Out of all the movement props I use, scarves make a frequent appearance in my “music therapist bag of tricks.” There are just so many things you can do with them! One intervention I love, in particular, is something I call Partner Scarves. I typically use this intervention with my DD groups as well as Teen Music Club. Here’s how it works:            

Partner Scarves

  1. Divide group members in pairs. You can do this on the fly or put names in a tambourine and have them draw their partners.
  2. Give each team a scarf.
  3. Demonstrate how each team has to work together to move their scarves. I like to make it fun and silly, showing how if one partner pulls the scarf too hard the other partner loses out and “that’s just no fun!”
  4. Gather ideas from the group for ways to move the scarves (i.e. side to side, up and down, etc.). If the group is higher functioning, I allow the teams to discuss how they are going to move. Otherwise, I model how to move throughout the song.
  5. Choose an upbeat song and start moving! I typically use a recording so my hands are free to assist those who need it. My favorite of the month is “Come With Me Now” by Kongos.

Working on: teamwork, eye contact, motor skills, focus of attention, following directions.

West Music has 3 different sizes of these colorful scarves, but I like using the 54″ scarves because it gives the teams more room to work with. They can be found here. Have fun!

~Morgan Henderson, MT-BC