Musical Routines

If you live or work with young children, you probably already know how helpful routines can be.  PBS explains the importance of predictable routines for children in childcare settings in this article.   Routines help kids feel a sense of security, support their development, and can help manage problem behaviors.  Even when kids are familiar with their routine, though, they may have trouble following directions during transitions (moving from one activity to the next) and potentially difficult activities (brushing teeth, washing hands).

Music can help make transitions easier and difficult activities more fun.

Transitioning from one activity to the next can be hard for young children – especially if it’s time to put the toys away and take a nap.  Have you ever sung a “clean up” song?   Continue reading

Mother’s Day Music Tips

Happy Mother’s Day!

In honor of this special day, I’d like to share some useful tips for using music with young children.

Repetition helps babies and young children learn.

Repeating songs over and over helps children not only learn the songs, but find comfort in knowing what to expect and practice early communication skills. Even though they can’t sing with us, singing repeated melodies to infants and toddlers helps them develop their social, cognitive, and communication skills.

Music therapyHave you ever had a staring contest with an infant? Infants love to stare at faces and hear adults talk and sing to them.  Singing or chanting repetitive songs helps infants learn to trust us and their environment. Continue reading

Make Joyful Melodies

Welcome to the Joyful Melodies blog!

IMG_9314 (1)I was taking a walk with my daughter and my dog yesterday and found myself struggling to decide what to write in this post. What do I want this blog to become? Who do I want to read it? What do I want to share, and what do people want to read?

I have been a music therapist since 2008.  Since then I have worked with well children and families in the community, on a pediatric cancer unit, in a pediatric emergency department, in various other inpatient and outpatient hospital areas, and in pediatric intensive care units. I have helped parents bond with their medically fragile children, played Taylor Swift songs on my guitar with children recovering from serious injuries, written lullabies with parents whose babies are critic Continue reading