Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Adapted Song Series: Clap, Clap, Clap

The adapted song series features songs with simple chord progressions that have been useful in music therapy settings. These songs have memorable tunes and offer logical and predictable opportunities to substitute words, sounds and actions for lyrics and movements in the original song. These songs are especially useful for teachers and parents in between music therapy sessions.

Clap, Clap, Clap is from the Musik Garten album, Family Music: Clap With Me.

This song is so catchy that teachers and kids will never forget the tune. It is easily sung without accompaniment and the motions that go along with the song help to keep it lively and engaging. The original song asks for movements like: clapping, tapping toes, and clicking heels. There is an instrumental interlude between each movement request in the lyrics.


1. Sing on “la” or other syllable sounds (i.e., “ma,” “za,” “ha,” “ho,” are very successful) during the instrumental interludes. This is perfect for working on speech and language objectives for beginning consonant sounds and vowel sounds.

2. Conduct the instrumental music with your hand or make a “music wand” with ribbons and streamers.

3. Encourage students to make choices about what motor movements can be done. I have used: blink your eyes, pat your knees, pat your head, stomp your feet, etc.

This song has been so successful for use with children who have disabilities because you can tailor the movements to be as simple as blinking your eyes. This allows children in a wheelchair or with severe physical disabilities to successfully be part of the group activity. Clap, Clap, Clap also uses very few chords and can easily be played in the key of D on the guitar or keyboard. The lyrics are very repetitive and therefore provide multiple opportunities for children to hear instructions. Finally, I like the structure of the song since it provides predictable sections of music without lyric accompaniment. Verbal prompts and instructions can be used at these times to reinforce what will happen in the song.

Amazon has the CD here:

Clap With Me

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