible to all children and easily adapted to foster writing skill development in children with special needs. Activities can be tailored to both group and individual settings. The curriculum is organized in developmental order to ensure that precursory skills are mastered before moving on to more challenging writing tasks, regardless of a child’s chronological age. The “Handwriting Without Tears” curriculum draws from research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies for the classroom. It is a multisensory approach to school readiness skills incorporating visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic components. Children learn best through movement and participation where they have the opportunity to move, manipulate objects, sing, draw and engage in dramatic play. The program is guided by research that demonstrates children learn more effectively by actively doing, with materials that address all styles of learning.
Handwriting is a critical skill that builds a foundation for later success in school. Research shows that handwriting ability can influence a student’s reading, writing, language use, and critical thinking. It plays an important role in brain development and promotes success in all academic areas.
Do Say Play
This is a listening, language, learning program that uses age appropriate development toys along with a script for the facilitator to use while playing with the child.
Each Do-Say-Play script leads the facilitator to use the chosen toy to positively affect 5 learning domains:
- Fine Motor
- Gross Motor
This play-based program is written for children birth-5 years of age. Books are also chosen to be read to the child using Do-Say-Play to increase the words and concepts the child is hearing in a variety of contexts.