The unique strength of our music therapy social skills group is its focus on enabling peer-to-peer interactions. Its main purpose is to provide children with a sense of belonging to a group that engages in collaborative tasks. These experiences increase participants acknowledgement and awareness of others. From beginning to end of group sessions, fun music-centered activities are interwoven to delineate the structure of the session.
The group setting provides opportunities for children to practice socialization skills.
How might this look like in-session?
From the moment the children step into the room with their fellow group members, they are working towards our set goals:
- Modeling behavior (Social referencing) through call-and-response drumming activities
- Turn taking
- Sharing instruments
- Acknowledgement of others
- Taking leadership
Increasing opportunities for social interaction such as: waiting for turns, sharing instruments and props, using appropriate verbal cues to articulate their own “needs” and “wants”, respecting the personal space of other group members, following directions from a leader, and practicing leadership skills.
Increasing awareness of other group members and leader; increasing a sense of belonging to a group and participating in group tasks such as drumming circles.
Increasing opportunities for self-expression through playing music and sharing experiences with group members.
Who is a good candidate for Group Music Therapy?
Interest in music is a must!
Any child who needs to work on socialization skills and cues and who is medium to high functioning while being capable of following directions are good candidates for Group Music Therapy.
Common areas of concern:
Respecting personal space, Taking things without asking
Not engaging in Greetings and goodbyes, Lack of Awareness of others
Difficulty waiting turns, Assertive communication
Being withdrawn, Lack of confidence
However, a child might not be ready for group sessions if he or she, exhibits aggressive or hostile disruptive behaviors such as hitting, pulling hair, and/or screaming. For those children, we recommend to start with individual session.