Anyone can harness the power of music to reach non-musical goals! In this blog post I’ll share the top 5 ways you can use music to help with speech development.
Music activates the whole brain at once – making learning easier. Music, and especially singing, is the perfect activity to make repetitive tasks like practicing speech fun and engaging for children.
1. CHOOSE SONGS THAT REPEAT ONE WORD A LOT
“Baby” by Justin Bieber anyone? With exactly 9 repetitions of the word “baby” in each chorus, this song is the perfect example of a song that uses a word a LOT! For children still working on improving letter sounds you can have them isolate the first letter of the repetitive word – in this case, /b/, instead of saying the entire word. Other repetitive word songs include “Lollipop”, “Happy” and “Shake it Off”.
2. USE SONGS WITH SILLY SOUNDS TO PRACTICE ORAL MOTOR MOVEMENTS
Farm songs, vehicle songs, halloween songs or songs that feature a sound effect are great ways to reinforce some different oral motor movements! Or you can get really silly and try out some songs that sing a lot of sounds really fast like “Mmm-bop”, “Witch Doctor”, or “Blue (Da Ba Dee).
3. ANIMAL SONGS (ESPECIALLY MONKEY SONGS) ARE GREAT FOR PRACTICING VOWEL SOUNDS
Need to work on vowel sounds like “oo”, “ee” and “ah”? Monkey songs are your greatest tool for this! Try out “I Wanna Be Like You” from Disney’s The Jungle Book or a the children’s hit “Matilda the Gorilla” (OK, so it’s not technically a monkey but you get the picture).
4. TAKE A FAMILIAR SONG AND REPLACE THE WORDS WITH "LA" (OR ANOTHER SYLLABLE)
Simply sing along to your favourite song – but pretend you don’t know the actual lyrics (or maybe you don’t even have to pretend..). Try singing any syllable or switch it up part way through!
5. LEAVE OUT THE LAST WORD OF THE LINE
“Twinkle, twinkle little…”
Did your brain automatically fill in the last line? We automatically want the musical phrase to resolve and leaving it open creates not only the opportunity but the urge for the child to fill it in!
MAKE IT FUN AND DON'T EXPECT PERFECTION
Just put on the tunes and rock out! Remember, the goal is to practice – not to be perfect!
If you want some done for you resources you can implement today, check out my digital resource bundle of 5 songs curated to work on improving speech. Each song includes an ebook with easy to read lyrics and colourful visuals, a high quality MP3 recording, an animated video, a chord chart and a how-to guide with ideas for implementation!