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All Children Can Make Music: Access, Participation, and Supports in the Outdoor Environment
Petra Kern, Ph.D., MT-BC, MTA, DMtGMusic Therapy ConsultingUniversity of Louisville, KY
2016 NATIONAL EARLY CHILDHOOD INCLUSION INSTITUTE. Chapel Hill, NC. May 11, 2016 @3:30-5:00 PM
More Than an Event: Extending your Learning
FactsInclusion PlaygroundsMusic Therapy
IdeasMusic HutSound PathZOMS
ExamplesCore Concepts Recommended PracticesInterventions
SongsThe Scat SongPhillips GrooveGood-Bye Song
Your Turn!Worksheet #1: Your PlanWorksheet #2: Your Playground BlueprintShare your Ideas
Worksheet #1: Your Plan
Be Practical, Feasible, & Innovative!
Worksheet #2: Playground Blueprint 4
Music HutA Musical Outdoor Environment for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their Peers
Designed byDr. Petra Kern and colleagues at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
SitePlayground of the FPG Child Care Program.
PurposeTo expand outdoor learning opportunities for children with and without disabilities.
EquipmentChinese Wind Gong, Drums, Sound Tubes, Marching Drum, Ocean Drum, Cymbal, Xylophone, and CD Player Stand.
SafetyDesign and Construction meet the U.S. Playground Safety Regulations.
Intervention StrategyEmbedded Music Therapy Interventions; Collaborative Consultation, and Staff Training.
MaterialsSongs and music therapy interventions.
ResearchInclusion of four children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Music Hut and embedded song interventions.
PublicationsThe Journal of Music Therapy (JMT)Altogether Now! (ATN)Music Therapy Today (MTT) FPG Snapshot #39ECERS-RSongbook
Idea The Music Hut as been an outdoor music center located on the playground at the Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Care Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. It was designed to expand learning opportunities and therapeutic playground activities for young children with and without disabilities, especially those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
ConceptA Chinese Wind Gong, six drums in different sizes, three Sound Tubes of different lengths, a Marching Drum, an Ocean Drum, a Cymbal, a Xylophone, and a CD Player stand were attached to visually pleasing steel arches, wooden beams, and Plexiglas walls. The instruments are located on a hardwood deck, covered with a huge fabric canopy, and the entire structure is wheelchair accessible. The Music Hut was designed by Dr. Petra Kern in collaboration with an architect and staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Design and construction meet the guidelines of U.S. playground safety regulations. The Music Hut is one stop on the Sound Path, which connects a variety of musical elements throughout the playground with a marked path.
When playing outdoors, many children with disabilities, especially those with ASD, were challenged by the large undefined spaces, the lack of predictable routines and structured activities, as well as play styles and the fast pace of play. Providing activities related to their interests, and evidence-based interventions that support inclusion and their individual education goals, was therefore crucial.
Play SongsTo structure and engage children in the Music Hut, Dr. Kern created original music, inviting children to explore the instruments. Her music also addressed specific Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals for several of the children, supporting their learning of particular skills. The songs were easily embedded by teachers in ongoing playground routines after staff training was provided.
The songbook Songs & Laughter on the Playground by Petra Kern and Angela M. Snell, includes 17 goal-oriented songs supporting outdoor play for children with and without disabilities. The songbook speaks to parents, teachers, and therapists and encourages using songs to accomplish childrens individual education goals in outdoor play.
StudyResearch on including children with ASD using the Music Hut has been conducted at the FPG Child Care Program by Dr. Kern and colleagues. Results indicated that song interventions increased independent playground peer interactions and meaningful play of four children with ASD. Staff training enabled the childrens classroom teachers to implement the song interventions successfully in the playground routine and the musical playground environment facilitated the childrens involvement. For more information on the research, please visit Dr. Kerns publications and the FPG Snapshot #39.
Photograph by Rainer Doerrer
2007-2016 Music Therapy Consulting. All rights reserved. imagine 6(1), 2015 98
ideasThe Scat Song: Starting with the Childs Name
Macy Ellis, MT StudentUniversity of Louisville
DescriptionThe purpose of this greeting song is name recognition, imitation of sounds, and turn-taking.
Goalsto improve name recognitionto increase imitation of animal soundsto support turn-taking
Behavior ObservationThe child will:
respond to his/her namesing after the music therapist singswait his/her turn to sing
MaterialsAccompanying instrument (e.g., guitar)Animal props (i.e., bird, cat, dog, cow, pig)
Directions1. Have each child select a favorite animal prop.2. Sing the song and have children listen for their name.3. Prompt the child to imitate the sound of the animal
prop he/she selects within the lyrics of the refrain.4. Invite all children to make the sound of the selected
animal in the repetition of the refrain.
AdaptationsImprovise a melody in the refrain and have children repeat.Add props that fit classroom themes and include them in the song.
The Scat SongRecorded 2014 by Macy Ellis
About the Author Macy Ellis is a sophomore music therapy student at the University of Louisville and successfully implemented this song at the UofL Early Learning Campus
Resources, Materials, & Services
imagine.magazine2015 ISSUE FOCUSES ON EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC THERAPY INCLUSION PRACTICESwww.imagine.musictherapy.biz
songs for the playground17 SONGS SUPPORTING OUTDOOR PLAY & WORKSHEETS FOR BUILDING INSTRUMENTS.www.musictherapyebooks.com
consultationMUSIC THERAPY CONSULTING OFFERS INDVIDUALIZED PLAYGROUND CONSULTING.www.musictherpapy.biz
Email: email@example.comLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/petrakern/ Twitter: @drpetrakernURL: www.musictherapy.biz