I know how frustrating it can be to practice sounds with a child. You see, my child had a speech delay. At best, I could get him to do a few repetitions before receiving one of three reactions…crying, blank stare, or walking away. Then I found “Music!” Implementing music into our practice made it fun and a joyful way for him to gain speech and communication skills. Music helped to eliminate those dreaded reactions and made speech practice fun! It was delightful, motivating, and captivating. Why? Because, music activates multiple regions of the brain and it creates play-filled opportunity for numerous repetitions without the monotony of “drill and kill!”
Speech Example - Straight from Songs
“Oh My Grandpa Had a Car” (sung to the tune of “Old MacDonald”) was a favorite during WeJoySing’s holiday session. The lyrics were:
Oh my grandpa had a car, E-I-E-I-O….
And on his car he had:
A horn, with a beep, beep, here and a beep, beep there.
Some wipers, with a swish, swish here and a swish, swish, there.
A motor, with a bbbbbbbbb (lip raspberry).
A radio, with a la la here, and a la la there.
The “beep beep” of grandpa’s horn guides the child to imitate and practice the easier frontal sounds “B” and “P.” This is wonderful for the emerging talker who is just learning and fun review for those who already have it.
From there we move on to the wipers that have the hardest sounds for little developing mouths, the “sw” and the “sh.” This provides the grown-ups with the perfect opportunity to model these blended sounds for their children. Your children will watch your mouth. They listen and they learn without even realizing it. Plus, they have FUN exploring and developing the sounds because the sound is attached to something “concrete” in their understanding of the world - “Grandpa’s windshield wipers!”
So, you’re thinking, “But I cannot sing!” Let me point out that it really doesn’t matter! Your children aren’t paying attention to how well you sing or even if you are singing on pitch. They are having FUN with YOU! What an absolutely wonderful way to learn and gain new speech and communication skills!
Grandpa’s motor is my favorite! Lip raspberries, better known asrazzies, lip bubbles, or lip trills, are a wonderful tool for the voice. As a matter of fact, every morning before I teach, I warm-up my voice with a series of lip bubbles. They help relax my lips, take pressure off my vocal chords, and focus my awareness of my diaphragm.
“Raspberries” for Volume and Pitch
Lip razzies do a bit of the same for your child, plus more. They teach and guide the child to regulate their voice, how to turn it on and off, and change its volume and pitch. For example, in order to get louder the child’s diaphragm must be engaged. The child learns how to use the diaphragm while controlling his/her lips and tongue.
“Lip Razzies” for Little Ones
For the littler ones, lip razzies develop lip tension. This is important as our babies start eating and drinking so they will have the appropriate lip tension to create a seal for cup drinking. The jaw workout with lip razzies encourages lip development independent of the jaw and tongue, a crucial skill for eating with a spoon and eating chunkier foods.
Why the “La La’s”
Finally, we get to Grandpa’s radio. The “L” sound can be a frequent trouble maker for beginners. The radio “La La’s” are simple and straightforward, as well as fun to sing and easy to model.
WeJoySing is all about the JOY of learning and developing essential skills through music! It’s wonderful that your child has these play-filled and motivating experiences easily built in every lesson! What a JOYFUL way to learn! So, GO and make silly sounds and sing about “Grandpa’s Car” knowing that you are laying the strong foundation for your child’s speech, communication and vocabulary!