3 Cool {Musical} Things #4

Hi all!


3 MORE cool things to share from me this week! And special thanks to Cha for jumping last week! I love it when people want to share their 3 cool things. Everyone is doing such cool things out there. PLEASE share your secret genius! #thankyoukevin!

The 3 cool things I did this week, have a MUSICAL THEME!


Well, you already know that I love TEXT INNOVATIONS and I similarly LOVE song innovations. SO, take your favourite tune and change up the words to suit the language/concepts you are working on with the students.

For example, I was doing a simple reader with a student this week. It had a repetitive language structure to read – “He likes ____”, “She likes ____”. The student was wiggling in his chair, losing interest, having difficulty staying on task – SO: cue SINGING! I started singing the 3 word sentence to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell” [PLEASE note: this is my GO TO tune! HA HA HA!]

“He likes balls.

He like balls.

Bounce and bounce and bounce and bounce.

He likes balls.”

Mission achieved! Book read. 3 word sentence structure practiced! Simple and effective.


Song innovation: Sitting on the Wall example:

Photo 26-06-2014 6 35 58 pm

And now a quick video of an activity in action, with my little mate Dylan. He loves music-based activities. Here he is learning colour concepts and simple word combinations in this “Sitting on the Wall” song. Song is to the tune of  “Ten Green Bottles”.

[youtube id=”YW9R7P3EkiU”]

And here are the activity files that I created in Boardmaker – just in case you want to try this one out! {PS> If you try this activity: in the video Dylan was on the last animal, but I always let the students CHOOSE which animal we put on the wall as a component of this activity.}

Click this link to download the PDF files of the activity: sittingonthewall 



So, you must of been under a rock if you haven’t heard about the BEAMZ…….


Read all about it HERE.

You can also see what my mate Aaron had to say HERE.

This week I have been giving it a test run with heaps of kids (and let’s be honest, I have done my fair share of jamming on my own too!). First impressions – anyone can make music, loads of opportunities for interaction and communication and the enjoyment and engagement from the students is awesome!

I have had it hooked up to the iPad and to my Macbook.

Photo 20-06-2014 12 45 09 pm

Photo 20-06-2014 10 45 25 am

I am working on developing some literacy and communication goals linked to the BEAMZ and this is a whole separate BLOG post, so stay tuned… more from me on the BEAMZ soon!


iPad apps are a cool and easy way to create MUSIC! Here are some ones you might like to try!

* For some really fun (and a little annoying) music – load up TOCA BAND. Loads of interesting characters that play different musical instruments and sounds. All the tones and rhythms are in tune and it is an easy way for younger students to create music.

[link ids=”toca-band”]

* For the little ones, they also seem to LOVE creating music by tapping the fun coloured balls in this SAGO MINI SOUND BOX app. They can follow cues to play tunes, or play their own music.

[link ids=”sago-mini-sound-box”]

* My favourite piano app:

[link ids=”virtuoso-piano-free-3″]

but if you are feeling naughty trying this one:

[link ids= “burp-and-fart-piano”]

PS> this isn’t very musical, but can make people laugh!

* Go fancy and high tech, with SO many music choices with GARAGE BAND. Great for music creation for older kids. {ps. I am hopeless at making music at this, but somehow the kids just know how to do it!}

[link ids=”garage-band”]

* Get the BEAMZ app to give it a test run just on your iPad. It’s still fun. Not as fun as having the whole kit and caboodle. #justsaying

[link ids=”beamz”]

* Best ever music app….. SONGIFY… wow…. the number of spoken words I have turned into a song – stories, task instructions, organisational tasks, schedules, social stories, poems, raps, etc. etc. etc.

[link ids=”songify”]


Okay, sing your little hearts out, rock that music-making – and BEST EVER – engage those students in COOL learning!

{Follow me on TWITTER: AmandaHartmann8 #3coolthings }



Amanda Hartmann

Amanda is a Speech Pathologist with over 17 years experience. She has worked within educational settings, as an Inclusive Technology Consultant with Spectronics www.spectronics.com.au , and currently focuses her time on her busy private practice. Amanda is a Key Word Sign/Makaton Presenter, an official Proloquo2Go trainer www.assistiveware.com/amanda-hartmann and an official expert TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. She is also a certified Apple Trainer and regularly runs iPad workshops to help schools integrate iPad technology into the classroom, for all learners. Amanda has a special interest in supporting and developing communication, literacy and learning for a wide range of diverse learners, often through the use of visual tools, sign language and technology. She has spent many years providing therapy support and teacher/parent training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for students with complex communication needs, due to disabilities such as: Cerebral palsy and other Physical impairments, Visual impairment, Hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Impairment, Angelman Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and others. She also has specialist knowledge to support the literacy learning of students with learning difficulties, language impairments and other diverse learning needs. She is passionate about providing interactive and engaging presentations to educators, parents and therapists.

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