• 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
  • Rec Rockers in the News!

    A few weeks ago the adapted rock band class that I have the pleasure of leading got to feel like real rock stars for the night as a local reporter came to do a story on the class!  The guys were pretty excited, especially as the reporter is also a fantastic photographer and was clicking away!  The article is not online yet but here is the story and the photos, all thanks to our favourite reporter Boaz Joseph:

    In Peace Arch News Thursday Feb. 1, 2013

    Semiahmoo House Rec Rockers jam once a week, building confidence and friendships
    Marching to the beat of one rockin’ drum

    No one can say rock is dead –not after meeting the Rec Rockers. Guitarist Andrew Kison is one of this band of dedicated musicians who gather every Monday night for a unique jam session at Semiahmoo House.The Rush fan finds it easier each week as he accompanies the band’s old-school rock rhythms and modern favourites on his new axe.  Sometimes he’ll show off fresh riffs, working high up on the fretboard.
    “The more you work on them the better you get,” says the 21-year-old.
    Alistair, a 23-year-old from South Surrey, borrowed a Semiahmoo House bass when he started playing just over a year ago. Then he went out and bought
    his own. “I really like it a lot, I find it a blast,” he says. “I’ve learned Three
    Little Birds (Bob Marley), I’ve Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) and What Makes You Beautiful (boy band One Direction).”
    Music therapist Katherine Graff has been guiding the Rec Rockers for the last four of their five years. “The more we do it, the more they get better at listening to each other and following non-verbal cues, which are really important social and communication goals for people with autism,” Graff says. Tonight, there are nine musicians packed into the Semiahmoo House rehearsal room. There are four guitarists (most brought their own), and people on bass, drums, keyboards, an omnichord (an electronic
    harp), and a lead singer in 28-year-old Adele-fan Brenna
    Finch. The musicians, assisted by support workers Stella Lee, Braden
    Deans and Krystyl Downing from Semiahmoo House Society,
    all have some form of autism, acquired brain injury, or Down
    Syndrome. After a quick rhythm warm-up session – a tapping/clapping circle
    around a table – the Rec Rockers are off, giving each of the night’s songs three or four full runs. The objective – apart from rockin’ – is for these adults with
    developmental disabilities to reach physical, psychological and emotional goals through a musical activity that’s engaging and rewarding. (Semiahmoo House Society, a non-profit organization located in South Surrey, exists to provide the support to people with disabilities and their families. There is also a satellite office in Newton).

    Lead singer Finch, exuding an impressive amount of confidence in an interview during a break, says the Rec Rockers help her continue the path of getting out of her shell. Looking like a rocker with his long hair, Isaac Vondy, 17, practises on his guitar at home “every day, non-stop.” While his taste is harder edged, leaning towards Metallica and Pantera, he’s happy to play more mainstream material with the Rec Rockers.
    “It’s really cool. They think they’re rocking out, but they’re actually practising teamwork,” says Graff. “People with developmental disabilities such as autism often march to the beat of their own drum, but by playing music together, it brings them out of their shell and allows them to follow a common external stimuli and engage in an enjoyable social activity with others, which can be rare and difficult for them.”
    • • •
    The Rec Rockers jam each Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Semiahmoo House, 15306 24 Ave. Registration for a new season takes place each fall. The Rec Rockers will perform on May 29 in Semiahmoo House Society Recreation and Services’
    sixth-annual Extravaganza at the Surrey Arts Centre, 13750 88 Ave. Performances will include The Rec Hot Peppers’ salsa dancing, the musical theatre play Into the Woods, and the Semi Famous Players’ theatre
    performance of Jimmy Down the Well.
    The show starts at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $21.
    For more information, visit Falis or call 604-536-1242.

  • Note by Note Music Therapy

    Welcome to my new site and my new company!  I am so excited to be starting fresh with Note by Note.  Be sure to check this blog regularly for news on music therapy, interventions, session themes, PECS, and all my
    NBN Logoclasses’ performance updates!

    Note by Note officially launched last week with the first camp of the summer – the musical theatre camp!  We spent the week filming and recording the hottest pop songs of 2012.  We were all pretty tired by Friday but watching the video made all our hard work worth it!  This coming week is the Rec Rockers adapted rock band class – we are going to have a blast making drums and shaker eggs, learning how to play instruments, and recording and filming a music video!  What a great way to start Note by Note.  Looking forward to a lot more to come!