This blog post discusses a variety of experiences and tools that have been successful as we continue navigating through this new realm of virtual therapy. Increasing visuals, creating homemade instruments, and songwriting have all been supportive tools when trying to portray a concept through a screen. Check out below how these experiences have increased our virtual therapy sessions.
Sharing visuals have been pertinent in many Zoom sessions to increase participation and engagement, especially when focusing on a screen for a duration of time. Some visuals that I found most successful were sharing music videos while listening to a favorite song to discuss how the lyrics are similar or different to what was being portrayed on the screen. Other successful visuals included creating slides on Google Slides to favorite songs, such as “Five Green Speckled Frogs” or “What a Wonderful World” to create a musical story by helping reinforce the message or academic concept being focused on in the song.
Being able to showcase creativity in a new way, such as using household instruments has been a crucial part of maintaining the music through the session as well. Salt shakers, macaroni boxes, wooden spoons, cups of water, and pots and pans have all been used to mimic the sounds of the maracas, sticks, xylophone, and drums. Being able to play like sounding items to match the instruments has increased imaginary play and cognition when finding those matching sounds.
Being introduced to instruments they may have at home has also been a helpful experience, especially when giving lessons on a certain instrument. Using tools, such as the tuning app on Guitar Tuna, using the “slow down” feature on Youtube videos, and using the White board feature on Zoom to highlight certain sections of sheet music has helped support teaching musical concepts through additional layers when hand over hand isn’t an available option.
Lastly, songwriting, as shared on the blog posts and Facebook Lives previously, has been ground breaking, especially when pertaining to the many changes that we are all experiencing through this time. Having a structured, yet expressive experiences creates predictability and freedom by making that song fit the client’s ideas and lifestyle.