October is a fun time of year. The leaves are turning, pumpkins and apples are involved in almost every food and drink, and high schools and colleges are celebrating Homecoming. With Homecoming comes a lot of festivities, and one of the festivities my clients look forward to is the parade. We discussed all the things we see in parades: fire trucks, tractors, floats, and bands. We also talked about how we enjoy each entry one at a time and how they all are part of the whole parade. That was my lead in to the intervention Instrument Parade. I used this intervention with DD groups as well as older adult groups, and they both loved it.

Need: A variety of instruments. I split larger groups in to three parts: drums, tambourines, and rhythm sticks. In smaller groups, each person received a different instrument. I used a cabasa, drum, maraca, tambourine, vibraslap, and guiro.

Process: Go over the name of each instrument and pass them out. Give choices of color or instrument, depending on which group you’re working with. Explain that there’s going to be an instrument parade and each instrument will come in one at a time giving the direction “listen for your instrument.” The only person playing at the beginning is the MT. Sing through the song (to the tune of “Oh When the Saints Go Marching In”), providing verbal/physical cues as needed for consumers to wait their turn, play, or keep going. The idea is to build the instrument parade, so once an instrument has been called it will play for the rest of the song. For an extra challenge in DD groups, have them trade instruments and go through the song again. This time, they will be listening for a new instrument.

Oh when the (instrument) goes marching in
Oh when the (instrument) goes marching in
How I want to be in that number
When the (instrument) goes marching in

Areas worked on: Following directions, impulse control, focus of attention, turn-taking

Morgan Henderson, MT-BC