Goal: Socialization, normalization, coping

Materials: Hand drums, other small percussive instruments

Procedure: MT introduces different instruments; patient(s) or student(s) chooses which instrument(s) they want to participate with. MT plays on hand drum and creates repeating rhythm on drum and asks pt/stu to join in however they see fit. After playing drums together, MT instructs pt to play back responses both on drum and verbally to questions asked by MT (MT will also play drum/verbalize their part).

Questions might include:

How are you feeling?

How has your day been?

How do you feel about being in the hospital/at school?

What are you looking forward to?

What makes you sad?

What makes you happy?

What do you do when you’re happy/sad?


Adaptations: If student doesn’t want to verbalize, they can play response on drum only. If student doesn’t respond well to question, MT offers to continue doing improv with drums.

Extensions: For group setting, take turns and let each pt respond to questions or add their own type of new rhythm with their instrument of choice in order to add to the improv circle. Encourage socialization and interaction between pts.



Further ReadingEdit


Laura Meehan