Video Blog

Ryan Judd

Ryan Judd is a board certified music therapist. He has a master's degree in Music Therapy and a bachelor's degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on Child Development. He has been working as a music therapist with children with special needs for more than 16 years. In addition to working one on one with clients, Ryan also leads groups focused on the development of social skills.  His services are available in Southern New Hampshire, Northern Massachussets and Southern Maine.  He lives in the Seacoast region with his wife who is a 1st grade teacher.

This music therapy video with a client with Angelman syndrome, illustrates the following:

  • Being patient and giving plenty of wait time can bring out the best in children and teens with special needs
  • Using dramatic pauses in music is an excellent way to prompt children and/or teens
  • Having a client strum the guitar with one finger, typically the index finger, is excellent practice for developing the ability to target small areas such as icons on an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device
  • Hello songs are great for teaching appropriate social greetings

To read a transcription of this music therapy and special needs video, click here

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This is an instrumental composition of mine honoring Temple Grandin.  For more information about her please visit:

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This music therapy video with a child with autism illustrates the following:

  • Music is a powerful motivator that can be used to help children with special needs learn communication skills
  • If you are using physical prompts with a child (i.e. hand over hand support), fade the prompts so that the child is independent and successful
  • Apps on the iPad such as this Yes/No app ( can be excellent tools for a child to communicate wants and needs
  • Teaching a child finger individuation and extension skills (i.e. pointing the index finger) is a foundational skill for using augmentative and alternative communication devices (i.e. Dynovox, Springboard, iPad)

To read a transcription of this music therapy and autism video, please click here

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This music therapy session with a client with Down syndrome illustrates the following:

  • Using humor can be an effective way to capture a child's attention and motivate him or her to work on therapeutic goals
  • Physical humor is one of the most effective styles of humor when working with children with special needs
  • Each child will respond to humor differently so take the time to try some different techniques
  • Allow yourself to be silly
  • Visual phonetics help a child understand how to articulate different sounds (

This Music Therapy video with a child with Williams Syndrome illustrates the following:

  • Approach Hyperacusis (high sensitivity to sound) with sensitivity and patience
  • Use humor to create positive associations with loud sounds
  • Let the child control how loud or soft the music is
  • Use instruments to make this activity fun and motivating
  • For more information

To read a transcription of this music therapy and special needs video, please click here

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