Tax Day

…and Tax Day is here again! (Womp, womp.) From the lingering pain in my chest that this day causes me each year, I have found inspiration! Yes, inspiration… to create. (What?! From taxes?! That doesn’t even make sense.) I KNOW.

Okay- enough with the theatrics, Noa. I provide individual and group music therapy services in high school Functional Skill Development (FSD) classrooms, where I use music interventions and experiences to address and immerse students in tactile, social, and “academic” concepts and constructs.

That being said, taxes are an unfortunate and reoccurring component of our adult lives. When we have a job, we pay taxes. When we buy or rent a living space, we pay taxes. When we purchase a soda (or “pop,” as my students call it), we pay taxes. So, I think it’s safe to say taxes are a pretty important concept to be even basically familiar with.

I created this intervention about taxes — what they are, why we pay them, and different instances in which we encounter taxes — with the idea of “keeping it basic” in mind. Many of my FSD students currently have job placements in the community, and will soon be transitioning into the working world at greater lengths upon graduating, so I want to provide opportunities for my students to begin to understand why not all of the money they earn lands right in their pocket.

In this song, I introduced 3 types of taxes: Sales tax, Income Tax, and Property Tax (some of which are more relevant and/or prevalent than others) to establish a basic template for tax knowledge. Feel free to alter these components to fit the needs of your clients or students. I plan to implement this intervention in both individual and group settings, as there is an inherent participatory quality in the song that can be super fun in a group, but just as rockin’ one-on-one.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Lyrics + Chords  —-  Audio
(Ignore the ads on MediaFire. You do not have to pay to download the file- it’s freeeee!)

Keep your head up, tax payers! — Noa

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Conference Time!

 

Image

It’s conference time! Well almost anyway. This is the time of year I look forward to learning and connecting with other music therapist in my area. As I was planning my conference trip, I took a look at the presentations available and was in somewhat of a state of indecision. How can I make a decision on which presentations I should attend? Should I base it on which populations I serve? Or should I attend presentations on topics I know little about? Lets just say I think that decision is quite difficult. 

So here’s a question for you! How do you make the decision on which presentations/CMTE classes you attend? I would love to know what your decision process is maybe it will help me in the process of making my own!

*Lindsey* 

MLK Day

When conducting research online to create Martin Luther King Jr. session materials, I noticed that I didn’t really find much of anything music-wise. I was so disappointed! That initial disappointment led to immediate inspiration, motivating me to write a song I am very fond of. 🙂

Oh-so originally titled “Martin Luther King,” this song is… deeper and more introspective than a lot of my other compositions. My strong belief in and connection to the concept of “equality” in every sense made for a very meaningful and passionate songwriting experience.

I have attached lyrics + chords, as well as an audio recording. The quotation, “We’re free at last” is an excerpt from MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream…” speech, and is just such a powerful sentiment. I have my co-author, Lindsey to thank for bringing that to my attention!

I am so happy to be able to share this song with you, and hope it finds a place in your present and future sessions.

–Noa

2013!

I don’t know about you, but I find long drives to be one of the best times to think up new song materials: topics, lyrics, melodies… you name it, I’ve thought about it. Well, about an hour into my drive home from my Winter/Holiday break, I blurted out, “I totally have an idea for a New Year’s song for my kids!” to which my co-pilot sympathetically responded with, “…Sweet.”

Disclaimer: I do not recommend rocking out quite as hard as this woman. It's all about balance, friends.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend rocking out quite as hard as this woman. She is pretty extreme.

In any case, this 2013-inspired intervention can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be. It’s very lyrically and melodically repetitious, and was easy for my little and big kiddos to catch onto. I found that almost all of my students had a little “jig” going on whilst singing/playing, so this receives a checkmark for success in my book! 🙂

I made big cutouts of the numbers that makeup 2013, and put different students “in charge” of specific numbers in my larger groups, and gave a student more than one number in my small groups/individual sessions. Having temporary ownership of these numbers was very exciting to many of my students, so I rolled with it! There are opportunities within the song for the kids to sing out their specific numbers, which is great for number recognition, general listening skills, and recognizing cues within an activity.

I created this song intervention mostly to familiarize my kids with the new year, and have them start thinking about the personal goals they want to set for themselves for the year ahead. Some of my kids came up with more in-depth goals like “spending more time with family,” while others said they wanted to “go shopping more.” I’m not a subscriber to black-and-white methods of thinking, or wrong/right answers when it comes to interpretive activities, so just about anything goes with this activity… How empowering!

At the end of the day, I’m sharing this song with you for the sake of having fun creating connections while making music! [[Lyrics and Audio.]]

Happy 2013, ya’ll!!

— Noa

Ha-nu-kkah

Lately, I’ve come across a number of music education and music therapy-related forums on which people have posted questions regarding Hanukkah, like: “What are the names of some popular Hanukkah tunes?” “Does anyone have any Hanukkah activities they like to use with their clients?” “How can I introduce the ideas and symbols of Hanukkah to my students?” As a supplement to the responses I’ve come up with thus far, I decided to write my own song highlighting [what I believe to be] the key components of Hanukkah!

From my own celebrations of Hanukkah over the past 25 years, I associate the holiday with these thoughts/images:

– “The Festival of Lights,”

– The Dreidel

– The Menorah

– Latkes (yum!).

A couple more items that could be included are Gelt- the chocolate coins used as currency in the Dreidel game, and the Hora- the traditional Jewish dance that takes place during many Jewish festivals/holidays.

Ha-nu-kkah Lyrics + Chords

Ha-nu-kkah Audio

A very happy Hanukkah and holiday season to all! More posts to come!Noa

Take a Walk Around With Me!

ImageHowdy! This post is inspired by the weather we all have been experiencing due to SANDY. Within this song there are examples of different elements you can experience out in nature. With each sense, I coupled a body movement for my students to complete. I also, included a visual aide to help reinforce items found within nature. You can also have your students pretend to be walking during the chorus section when the words “Take a walk around with me”, are being sung! 

Hope you can utilize this intervention with your own clients! Have a great rest of the week and were looking forward to better weather! 

Audio File

Take a Walk Around With Me:

Chorus: 

Take a walk around with me

in the nature we will be

sounds you hear, things you see

think and share with me.

 

I hear the trees rustling in the breeze.

I hear the crunching of the leaves.

I hear the sound of the train.

and the sound of the falling rain.

 

I see birds flying by.

I see a plane flying in the sky.

I see an owl sitting in a tree.

I see a squirrel running past me.

 

I smell flowers all different kinds.

I smell the wind blowing through the pines.

I smell the wet leaves on the ground.

I smell different things all around.

 

I touch the bark on the trees.

I feel dry and crunchy leaves.

I touch the many different rocks.

I touch different plants as I walk.

 

I taste a apple from a tree

taste the honey from the bee

taste the herbs all different kinds

lets sing this little rhyme

RESPECT!

Hi, Bloggers and Blogettes!

Noa here with a little ditty about… you guessed it… RESPECT!

Through observations of my students and discussions with fellow professionals, as well as from my very own personal experiences, I’ve come to recognize that the concept of “Respect” is an incredibly crucial social skill that plays an enormous role in our daily interactions with friends, family, professionals, and even those you may not know very well. So, as someone who functions as “teacher”-like figure in the classroom environment, I feel it’s suuuuper important to lead by example by modeling respect toward others!! And, what better way to do that than with a song… that happens to be heavily influenced by one of the most empowered female vocalists of all time — Aretha Franklin?! 🙂

So, to honor the über fabulous and supremely awesome phenomenon that is… RESPECT, (…you totally thought I was going to say Aretha, didn’t you ;-)), here’s my original tune! I hope it serves your work AND sense of self-empowerment in the highest of ways! (Lyrics + Audio)

ROCK ON!