Boom! Boom!

Boom! Boom!

When practicing music therapy with children, the music therapist often times finds herself/himself incorporating academic goals into their session plans: colors, numbers, letters, etc.  While I was working with a young girl with autism, I learned that one of her current academic goals was to learn and recognize occupations in the community, or “community helpers”.

In order to address this goal in her music therapy session, I piggybacked off of the song, “Boom, Boom, Ain’t It Great to Be Crazy?” to create, “Boom, Boom, Ain’t It Great to Be A(n) (insert occupation)?”  If you want to listen to the original song, I’m posting a link to the most annoying and ridiculous version I could find: Click Here if you want this song stuck in your head for days.

The song ended up working quite well.  It was kid-friendly, repetitive, and conducive to instrument use.  To compliment the “boom” theme, I gave the child (or multiple children, when doing a group session) boomwhackers: instruments that require absolutely no musical ability – just the gross motor skill to “whack” the stick on the ground!  The boomwhackers were only to be played when they heard, “Boom, Boom” — hitting the corresponding tones on each word (boomwhackers come in a variety of notes…in this case, I needed two boomwhackers that were a fourth apart).  By directing them to listen for the words, it promoted auditory awareness, classroom behavior skills, focused listening, and impulse control.  It also kept them engaged, as they patiently waited for their turn to play!

Using the original song’s framework, I inserted verses about various occupations.

Boom, Boom, Ain’t it Great to be a Farmer?
Boom, Boom, Ain’t it Great to be a Farmer?
Digging and planting, the whole day through,
Boom, Boom, Ain’t it Great to be a Farmer?

Other occupations:

Dentist: Cleaning teeth, the whole day through

Doctor:  Helping and healing….etc.

Artist: Drawing and painting

Astronaut: Flying a rocket

Rock Star: Playing the guitar

Clown: Making people laugh

Teacher: Helping students learn

Firefighter: Putting out fires

From here, I created laminated cards with pictures of “community helpers”.  That way, each child could be given the opportunity to make a choice, if presented with two different visuals.  Or, to keep with the community theme, you could create a mailbox (in my case, I folded a piece of felt, stapled it, and pasted a picture of a mailbox on the front) and have each child choose one of the occupation cards that the mailman (an occupation!) put in there.

I’m including a link to the .pdf of my visuals – feel free to download and use them!  Click here to access the document from my Scribd page.

The activity worked well and the child was able to recognize the community helpers 100% of the time after using the song in 5 concurrent sessions.

Any thoughts, criticisms, suggestions, or adaptations regarding this song or topic are welcome!

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