Intervention Inspiration Series: Movement Exercise

As a new initiative for MTSA this summer, we are choosing to share different ideas for Music Therapy practice in the hopes that this will provide a valuable resource for beginning music therapists and as inspiration for practicing therapists. Every Monday, a different intervention idea will be presented. They will be very basic and will be best as beginning inspiration to be varied and adapted for different clinical settings. They may include specific music, but will typically only indicate the style of music to be incorporated.
The following basic format will be given for each intervention: 1) Activity, the type of intervention; 2) Target population, the intended client population for the intervention; 3) Materials, the instruments and supplies required; 4) Goals/Aims, ideas for goals or aims that could be addressed in the intervention; 5) Method, a detailed description of what would occur during the intervention; 6) Comments, an explanation of why this intervention is applicable for the given client population and how the goals/aims are addressed; and 7) Evaluation, questions to allow for reflection on whether or not the intervention was effective for a particular client or clients.

Printable Version (PDF File)

Movement Exercise

by Jennie Jamieson

 Intervention Series - Movement Exercise

Photo Source


Follow the Leader

Target Population:

Children with Down Syndrome




  • For each member of the group to participate
  • To encourage movement
  • To encourage watching each other and engaging
  • To work on motor skills
  • To work on attention span and focus
  • To have fun


The music therapist will begin the activity and teach the body movements that the children will use as they each take turns leading. The children will have the opportunity to practice before they become the leader.


Step of the foot = hit the drum

Stomp of the foot = loud hit on the drum

Two foot jump = two hand hit

Arms floating up beside the body = increase volume

Arms floating down beside the body = decrease volume

Movement of fingers = fast playing on the drum

Pointing and turning = wave on the drums (like the wave at a sporting event)


Kalani (2004) encourages the movement and cooperation of the group with this activity. This activity also requires a great deal of focus because you have to be ready to do whatever the leader is going to tell you. The benefit to this activity is also that there are no verbal instructions so children cannot rely on a verbal cue. They must have their attention on the leader at all times.



  • Did all participants understand the instructions?
  • Did they follow the music therapist well?


  • Did they manage to stay on task?
  • Did they focus their attention well?


  • Were their body movements clear to their peers?
  • Did the group miss any instructions from their peers?
  • Did each leader feel comfortable and enjoy their role?


  • Did they have fun?
  • Was it easy to keep focus while part of the group?


Kalani. (2004). Together in Rhythm. Los Angeles: Alfred Publishing.



About Laurier MTSA

We are a student association at Wilfrid Laurier University and most of our members are students in the Music Therapy program. We exist to educate about, promote, and support the work of music therapy, and to support the academic, career, and personal needs of the Music Therapy Students. Our mandate is to unite prospective, current and alumni students while promoting our profession in the larger community.
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2 Responses to Intervention Inspiration Series: Movement Exercise

  1. Smithe727 says:

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    • Laurier MTSA says:

      At the top right hand side of the website there is an option to “subscribe”. Simply share your email address there and you will be automatically updated every time a new post is released.
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