Music and Use of Narrative Songs to Support Daily Routines

When we sing a narrative song to a child as we watch, listen and follow them in their musical play, the song gives information moment by moment about what the child is doing, providing rhythmic and expressive support. The song helps the child to make connections, to walk or play rhythmically, to listen and follow the direction of pitch as notes go up or down, to recognise familiar songs and to organise their movement in relation to the rhythm. For example: “ Charlie’s going up, up, up, up, up to the top, turning around, holding on to the rail and going down, down ,down down, down the steps”. The song uses the first five notes of the C major scale C D E F G to support going up the steps, then back down G F E D C to the ground. Many children I have worked with have taken their first steps to a supportive walking song, or sung their first words at the end of the musical phrase of a familiar nursery rhyme.

When we match the child’s energy levels we can use a song to help them speed up or slow down, to be aroused or calm. If a child is highly aroused, we can start where the child is at and gradually slow down, thus helping the brain to become calm and regulated. Conversely, if the child needs warm up time to become energised, a supportive song with an activity such as being bounced up and down on a large ball or jumping on a small trampoline helps the child to become aroused so that they can listen and become ready to participate meaningfully in an activity.

In terms of sensory integration and a child’s well being, unless the emotional part of the brain, the limbic system feels safe and satisfied, higher cognitive learning will be limited, or impossible. Musical play helps the child to listen, anticipate each step of a process, to stay on task, to modulate from one activity to the other and to accept change in order and routine.

A parent told me recently that washing her daughter’s hair had been a nightmare, but once she began singing each step of the process of hair washing, her daughter had listened and anticipated well, tilting her head back for the shampoo to be put on, having her mother gently shampoo her hair. Her daughter even enjoyed the playful rinsing process. The parent found that the singing took the stress out of hair washing for both of them, making it become predictable and fun.

 


Testimonials

Dear Julie.

My name is Xiaolei Gong. I am a student teacher and I attended your music training course in Auckland on Saturday 14th May, I absolutely adore you.

That training helps me gain the knowledge about how wonderful music is, and introduces some ideas on helping and supporting children who have Autism.

I tried the parachute at my mat time with the children, playing the “Up and Down and Around and Around” song track 16 from your CD “MAGICAL MUSICAL PLAY” and they love it!!! I now believe music can help them to calm down.

BIG THANKS

Xiaolei Gong, Student Teacher
Coming up…

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Recent Facebook posts

Luciana's Medley

Luciana Sings ⭐ We have received this lovely video clip from Sophie, whose daughters Luciana and Sabela love their Tuesday..

21 likes, 6 comments2 days ago

Photos from Julie Wylie Musical Play's post

We are so happy to be sharing music at Christmas parties and concerts. Last night it was the beautiful Champion Centre Christmas..

9 likes, 0 comments5 days ago

Staff Christmas Lunch 🥗 Today we celebrated with our Julie Wylie Musical Play team Christmas lunch at the Raspberry Cafe…

22 likes, 6 comments6 days ago

Like us on Facebook