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Music Therapist Shows How to Use Music to Boost Self-Esteem

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As a music therapist, I not only focus on traditional therapy goals such as speech/communication, but I also work to boost a child's self-esteem. Here is a great song that you can use with individuals with special needs. 

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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.


  • Gale Holzhauer Friday, 08 August 2014

    How timely for me. I love it when life works this way. I have decided to explore a Disabilities Chorus initiative (read "hopefully inclusive") in our region. Talking about it with possible co-leaders/accompanists now. This song would make a great first warm-up and icebreaker. You are right on as usual and yes, with any age group. Self advocacy and self-esteem are definitely a part of the plan so the universe aligned when I clicked your link...or maybe it was in place many many eons ago. Okay that's pushing it. This is still awesome however! Thanks, Gale :)

  • michele Sunday, 10 August 2014

    I know a very "strong" little girl who thinks that you are "funny"! This is also good for building friendships, learning about shared interests, eye contact and other non-verbal language skills, and it can be carried over to assist as a reminder when kiddos are not feeling so good that they are in fact, awesome! Great for vocabulary development as well! Thank you for the "I am" song! .... I am grateful!

  • Janey Tuesday, 12 August 2014

    Thanx Ryan simple but effective rhythm and song and I liked learning the simple change for adolescents/ adults cheers Janey

  • Christine Korb Wednesday, 13 August 2014

    Ryan Judd,
    you are truly
    I love your stuff!!
    See you at conference? I missed you last November, hope to catch you in Nashville!

  • Christine Korb Wednesday, 13 August 2014

    Ryan Judd,
    you are totally,
    Hope to see you at conference in Nashville!

  • Michelle van Rooyen Thursday, 14 August 2014

    Dear Ryan

    Thank you for your blog! I am an OT and use music to help with flow of handwriting from children as young as 4 years old and obviously has other benefits such as self esteem, lowered stress and overall taking the pressure off academics with using the age appropriate element of fun! I wondered if you have been involved in the link between patterns and rhythm needed for handwriting ( especially joined) and music?
    Warm regards,

  • Laurie Saturday, 16 August 2014

    Love what you're doing! :)

  • joy Sunday, 17 August 2014

    Thank for making this information available. Hope many will take advantage of your information and skill.

  • joy Sunday, 17 August 2014

    Thank you for making this information available. Hope many will take advantage of your knowledge and experience.

  • Lindsey Thursday, 28 August 2014

    Thank you for sharing! I am an elementary music teacher who sees special needs K3 students and I'm going to try this one out! Thanks again!

  • Alison Monday, 10 November 2014

    Delightful presentation and useable composition for developing self-esteem. Thanks!

  • Ryan Judd Wednesday, 25 March 2015

    Thanks Alison! I hope that you get a chance to use this song with a child! You are AWESOME!!! :)

  • Sue Moyer Tuesday, 27 January 2015

    I am really interested in music therapy for my daughter. She is 15 nonverbal on autism spectrum. But school is very unwilling to add music therapy to her IEP.

  • Ryan Judd Wednesday, 25 March 2015

    Hi Sue, schools are starting to become more open to music therapy as a related or enrichment service on a child's IEP, but there still is some resistance depending on the school and special ed director. I put together some helpful information about music therapy and the IEP. Go to my about page, , and scroll down to the header "Music Therapy and the IEP." I hope that helps!!!

  • Anna Wednesday, 11 January 2017

    What a great site - thanks for all these ideas. I do drama and movement sessions with pre-schoolers and love this self-esteem song! Look forward to trying it!

  • Ryan Wednesday, 18 January 2017

    Thanks Anna! I'm so glad that you like the site and the ideas. I hope they help!

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