By Lisa Barnett, MT-BC
The “My House” interactive music therapy songbook was a dream finally realized in 2010. The first few books made their way into a program called The Starfish Project which was an inclusive music and arts program in the Clawson Public Schools. Lisa wanted to find a vehicle that would bring students with autism together with their peers in general education. The “My House” book provided a missing link to build friendship and camaraderie in a non-threatening way. All of the children enjoyed submitting photos to create their stories about where they lived, who they lived with and the special things and people that were important in their lives. The books made their debut at a program called Arts Alive and were displayed at a family concert featuring the Swingset Mamas. The students were very proud of their creations and took great pride in sharing them with family and friends.
As more interest developed regarding the “My House” book, Lisa decided to take the book to the next level and hired graphic designer John Boissy to help re-design the book. Lisa wrote the song in 2010 and the CD was recorded by Ed Sertage in his studio in Ferndale, Michigan in May of 2011. Lisa is accompanied by Stephen Scapelliti on guitar, David Appelman on flute and Brandon Moses on the bass.
The “My House” song includes a repetitive chorus and four distinct phrases where the child has the opportunity to “fill in the blank” by singing or saying specific words from a word menu of over 125 words. A total of 17 photographs are necessary to complete the story.
The phrases include: This is the ____at my house. This is a _____at my house. This is my ____ at my house. These are the _____ at my house.
Included in the PDF there are also materials for creating interactive name and address boards.
You will download the entire book and make it yourself. The first two pages of the PDF contain directions. The very last page of the PDF is the Word Menu. It is suggested that you print out the PDF on letter size 8 ½”x11” white card stock. The entire file is 69 pages long so you will need 68 pages of white cardstock to print it out. It is suggested that the Menu Board located on page 68 should be printed out on yellow card stock so when you load your paper you should make sure that you include one sheet of yellow cardstock for page 68.
The author, Lisa Barnett, wanted to find a vehicle that would bring students with autism together with their peers in general education. The “My House” book provided a missing link to build friendship and camaraderie in a non-threatening way. All of the children enjoyed submitting photos to create their stories about where they lived, who they lived with and the special things and people that were important in their lives.
Audio file is included.
Laura J. Duda, MT-BC Laura J. Duda, MT-BC –
“My House” offers a unique resource for families seeking to help their child cope and express themselves during hospitalization. Pediatric patients who are missing the familiarity and normalcy of routine can recall and rehearse their experiences from home using their very own “My House” book. This is a wonderful tool for children with various diagnoses facing long hospital stays.
Rachel Rambach, MM, MT-BC –
When Lisa Barnett first contacted me about her new songbook, I was intrigued…but it wasn’t until I received my copy that I realized just how useful it would be in my practice.
My House is an interactive songbook designed for children with autism which lets them share their stories about where they live, who they live with and the special things and people that are important in their lives. The book has spaces on each page to add a photo and corresponding label, giving children and their families the creative license to choose which elements of “their house” will be featured.
I didn’t waste any time putting the songbook to use, and I had just the student in mind to try it out with for the first time. My student, her mom and I had so much fun singing about “her house” for the first time last week! Each page allowed an opportunity for her to name the person/room/item in the photo, and then find the word to match. After we labeled each photo with the correct word, we went back through and sang the song together.
The song itself, which Lisa wrote and recorded professionally, is singable and super catchy — my client was still singing it after we were finished. You can listen to it here.
Again, I have to tell you just how impressed I am with this new resource. My student looks forward to singing about “her house” every week, and she has made some awesome progress on her reading and identification goals!
Julie Hutchinson –
As an ASD teacher/consultant for 35 years, I have had the pleasure of working with Lisa in my classroom, and I was very excited to hear of the launch of the “My House” book. Using personalized visuals along with music is an amazing and practical method to improve language and communication skills. I was so impressed, I purchased a book for a young family member, and the response was very positive. Hats off to Lisa!!