Sign Language & Music: “How Far I’ll Go” ASL Cover in the Making

Hello All!

This week for our signing video I decided to change it up and do my best attempt at an ASL cover of “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. This is very different from the other videos that I do in many ways. The most evident is that I am signing in real time and in ASL.

I am usually focusing my energy on signed English which is signing the sign for each word within an English sentence structure. So you might be wondering… then what is ASL? ASL or American Sign Language is its own language, which means that it operates under its own sentence and lingual structure.

In ASL you may sign only a few words in an entire sentence. But where they don’t use as many words they make up for in visual elements. You can see in the video below that I create a place where the ocean is in my visual field and I use it as a frame of reference and to develop the story. So the following lyrics…

Every road I take

Every trail I track

Every path I make

Every road leads back



Road/path (gesturing to ocean)

Walk (gesturing to ocean)

Road/path (gesturing to ocean)

Go (gesturing to ocean)


It may be simplified in word count but the content and imagery is vivid in ASL and in many ways I think it is a more comprehensive and expressive language than any other.

Sign Language & Music: Numbers 1-31

Welcome back to Sign Language & Music!

Today I took a little time to go through our signs for 1-31. Now that might seem like an odd set of numbers but I use them mostly to express the days of the month which, as you know, go from 1-31. That beings said, I also use number signs for counting and to express age. For most of my clients number signs can be difficult and frustrating because there are so many of them and there isn’t a consistent and set pattern that they follow. You will notice that the signs 20-30 look quite a bit different from 10-20. So take your time with it. I recommend starting with the signs for 1-5. Then once you get comfortable add five more, and so on. If you feel secure in your signs then your clients will feel secure in the signs you teach them!

Sign Language & Music: Down On Grandpa’s Farm

This week in Sign Language & Music I shared with you one of my favorite animal songs “Down on Grandpa’s Farm”. Its fun and not the same old farm song you hear every day. I hope you all can enjoy it as much as I do. That being said, you probably also noticed that my voice is almost gone, truly almost gone. It has been fading away slowly since about last Saturday…but I was ready.

This is one of the amazing benefits of utilizing sign language in my work. All of us could benefit from signing at one time or another and today, it was me! I was able to use sign language to engage my clients in alternative ways, communicate with them, and maintain the same efficacy in the session without using my voice at all!

How can you use sign language today?

Sign Language & Music: Holiday Signs

Here we go again! It’s the holiday season and Christmas music has flooded our car radios and grocery stores. Are you ready?

I know I feel like I could use an extra week between now and Christmas to get everything planned and ready, but most of my students and clients have been ready since black Friday. And so, against my personal tendency to put on the brakes I have been using my holiday signs for two weeks now!

Check out the video this week for a few holiday signs. This week I demonstrate, Christmas, Hanukkah, and of course presents!

In this week’s video, I mention a fantastic resource for holiday specific and religious signs. I have seen and used many different resources for signs, but my favorite resource for religious signs is ASL Pro. this is a FREE online video dictionary for signs and the only site I have found with a religious dictionary. They have many signs in reference to different religions including Christianity and Judaism. If you are working in a religiously affiliated school or providing care to your respective Sunday school, this is the resource for YOU!

Happy Holidays!


Sign Language & Music: Music Signs

This week in our series we are talking about music signs! We have everything from music, play, stop, listen, and wait… to of course the sign for music therapy. As a music therapist these are signs I use all the time but these can also be great for teachers and paraprofessionals as well!

Signs like wait, stop, and listen are key signs to know if you work with children and young adults. Offering a sign in addition to verbally asking the child to stop offers a visual prompt. This is just one more way we can adapt small things we do everyday to help all of our clients and students have more opportunities for success.

Check out this week’s video and stay tuned for more signs next week!


Sign Language & Music: Fall Signs

I’m sure you all have your favorite fall season songs. This fall season mine have tended to use focus words like thank you, you’re welcome, tree, leaves, and of course, Thanksgiving! Those are the signs that you can find in the video this week!

I will often teach a sign by choosing a standout word in a given song, learning the simple sign, and teaching it throughout our musical intervention. We will repeat these songs every week on an ongoing basis. By the end of our treatment period most of our clients and students have learned this sign and can use it as a form of communication and self-expression entirely independently!

I hope you all enjoy todays video as much as I have! Stay tuned for next week’s video before the holidays!