Special Education Music Lessons with Lynn Kleiner

  • Drumming with Music Rhapsody materials using Sound Shapes have been one of the most successful activities for my special education classes. There are a variety of limitations for playing, but the sound shapes offer flexibility with the variety of shapes and sizes and ways to play (you can easily tap with the mallet, held on either end, their hand, even tap it on a knee or arm of a wheel chair to produce a sound). I have one student who is deaf. She loves holding the drum on her head, sometimes the frame, sometimes the drumhead and tapping the drum. At first, this was challenging for her to do by herself. When we first started our lessons, a caregiver would play the drum for her. She would lean close to place her head on the drum. Then came the sparkle in her eyes and the big smile! After many lessons, she was able to coordinate holding the drum on her head and playing it herself. She also entertains us as she presses harder on the drum, or removes it from her head, causing the drum to change pitch! Sounds like a talking drum!

    Here are some of our drumming favorites:

    • Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too: Drum and Stop (Shake and Stop), Jig Jog (this one is great for the repeating words sung on the beat, which stimulates response), Somebody’s Knockin at the door.
    • Songs of the Sea: Ten Fish in the Sea, both the children and caregivers love this recording. 
    • “Exploration Music” from Music Rhapsody’s “Our Favorite Shenanigans” (Cotton Eyed Joe, Louisiana Saturday Night)
    • The ukulele is another important instrument for the class. Each week, we have more participation. The caregivers help the children to put out their index finger. When it’s a child’s turn, we sing their name as a part of the Hello song as they strum the ukulele. Once again, my deaf student loves to hold the ukulele against her head as I strum.
    • Hello Song – A variety of Hello songs are available in lynnkleinersmusicbox.com. (I use one for the entire school year)
    • If All of the Raindrops from In All Kinds of Weather, Kids Make Music, repeating this week after week has brought more and more participation. I also use Who’s That Hatching from this same book and use my adorable puppets: duck, turtle, hummingbird, robin, penguin (if you know me, you know I have lot of options! Ha)
    • Movement participation is quite limited for most of the children, however, more participation is observed from the weekly song “Up So High” from Kids Make Music, Babies Make Music Too.
      • “High” - Arms up
      • “Low” - Arms low
      • “Shake” - Shake hand (jazz hands!)
      • “Around we go” – One arm over another
      • “Hold them So!” - Freeze hold after I say “On your chin!” or “On your nose,” etc


    I think the caregivers I see each week are the most loving, caring people on the planet! God bless them! I hope I can bring some special happiness in their week. I know they bring lots in mine.

    Professional Development with Lynn Kleiner