• Songs for Speech Top 5 Bundle

    Well, this might come as a surprise to you (it was kind of surprising to me also) but I’ve been working hard behind the scenes – not only on starting a YouTube channel that provides resources to other Music Therapists – but I’ve also sneakily been working on creating digital products for parents, teachers and therapists! 

    As a music therapist, I always value having new interventions with fun songs and colourful, engaging visuals that are goal based and client-preferred to use in my sessions.  Especially when the visuals are already done and don’t involve any cutting, glueing or laminating!

    I decided to focus this first digital product on supporting language development. Communication is a huge goal area for a lot of our clients, and I love the independence, autonomy and confidence that improving communication brings!  The basic building block of verbal communication is oral motor skills which is what this digital bundle focuses on. 







    The bundle includes 5 songs with ebooks, audio files and animated videos for each one! Plus, each song comes with a chord chart and how-to-use guide with targeted goals. 

    It’s designed so that anyone can immediately use the songs and strategies to facilitate better oral motor development for improved language skills. 

    The songs and visuals are silly, fun, colourful and engaging and I’m SO excited that I can take all my experience and hopefully help even more people from a ton of different places! 

    For more info you can read all about it by clicking below:

  • Music Therapy Intervention Ideas + Guitar Tutorial for “Here Comes the Sun”

    Today I’m gonna teach you how to play Here Comes the Sun, using your guitar! Watch the video here or continue reading below:

    There are a couple of licks in here that you definitely need to know. If you’re working with adult clients age 18 all the way up to 80, they know and love this song. So it’s a great one to have in your repertoire.

    When COVID hit and we had to work online, I switched from using the piano a lot to using guitar a lot. And at first I really struggled on how to integrate the licks that I had been playing on the piano into guitar, because I was a real campfire guitarist. I just played chords. And if anything had a lick, I’d go to a piano.

    But I felt like the guitar sounded better online. I couldn’t adjust the volume of my acoustic piano and it was a little bit overpowering to my voice. So I’ve tended to default to using guitar a lot more.

    Let’s do this song in the key of D. It just makes it a little bit easier to integrate those licks. And it works well for my voice. So hopefully it works well for your voice too! You could always throw a capo on to find a good key for your voice. 

    I actually play this song without a pick because for one of the licks, you need to be able to pluck two strings at the same time. Plus, we also wanna play some, our chords broken here as one of the licks. So the first lick is actually the “do do do do” after “Here Comes the Sun”. Now I’ll tell you a secret… I actually don’t usually play this lick. I always sing this lick!

    But if you wanted to play it, you could!

    Try and let the D chord still rings through while you play the lick.

    It might take a little bit of practice!

    But don’t worry, the second lick is easy.

    We just need a B minor chord (but another secret is we’re gonna cheat here and we’re just gonna do B minor seven – no barre chords needed). So we just need Bm, A, G, A but we are gonna break them up and arpeggiate them by playing one note at a time starting from the bass note. 

    The third lick is the best in my opinion!  So we’re gonna take an A7 chord, and strum. Then I’m gonna take my third finger off and strum the same top four strings that I would if I was playing the A7. (So third finger comes off fret 2, strum, back on fret 2), slide up one fret, take your second finger off, slide up two frets and put them both down in the A7 shape but on fret 5.

    It takes a little bit of practice, but it’s actually pretty, pretty smooth and pretty easy to play.

    That’s actually all you need to play this song!

    Now the reason I actually sing this lick is because I use this song working with clients who are pre-verbal – working on their articulation and their oral motor skills. So I’ll sing “Here Comes the Sun” and then line out the do, do, do, do part.

    You can work on whatever sound or syllable they need by switching or the “do do do do” for “ba ba ba ba” or anything.

    Also for articulation, I’ll get them to line out the /s/ sound in sun. I’ll really exaggerate my oral motor

    placement so they can see what to do.  So it’s actually amazing how this song can help clients work on their articulation and they love it. It’s so fun because we’re changing it up all the time on them.

    The only part I haven’t shown you guys is the bridge here and you’re supposed to do that five times. So it’s a really great place to work on that /s/ sound for your clients. 

    You now have the basic skills to play that in your session – just keep working on that lick and it’ll sound awesome. So let’s talk about adapting this song – we’ve already talked about using it for articulation and oral motor skills,  but let’s talk about using it more in a group setting with adults, mostly who are verbal.

    You could use this song for reality orientation and ask them what’s coming up in their life, the seasons or holidays. We could sing “Here comes September. And then they can actually say how they’re feeling about that. “Here comes September (do do do do) Here comes September and I feel…. so happy”. Throw in some emotional expression, ask them how they’re feeling about certain things, throw in some reality orientation, ask them what’s coming up for them in the next little bit. And those are my two favourite ways to adapt this song in music therapy sessions!

  • Music Therapy Intervention For Lizzo’s Truth Hurts

    Hello! I’m very excited to have a new video tutorial + resource idea video up for you today on YouTube! The song is by one of my current favourite artists, Lizzo, and is called Truth Hurts! (I’m sure you’ve heard it AND I bet your clients have been asking for it!)

    Link to YouTube Video

    Now, I have changed the lyrics to this song a little bit to make it more about a friendship relationship versus the romantic relationship breakdown that she sings about. I think it’s more accessible in a group setting to be talking about friendship relationships, ie. what makes a good friend? And keep the group mood a little bit lighter. However, if you had a one to one client who really loved this song and was going through a romantic relationship breakdown, I think this song would be great with the original lyrics.

    For the PDF with the adapted lyrics, chords, strum pattern AND lick: Click HERE

    You only need 2 chords on the ukulele for this song! I actually went over these chords in my last video for Hotline Bling which you can check out HERE if you need some extra help with the chords.

    The chords are 4 beats each:

    And the strum pattern I like for this song is:

    Now another thing you could do for this song is actually play the lick, the bassline that starts this song. And it goes throughout the whole song!

    I also demo in the video teaching the lick in note names to your client – I demonstrate on a pentatonic xylophone but if you had a group boomwhackers or hand chimes would be great as well!

    Teaching clients to play a musical phrase themselves targets a TON of goal areas; listening skills, teamwork, fine or gross motor skills, patterning and hand/eye coordination!

    Hope this helps you integrate some cool new songs into your sessions and gives you some ideas on how to use it to reach your client’s goals effectively!

  • YouTube Channel Launch: “Hotline Bling” Ukulele Tutorial + Music Therapy Session Intervention

    Very exciting news – I’ve launched a YouTube Channel

    After being in the field of music therapy for over 10 years and mentoring three interns I wanted to give back to the Music Therapy community and save MT’s time and brain power by sharing musical tutorials to learn songs FAST – and have interventions for them which are specifically tailored (and tested) to reach certain goals! 

    Especially for myself as a piano major all of sudden having to be able to replicate popular music on guitar was challenging and I’ve seen some of my interns struggle with this as well.  Over the years it’s gotten much easier for me to be able to figure out the strum patterns, chords and styles that work best with the current hits.

    As Music Therapists we strive to use client-centred music and when you’re working with teens and young adults there is a huge spread of repertoire you need under your belt.  I really hope my channel helps you, music therapist, feel the most confident musically and professionally going into your own sessions!

    For my first video I chose to focus on Hotline Bling by Drake! Check out the video here (or read below for a transcript):

    Partial Transcript:

    Hey music therapists.  ? It’s Katherine here from note by note music therapy. Today, I’m gonna show you how to turn the song Hotline Bline by Drake into an intervention you can use in your sessions, and I’ll teach you how to play it on the ukulele, even if you’ve never used the ukulele before in your sessions.

    Watch until the end and I’ll explain how you can use this song as an intervention to reach the goals of peer to peer interaction and social skills.

    Here are the 3 ukulele chords we will be using:

    And here is the strum pattern:

    INTERVENTION: Phone a Friend 

    So now let’s talk about our intervention. So we’re targeting the skills of peer to peer interaction and also improving social skills. So this can be used in a one-to-one session, but I love using it in groups.

    It even works over zoom. You’re gonna have one client choose a peer that they can phone (and we’re just pretending) and they can practice their social skills of a phone call, saying, hello, how are you?

    Practising conversational skills and using question words. I usually find a prompt is needed for saying goodbye once the conversation has kind of dried up.

    I use this primarily in groups of adults with developmental disabilities.  If I was gonna use this song with a mental health group, I’d probably use it to open up a discussion around healthy relationships versus unhealthy relationships and what those look like.

    I hope this helps you have a fun song you can use in your sessions that can help reach the goals of peer to peer interaction and social skills. Thanks for watching. If you found it helpful, make sure to subscribe and feel free to reach out and let me know what songs your clients are requesting that you would love to implement in your sessions, but might need a little extra help coming up with an intervention or how to replicate it on guitar or ukulele!

  • Virtual Sessions

    Did you know that we have been having SO much success with virtual sessions? Virtual sessions take place online over Zoom. Zoom offers security, is user friendly and you are able to sign in from anywhere (no travel!). We’ve been doing large music therapy groups over Zoom for almost 2 years now, in addition to seeing clients one to one. You’ll be amazed at how engaging sessions still are! For anyone unsure about how it might work over Zoom we’ve been offering a free 15 minute trial for you to see if it is a good fit. We NEVER offer free trials so this is a great chance to discover our services.

    Virtual Sessions are a great way to stay connected while staying safe and still make progress on your goals!

    microphone on laptop
    Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com