Monday, September 10, 2012


My idea of calm : )

What do you do when you need to calm yourself?  I was thinking about some phrases that have been used during my life, to urge others (or others directing me) to do so...remember "take a chill pill"? Chill out, calm or settle down, "chillax", be cool, "chill your grill" [I deferred to Google after these and found some strange/ funny ones, too :) ].  Regardless of the saying, generally when you hear it- especially with context clues- you're likely to understand the meaning...and hopefully get a grip, if needed.
When I'm creating songs for my kiddos, I always ask parents/ caregivers/ teachers/ therapists, etc. if any specific language is already being used to teach the topic.  It's really important- especially for those with special needs- to be consistent, and I do my best to carry that through songs that we use...not just in music therapy sessions, but maybe at home with mom or at school with an ABA therapist.  Better results have the opportunity to occur when everyone's on the same page!  Such is the instance here.
"Stop-Calm-Slow" also gives specific, concrete [again- important!] examples of ways that a child might hit pause and mellow out, after recognizing that a mood shift needs to occur.  Sometimes, the self-awareness that it needs to occur in the first place is half the battle.  With a young student, we literally practice moving at a fast, excited pace around the room- kicking legs, flailing arms, shaking head- accompanied by the faster guitar playing.  I verbally recognize that her body is in an "excited" state.  She's gotten to slowing herself down in harmony with the song, and also is able to perform the suggested actions on her own.  Now, we're working on translating it into in-the-moment occurrences during sessions.
Hope it may be of help to you!


Sometimes I might get excited

A little too overexcited
And my body wants to go, go, go
But before I do that,
Think of how to react
Stop, and think calm and slow.

Take a deep breath,
Count to three,
Calm my body
Sing la-la-la-la-lee (ee-ee)
Give a squeeze
On my arms and my knees
Ask for help
If I don’t know what to do
(I need help, please)
Sing la-la-la-la-loo
You know….
Stop, and think calm and slow. (2x)