Phonics Flash Card Games and Songs

I love picking up new things to incorporate into my sessions.  The Target dollar spot sometimes has some great finds!  On a recent trip, I picked up a pack of phonics cards.  I have several clients who are working on a lot of speech and academic goals.  I love these cards because they are so diverse.  
photo 3 (1)Not only can you work on identifying letters and their sounds, but each picture has several objects that start with the the letter at the top of the card.  On the backs of the cards are several words on the back.

photo 4 (1)

Not only do I ask clients to identify letters, sounds, and words, but I ask them to talk about the picture on the card.  I use the simple song below to prompt clients to look up at the card and tell me what they see!

Look Up At Me! How do you use flash cards in your sessions?

We Just Can’t “Let it Go”

It has been quite a while since I have heard a song catch on as well as this one.  I completely understand why “Let it Go” it has been banned in some schools.  It can be disruptive if one child starts humming the tune and EVERYONE bursts out in song. BUT IT’S JUST SO CATCHY!

Even though I’ve sung this song at least 5 times a week for the past few months and I know every word, I’m not quite ready to let it go.  This song is golden for so many reasons.  When working at the hospital, it has provided me an instant “in” with nearly any child ages 2 – 10.  I immediately gain their trust and attention if I start singing their FAVORITE SONG!  When a client needs a little extra motivation to complete a task, singing, playing, or watching “Let it Go” serves as a great reward.

Recently, I used “Let it Go” in a session with three sisters.  We used colorful scarves to dance and encourage specific movements while singing along.  One of the girls, who had said but 5 words during the 25 minutes sang along with EVERY word and smiled.  They all laughed and worked together to come up with dance moves for the song.  Each of the sisters contributed a specific dance move/gesture that the others could follow.  During the chorus we would throw the scarves up in the air and “Let it Go”.   We also worked as team at one point, holding the scarves together and forming a circle so we all had to move together.

This was an incredible exercise in team work, following directions, and leadership all while working on motor planning, speech, and movement concepts!

While this song has been overplayed, I’m not quite ready to “Let it Go”.  And secretly, I love belting it out along with the kids!

Songwriting for Review – Free Printable

Many piano teaching methods have a “test” at the end of a level to make sure students have learned all that they are meant to.  Often, my students get nervous about all of the words on the page and get too caught up in all the terminology to do well on the questions.  This also only tests their memorization of terms and concepts instead of their application.

To combat this and instead work on reviewing the application of these concepts, I’ve developed a songwriting review form that be used with students at ANY level!  Simply fill in the blanks and fill the box with what words and ideas you want the student to incorporate in your student’s song!!

Download Songwriting Sheet HERE!



Songwriting Review

Songwriting Review Example

The Traveling Music Therapist – Apps I LOVE part 2

When I posted about the apps I love to use on the road, there are a few of my absolute favorite that I forgot!  Here are a few bonus apps to round out the bunch I listed yesterday!   Enjoy!

1. On Song – A wonderful app for downloading, organizing, and creating lyric and chords sheets that you can always have on hand digitally.

2.  Music Notes – I have an account with where I download the majority of music for my students.  What’s nice about the app is that once you purchase the song, you also have a digital copy available that can be transposed into most any key!  You can also add any of the notes you need, highlight specific words, notes, or parts, and easily flip between pages.

3.  Wordpress – Because my website it done through wordpress, I love having the app handy.  This way I can write blog posts from Starbucks, my car, or hotel room (at conferences or on vacation) without having to lug my computer along!   I can also make several edits to my pages as needed.

4. Dropbox – for sharing & keeping files

Other apps that have been suggested to me that you may want to check out on your own: 

  • Dragon Dictation 
  • Super Duper Data Tracker
  • Expensify
  • DocScan – Mobile scanner for iPad

Do you have other favorite apps?

The Traveling Music Therapist – 12 Apps I LOVE

Whether I am on the road, in my office, or with clients, I almost always have a device with tons of apps I like to use for a variety of purposes.  The following apps I’m going to talk about are apps for business and travel.  Enjoy!

1.  Triplog – mileage tracker.   I loved this app when I started using it because I could press “start trip” and it would use GPS to track my miles.  However, I have poor GPS signal in several of the rural towns I go to so I have taken to manually inputing my miles.  This is a great apps for people in larger cities or areas with great signal strength

2. iCal – I have my google calendar synched with my iCal so that all my events pop up and sometimes even have alarms

3. Chase – I do not live near my bank and am always on the go so I use my Chase app ALL the time

4. Maps – I have given up trying to use my Tom Tom for the reason I stated in #1 and the fact that it needs to be updated.  I use my Maps program nearly wherever I go.

5. Music Teacher’s Helper – This is the program I use to schedule and invoice clients.  The mobile apps is great for setting lesson attendance, checking payments, or letting a family know how much they owe.

6. Find Me GF – I have celiac disease so knowing where I can eat and what I can eat comes in handy!  The “near me” function also let’s me know what is in the area with a gluten free menu.

7. RetailMeNot – Who doesn’t like a deal?

8.  Weather – Umbrella? Jacket?  Sunscreen?

9. Voice Memo – When I’m in the car or need to quickly remember something, I make a voice memo.

10. Notes – I take notes about everything!

11. Wunderlist – the perfect app for all of us list makers

12. All of my social media (facebook, pages, twitter, linkedIn, etc) – for making busines posts on the go!


What are some of your go to apps?