Saturday, 1 December 2012

I can...Sing!

Happy Holidays! You can't help notice that music is surrounding us at this time of year. Kids who use AC, may want to talk about music, make song requests or sing along! In this issue, we will explore ways for kids to actively participate in music and enjoy this special time of year.

Song Boards
A song board is a visual representation of the content of the song. It provides children who use AC with an opportunity to make choices, direct the activity or talk about songs. It's a fun way to help kids experience the power of communication.

Boardmaker Share (  is a free activity exchange website where you can download activities made by others and /or upload ones that you've created.  You need  to own Boardmaker software to use or create activities.  

The song boards created at Thames Valley Children's Centre are listed below can be downloaded for FREE by typing "Song Board" into the search box on the Boardmaker Share website. 

Errorless Song Boards:
Old MacDonald
Wheels on the Bus
Shapes Hokey Pokey
If You’re Happy and You Know it (Emotions) 
  • Kids can pick any one of the choices presented without the fear of making a mistake.
  • Reinforces choice making by following through with the choice selected.
  • Provides an opportunity to model symbols to enhance understanding.
  • Provides an opportunity to use symbols expressively e.g. "You said 'babies'. You told me to sing about babies."

Sequencing Song Boards:
5 Green and Speckled Frogs
5 Little Ducks
5 Little Monkeys
Farmer and the Dell
Itsy Bitsy Spider
There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly
  • Kids need to listen and attend in order to pick the next part of the song sequence.
  • Provides an opportunity to make a mistake when sequencing numbers or verses. Making mistakes is a great way to learn!
  • Provides an opportunity to model symbols to enhance understanding.
  • Provides an opportunity to use symbols expressively, including both fringe vocabulary and core words.
  • Concepts may include: numbers, body parts, concepts such as up/down, over, away.
If you'd like to share this information about Song Boards, you can print a handout here:  Song Boards

Talking about Music using Core Vocabulary
Talking about a favourite song or artists can be very motivating for many kids. Provide opportunities for your students to use their core vocabulary to talk about music.  See how many phrases/sentence you can create using a core vocabulary board.  For more information on core vocabulary see our February 2009 issue.

I like it!
Turn it up/down
It's good
It's bad
Make it different/change it
Play more/again
My turn/ your turn (to pick a new song/instrument)
I don't like that
                                Good, good, good
                         I love it!
Who is it? (ask which artist)

Playing music on an SGD: Did you know that many Speech Generating Devices can play songs? Although, the primary purpose of the device is to communicate, many people also use it as a way to physically access their music. Here is some information from some SGD manufacturers:

Dynavox V or VMax:
Springboard Lite:

Singing with an SGD: Some people have even composed songs using their SGD! Here is some information on how you can use a Dynavox Speech Generating Device to sing.  Download the "Comprehensive Series 5 Manual" and search for Song Editor (Chapter 14, Pages 25-43).

Snoopi Botten performed at the ISAAC (International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication) conference in July 2012. You can check out his fabulous performances here: 


Another amazing performer singing with her Speech Generating Device:



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