How to Promote Verbalization Through Music
A frequent question asked by parents of my younger clients is, “What can I do at home?” The answer is as simple as "SING"!
Singing with your child not only promotes communication, but is also a wonderful bonding experience between you and your little one!
Don’t fret about not having a good singing voice; your child will love the experience of making music with you! My 3 month old niece LOVES music! She just discovered her voice, so I love to sing to her when I get the chance to visit. It just warms my heart when she tries to repeat me!
2 Simple Strategies to Increase Verbalization
I use these strategy with my kiddos during therapy sessions. You can use these tips to generalize skills from therapy to home!
1. I use songs my clients enjoy and sing the melody on a vowel paired with a consonant, such as “Bah”, “Dah”, or Mah”.
You can do this at home! When singing live music (without a recording) it lets you slow down the music and give our child time to process the sound as well as the motor movements needed to sing.
Simply replace the words of "Twinkle, Twinkle" with "Bah"... Sing it as slowly as you need to, allowing your child time to "get the sound out".
Here is an instrumental version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in case you need a refresher. ;)
2. Another great strategy is to have your child finish phrase endings of familiar songs. A perfect song to use is “Wheels on the Bus”. There are sooo many versions of this song! I challenge you to make up your own verses!
This song is great because it is repetitive and a perfect way to have your kiddo practice using his or her voice! I currently use the singable book to have an extra means of engaging my clients. The book will help keep your child engaged as you sing with him or her! This is the book I use:
One of my clients is practicing the “T” sound. While singing the last phrase “All through the town”. I pause after “the” to allow this particular kiddo to vocalize the “T” sound.
When you sing with your child make sure you give your little singer enough time to complete the phrase.
You can use each strategy mentioned above separately, or better yet… together! That is what is amazing about singing with your little one!
You can start small and keep building on to the songs as your child grows!
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Cassie Smith, MT-BC