{New Songbook!} Songs for Movement Props

Movement Prop Songbook

Have we mentioned that we LOVE movement props? You may have noticed that if you’ve seen our photos, browsed our songs, or attended our groups and sessions. We’ve written countless songs specifically for our FAVORITE movement props from none other than Bear Paw Creek, and we were recently inspired to compile 12 of those songs into a songbook.

The songbook is made up of 4 sections, one for each of the different movement props — bean bags, stretchy bands, balloon balls, and scarves — for which the songs were written. We made a video earlier this week to share details about those props, which you can watch right here.

Not only do you receive the lyrics and chords for each song, but we are also including the recordings and a leader’s guide with tips and instructions for implementing the songs right away.

But here’s the most exciting part of this new release: now through Tuesday, July 5, not only will you receive Songs for Movement Props, but you’ll also get our multimedia songbook Counting Through the Seasons ($17 value) AND be automatically entered to win our giveaway of ALL the movement props listed above from Bear Paw Creek. We’ll be announcing the winner and delivering both digital songbooks to those who have ordered on Tuesday.

We want to send a HUGE thank you to Janet Stephens, the owner of Bear Paw Creek, for not only being such an enthusiastic supporter of our work but also for so generously offering this giveaway. So many music therapists and educators use and benefit from her products, and we are proud to be among them!

Okay, so let’s recap: when you preorder Songs for Movement Props now through Tuesday for just $14, you’ll get a bonus songbook and have the chance to win an amazing set of Bear Paw Creek movement props. If you’re on the fence, make sure to watch our video where we talk in depth about the songbook, props and awesome giveaway.

Preorder Now!


3 Day Hand Drumming Camp

Next week we have a very special mini-camp happening!!

I am so excited to have the opportunity to share my love of music and playing hand drums during the 3 DAYS of drumming camp!


This isn’t your typical drum-set style drumming!  No drumsticks or experience needed!  The group is open to people of all abilities and levels of musical experience.  Whether you are looking to just have fun, learn something new, or add to your current skills, we would love to have you join the group!  Over the 3 days, group members will:

  • explore different kinds of drums
  • play rhythm instruments from around the world
  • learn basic hand drumming techniques
  • become familiar with simple rhythmic patterns
  • play instruments in a group
  • learn a few ways to lead a drum circle
  • improvise on a variety of percusion instruments
  • and build confidence


Not only is hand drumming and participating in a drum circle a fun experience, it’s also a great way to make new friends, build relationships, work on focused attention and listening, learn new skills, relax, and more. The hour-long group will be from 6:30 – 7:30 pm June 28th, 29th, and 30th.  I hope to see lots of new and familiar faces!


Instruments and Materials: Thinking Outside the Box

Instruments & Materials in Music Therapy

I love exploring music with my clients, but being musical doesn’t always have to mean holding an instrument or tapping a drum. By bringing in different manipulatives, even non-musical ones, we can utilize three dimensional visuals, attend to sensory needs, and even save a few dollars. Which, let’s face it, is always a plus!

Stuffed animals are fantastic for working on counting, animal identification, and motor skills. Whether it be “Ten Little Monkeys Jumping On The Drum”, or “Down on Grandpa’s Farm” stuffed animals can be used to facilitate academic topics while utilizing fine and gross motor skills.

What I love most about stuffed animals as manipulatives is that they cater to sensory needs. They incline a client to squeeze them, push and pull them, and self-monitor their sensory needs. When I know that a client has additional sensory needs I like to give them ideal options and ways to fulfill those needs, and self-monitor those needs all while addressing the goal area and specific objectives. I like to bring multiple textures, densities, and overall options as possible. Its all about choice, and seeing when the sensory options are a comfort versus a distraction.

Stuffed animals are just one of the many ways that we can think outside the box to provide a broad encompassing care for our clients and students. They are easily accessible and available in a variety of textures, colors, and characters. I would consider stuffed animals one of my must haves in my music therapy materials kit! What about you? How do you think out of the box for your students and clients?

Always Adapting: Counting Through the Seasons

Last fall, we began increasing the number of early childhood classes we offer.  We split the classes into age groups but also offer groups with mixed ages.  Though we use the same curriculum across all of the classes in one session, you will find that every group is just a little different.  Each class has it’s own unique mix of participants that make it a little different from any other group even if other groups have the same ages, genders, etc.


This means ADAPTING and often on the fly.  I, personally, teach both our Wednesday and Thursday night classes.  Though I use the same materials for both classes, the presentation looks a little different each night.  My Wednesday night class tends to be a little more active so I change the order of songs slightly, create additional verses for our movement songs, and ask more questions of group members.  My Thursday night class is often more reserved and will sit for a long stretch of time.  I use this to my advantage and take a longer time reading our book or singing our counting songs.

I LOVE all of the material we create and like to use them with my individual students and clients as well, adapting them even more as we go.  Our newest book, “Counting Through the Seasons” was initially developed for our early childhood classes though all of our therapists have now adapted the songs to work on a variety of goals.  In our newest “extra” going out to our VIP members and being added to the “Counting Through the Seasons” download, I describe 9 ways our seasonal counting songs can be adapted to work on goals aside from counting to five and how they can be changed to fit multiple seasons.

The price of the book (“Counting Through the Seasons”) will increase on Friday, June 10th.

 Be sure to download your copy at a discounted price today!  

Three Signs Your Child is Ready for Lessons

3 Signs Your Child is Ready for Lessons

At Music Therapy Connections, we work with students of all ages and abilities. Based upon those things we can place a new student into the best situation for their growth, whether that be a class, lesson, or adaptive lesson. I think I can speak for our team when I say that it brings us great joy to know that we can provide services for the entire family — from newborns to grandparents!

Many parents want to know, how do you know when a child is ready for lessons? Here are three things we look for to find your young learner the best fit.

1. When it comes to both piano and guitar lessons, it is very important that a student can count to four, visually identify letters A through G, and preferably be able to identify their left hand from right. All of these are important foundational skills to build on in lessons.

2. For any kind of lesson it is important to ask, “Can my student be engaged with one activity for thirty minutes?” This can be a challenge for many four to six year olds beginning lessons.

3. Finally, we don’t usually begin guitar lessons until the age of at least seven. Why? Well, unlike with piano, a new learner needs to have large enough hands to be able to form chords with proper technique so that they don’t injure themselves. Guitar can also test a new student’s patience as it can even be painful when first beginning. For our future guitarists under the age of seven, we recommend starting with piano and growing a nice framework of knowledge to build on later.

In general, if a child is still growing in one of these areas or has additional needs, we would consider their lessons adaptive. This is because we are adapting our approach, creating different materials, and utilizing multiple mediums to provide them with the best lesson experience possible, regardless of their prior knowledge and experience.

Is your child ready for lessons? Click here to learn more and register for the summer session.