Music Therapy Combines Fun and Skills at Indian Creek Foundation

“Music is the universal language of mankind.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Music really is a special language, isn’t it? In our Day Services Program, music is an integral part of our daily routines. Whether listening to music or singing along, our participants truly enjoy the ability to express themselves in the ways that only music can provide. As it turns out, science shows that music is highly beneficial for all of us!

Twice a week, our Day Services participants reap these benefits with Music Therapy led by Music Therapist Dave Antonio. Music therapy uses evidence-based music interventions to promote health and education goals. As a tool in special education, it supports the development of gross motor skills, communication skills, breathing and muscle regulation, and language skills. Perhaps the best feature is that these therapeutic goals are accomplished while participants are having fun.

Familiar Music Promotes Participation

Our music therapy sessions are highly interactive. This is not a time for sitting quietly and listening to a professional musician display their skills. In the therapeutic environment, everyone gets involved. One great way to keep everyone’s attention is to play songs that we all know by heart.

Anyone who joins our music hour will recognize and sing along to several timeless favorites like:

  • “On Top of Spaghetti”
  • “Bingo”
  • “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain”
  • “It’s a Small World”

We also love to sing showtunes, Disney songs, and fun commercial jingles! Familiarity is not just in the melodies, though. Many of our songs are short tunes with simple lyrics about ice cream, favorite foods, fast food restaurants, and colors. We sing a lot of words during music therapy because the combination of rhythm and singing supports speech and memory skills.

The Natural Connection Between Music and Movement

Most of us are big fans of dancing here at ICF, and there are some songs that are just made for moving. While many music therapy songs are designed to integrate hand motions, we also take advantage of the numerous dances that have already been created for specific songs. During any session, participants can expect to do the “Cha Cha Slide” and the “Hokey Pokey.” Of course, what music hour could ever be complete without the “Chicken Dance!”

Our participants are welcome to join in the dancing at whatever level works for their abilities and energy level. The best part about our music therapy program is that everyone can participate in the way that is best for them. Some participants are content to listen, some enjoy singing and clapping, and others love to get up and move to all the music. There is something beneficial for everyone in every hour of music therapy. That includes our Direct Support Professionals, too! Our staff looks forward to this opportunity to sing, dance, and work with participants on their own moves.

We wind down our busy music hour with Dave using a special countdown to goodbye. Since Dave visits our program through Zoom for the time being, this routine is a great way to sign off with a special friend. After a great hour of singing, clapping, and dancing, our Day Services Program members are in high spirits for the next activities on our schedule.

Learn More About Day Programs at Indian Creek Foundation

Indian Creek Foundation serves adults with disabilities Monday through Friday in our Day Services Program. Our participants enjoy programming that is individualized to support their goals. We work closely with participants and their families to help them achieve their own desired outcomes. For more information on our Day Services Program, call 267-203-1500 ext. 132.