Kaila Rochelle's 
Special Needs Singing Exercises Web Page
 

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  Quadriplegia, Communication Disabilities and the Joy and Satisfaction of Mastering a Challenge

About These Singing Exercises
(A note to families, teachers, administrators, physical and speech therapists)

It has been my classroom experience that students with extremely limited, or no ability, to control movement of their hands, arms, legs, feet, or neck muscles, derive great joy and satisfaction from singing the following exercises on a regular and consistent basis. Mastering a challenge, or at least the self perception (the feeling) of mastering that challenge, coupled with the experience of joyful expression and the sense of accomplishment to successfully follow simple directions, is therapeutic.

The exercises are based on simple syllable sounds and broken chord ascending progressions. The syllables are sung as smoothly connected sounds (legato).
 
   
Ma Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_ma.html
Wa Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_wa.html
Ga Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_ga.html
Go Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_go.html
A E I O U Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_aeiou.html
Ma May Me Mo Mu Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_mamayme.html
   
  Some students with cerebral palsy/quadriplegia and severely limited arm movements still enjoy participating in the sing/clap exercises.
They can move their upper arms forward slightly. Some can slide their hands slightly over the keys of a Casio keyboard.
 
   
Sing Sing Sing Clap Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_sing_sing_sing_clap.html
Sol Mi Sol Clap Vocal Exercise vocal_exercise_sol_mi_sol_clap.html
   
  Parents have told me about the joyful interaction between family members when they sing these exercises as part of a routine. Although there is much to be gained from the therapeutic value, none-the-less it is important for the student to have fun. No-one need be a great singer, they just need to derive satisfaction from their participation and sense of communication and independence. This therapeutic experience involves emotional, social, physical and speech development.

The singing exercises benefit  students with:

- quadriplegia
- cerebral palsy
- muscular dystrophy
- spinal injuries/birth defects
- brain injuries/ birth defects
- central nervous system disabilities resulting in extremely limited to no physical proficiency
- neuro motor sensory disabilities
- severe communication disabilities

Connections to Physical Therapy Motivation
(Reinforcement and Generation of New Abilities)

- Encourages use of muscles involved with breathing: diaphragm, ribs, shoulders
- Encourages increased posturing and positioning
- Encourages relaxation of neck muscles

Connections to Speech Therapy

- Encourages creation of sound
- Encourages monitoring of  volume
- Encourages auditory feedback
- Encourages response and the following of one step directions
- Encourages use of the facial/cranial muscles
- Encourages the student to practice syllables using both consonants and vowel sounds

Social and Emotional Development

- Enables the student to participate in a group activity without physical prompts
- Enables the student to develop and practice a routine
- Enables the student to shine as a soloist and as a class leader honor student
- Enables the student to develop an ability that is appropriate to any age
- Enables the student to share a joyful experience with family members
- Enables the student to develop musical abilities

 
   
Links

 
Cerebral Palsy Source http://www.cerebralpalsysource.com/Types_of_CP/quadriplegia_cp/index.html
Quadriplegic, Paraplegic & Caregiver Resources http://www.sci-info-pages.com/state-resources.html
Siblings of Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy Children http://voices.yahoo.com/ways-help-siblings-quadriplegia-cerebral-palsy-6410532.html?cat=25
Types of Cerebral Palsy http://www.cerebralpalsy.org/types-of-cerebral-palsy/
   
   
   
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