Ruth’s Top Tips 3: Chilling out
Music therapy is a dynamic way to use music making and singing to help disabled children grow and develop in lots of ways.
For instance, depending on the child, music therapy can help with their skills using their voice and speech, interacting with other children and adults, using their hands, managing their emotions – and generally feeling good about themselves.
Here, in the last of our current mini-series of top tips, are three simple ways, based on music therapy techniques, that you might like to try at home with your child to help you both relax and enjoy some quiet time together.
Adapt the words of a favourite or well-known song to include your child’s name. It’s a lovely way to settle them before bed or when they need some comfort.
For example, for little children adapt the tune of Frère Jacques:
‘Little (child’s name), Little (child’s name),
Where are you? Where are you?
Sitting on the sofa. Sitting on the sofa.
We love you. Yes we do’
For older children, try Olly Murs’ Just The Way You Are:
When I see your face there’s not a thing that I would change
‘Cos you’re amazing, just the way you are.
And when you smile the whole world stops and stares for a while
‘Cos (child’s name) you’re amazing, just the way you are.
Too much noise?
How much noise is there at any one time in your home? You might have the dishwasher on, the radio and a TV all at the same time. Some noise in the midst of family life is of course unavoidable but sometimes it may be too stimulating for your child, especially if they have difficulties processing sensory input.
In music therapy we give a lot of thought to the overall sound environment that children experience as some children can be very sensitive to the sounds around them.
So you might like to think about the noises your child is exposed to every day and whether anything can be turned down or off.
Chilling out together
Why not find the odd 20 minutes with no distractions where you dim the lights and sit quietly with your child and watch and listen to them in a restful state?
Watch the rise and fall of their chest and listen to the rhythm of their breathing.
Try this with no background music or something gentle and soothing like Pachelbel’s Canon in D.
Try any of these tips and tell us it goes. And here’s our short video showing how music therapy helps disabled children.
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