Rett Syndrome Awareness Month - Music Activities | Tuned in to Learning Blog

Rett Syndrome Music Activities for Therapy

Music is a common strength, talent, and interest in girls with Rett Syndrome. This full color illustrated tips page with Rett Syndrome music activities can be printed or shared with teachers, speech therapists, physical therapists, music therapists, nurses, and parents. As defined by The International Rett Syndrome Foundation, “Rett syndrome is a unique developmental disorder that is first recognized in infancy and seen almost always in girls, but can be rarely seen in boys. It is caused by mutations on the X chromosome on a gene called MECP2 and causes problems in brain function that are responsible for cognitive, sensory, emotional, motor and autonomic function. These can include learning, speech, sensory sensations, mood, movement, breathing, cardiac function, and even chewing, swallowing, and digestion.”

Music and Rett syndrome research supports the benefits of music therapy in the treatment and many parents of girls with Rett syndrome have found music to be an integral part of their daughter’s life.  Coast Music Therapy has compiled the latest studies with the most persuasive results and regularly updates this list to reflect the most current research. Overall, music, rhythm, and musical instruments are of significant interest and motivation to girls with Rett syndrome and have been used successfully in preliminary studies to increase purposeful hand use, communication, choice making, activation of augmentative devices, and self-regulation.

To view the most updated music therapy Rett Syndrome research, click here.

Five Tips for Rett Syndrome Music Activities

  1. Play eye-catching instruments, such as an ocean drum or radiant tambourine in different positions to help visual tracking.
  2. Use pictures of favorite songs, instruments, or singers during choice making activities.
  3. Try a mallet-cuff, Velcro wrist bells, a cabasa or a chime tree as accessible instrument options from West Music. 
  4. Add music instrument sound effects to stories to gain attention and focus.
  5. Record the last word of a song on a switch and have your child fill-in-the-blank. For example, record “O” on a switch, and sing Old MacDonald, leaving off the “O” in “E-I-E-I-O” and waiting for her to hit the switch.

Click on the image below to download or share the PDF Infographic version of these five tips with adorable artwork by talented illustrator Megan Gilbert.

Rett Syndrome Music Therapy Tips PDF | Tuned in to Learning

Two Music CDs that Help with Therapy Goals for Rett Syndrome:

1. Tuned in to Learning Volume 8:  Skill Building for Multiple Disabilities

2. Tuned in to Learning Volume 9:  Adapted Dance and Movement