I LOVE music. I HATE children’s music…in general. It is one of the many reasons that I decided to work with adults in my Music Therapy career. Discovering Rock Your Speech for the first time helped me to like music for a child in a new way. Rock Your Speech is quality music. Rock Your Speech music has the structure and formula that I enjoy as an adult, but has the elements that work for a child’s preference at the same time. When I heard the song “Blue” I wanted to hear it over and over again. I shared the Rock Your Speech songs with my five year old daughter, we listened to them daily and she couldn’t stop singing them.
As a musician I believe in the power of rock and roll. It has changed my life and helped shape who I am today. As a music therapist I believe in the power of music to make wrongs right and to make a way where there wasn’t one before.
If you need to activate communication in a person, one of the most universal phenomena’s is to use music as a tool for both comprehension and expression. It is scientifically proven that music can access many areas of the brain.
Rock Your Speech is a tool designed to engage the human brain, body and spirit to communicate through singing initially. Singing is the way that every human being on this planet learned to how to speak. It is intrinsic to sing and be changed through music. It is true that some children need more time or a different way to learn the basics in life. Rock Your Speech skillfully and cleverly uses specific instrumentation and composition to help those that are limited in communication. The benefits to using Rock Your Speech are limitless.
—Maegan Morrow MT-BC
Board Certified Music Therapist
Neurologic Music Therapy Fellow
I was a musician and songwriter and performer long before I became a teacher. With my own children, poems and music definitely opened the door to their learning. They each learned to read at three years of age and the songs we sang had everything to do with it.
When I became a special education teacher, in 1998, incorporating music into my daily lessons was a natural for me, especially when I started working with autistic individuals. Since then, I have been fortunate to observe wonderful improvements in my students on so many different levels -- academically and socially. How thrilled I was when two of my students shared a microphone and looked into each others' eyes as they sang!
While we could certainly sing any number of tunes, my teenage students aren't likely to be as interested in kiddie songs like "Wheels On The Bus". They want to be connected to something contemporary and hip. A few of my colleagues have music playing in the classroom, but the songs can be pretty raunchy, and the students never seem to gain more than a few sassy remarks that take them nowhere.
Enter Tom Petersson's Rock Your Speech. While others have tried to introduce hook-laden pop sensibilities into the arena of children's music, they have largely fallen short in one area: the lyrics. Rhyming words and pretty ideas are one thing. With Tom Petersson's Rock Your Speech, it is clear that a larger and more thoughtful approach is at work.
One glance at the names of the songs on the first volume of Rock Your Speech and we discover that the songs are built around basic topics of conversation that anybody with autism needs to know. "What's Your Name?" "I'd Like To See You" and "Help Me" are all songs on the album that strike at this very theme. Combine this with genuinely catchy music from one of the icons of rock and you have songs with a definite purpose. Likewise, you have tunes that are just pleasant to hear.
This would be enough, but the album takes the whole thing a few steps further. Songs like "I'm Going Places" "Me Being Me" and "Close Your Eyes" send a message of validation to the autistic listener. I have often thought that my students face a life of punishment for no worse crime than working really hard to deal with a constant barrage of sensory information they are ill equipped to manage. How nice it is to send them a message that speaks to who they are, with respect and dignity.
I have ordered two copies of Volume One. I offered one as a fundraiser gift and another to play in my classroom, in the morning as the kids are getting ready for the day. To hear them beginning to hum the tunes and say the words - at first to themselves, then to others - tells me that the Peterssons are on the right track.
On a side note: It makes a big difference to me that the Peterssons make this such a family affair. They exemplify the network of support that has made such a big difference in the progress of my most successful students. Alison, Tom, Lilah, and Liam all put a hip, smiling face on this entire project, and I am looking forward to lots more from them.
My biggest challenge now is learning how to play "Blue" -- the radio-worthy track that kicks off Rock Your Speech. My students are starting to demand that song during our daily music sessions. I'm beginning to see that "Oh Susanna" and "Stray Cat Strut" aren't going to do it for very much longer.
I LOVE Rock Your Speech, I was hooked the first time I heard "Blue"! I am a pediatric Occupational Therapist. Music and the voice are powerful tools that I use in all of my therapy sessions. Music is processed throughout the brain. Because of the concept of neuroplasticity, I can use music, (melody, rhythm, and lyrics), to facilitate such things as movement, meaning and emotion in literally EVERY area of the brain. I have been able to use Rock Your Speech with students of all ages to address my goals in the areas of:
*Focus and attention
*Receptive and expressive listening and communication
*improved bilateral integration and motor function
Finally music for kids that doesn't sound like "music for kids" but just good music. I can't wait for Rock Your Speech 2.
-Laurie C OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Rock Your Speech was the centerpiece of two worlds colliding. A long time Cheap Trick fan, I'm a speech-language pathologist who incorporates music into my therapy sessions any chance I can. Rock Your Speech vol 1 gave me a therapy tool that wasn't like all the other child directed music I use. My students loved the song 'What's Your Name' during the first week of school. We were able to target several language skills within one song: greeting, responding, eye contact, hand shaking, turn taking. The song 'Rock Your Speech' is a fun way for students with articulation delays to practice their /s/ sound. Even after the session, you can hear them singing, "Rock your Speech!"
Rock Your Speech vol 1 is a unique compilation of music that helps me target numerous speech and language skills with students at all levels of the developmental continuum.
-Angela J, MA, CCC-SLP
I'm the mother of two children on the autism spectrum, and Maisy, my youngest, in particular has struggled with speech her whole life.
As soon as we got Rock Your Speech Volume 1, I put it on to Maisy's ever-present iPad. She took to it straight away (as did I to be honest!). I also dug out an old iPod Touch I had years ago, I dusted it off and uploaded the new album on to it. That's all it contains, and we call it her special Rock Your Speech iPod.
One song in particular, "What's Your Name?", had her attention. Asking people "What's your name?" had been one of the first forms of greeting she had learnt, even though she didn't fully understand the concept. One day she even greeted a friend of ours by name and then asked “What's your name?"
But listening to this song helped her understand the exchange of information behind that question. That you asked someone's name, and they answer with their name. By pure chance, one of the children in the song has the same name as Maisy, and it made it all the more special. She was able to sing her name to the song, then she would sing it to us, and we would answer with our names in turn.
Soon after, she had an epic meltdown. She was having a tremendous amount of trouble calming down and I knew the Rock Your Speech music would help her. We gave her her iPod and when she listened to it with her headphones, it really centered her.
A couple of days later she was in a mood again, and she usually chooses to express that by hitting (walls, furniture, me...), throwing things (iPads, headphones, furniture...), or just yelling and/or repeating demands. I once again used the Rock Your Speech album to calm her. Especially the song “Help Me”. I knew as soon as I heard that, that it was going to work in these situations, where she becomes so upset she forgets her words, which in a vicious circle, causes her to become more agitated. Help Me not only reminds her of the words to use, but its soothing slow pace immediately calms her.
The change in her was hard to believe. It was a complete 180°. She had a huge smile on her face. She even managed to get dressed by herself, all but tying her shoe laces!
It was honestly like magic. Even with all I've seen and experienced so far in parenting two autistic children, some things still astound me, and this was one of those moments.
Once she's settled, she often keeps listening to the other songs just for her own enjoyment.
Later that morning, as she was rolling around on our bed, waiting to be picked up for school by her taxi, she started singing Help Me by herself!
I have utilised music in caring for our kids their whole lives, but this has touched Maisy in a whole new way. It's like it was custom made for her. We now have a quick and easy solution for calming Maisy and helping her to remember her words in stressful situations, and we have Rock Your Speech to thank for that.
Tom Petersson's Rock Your Speech is great music performed and sung by wonderful singers, an amazing family of musicians, and the songwriting is first rate! A CD of music for autism and speech therapy, it is music for everyone! I drive to work each day from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and back again, and I always play the Rock Your Speech CD and ROCK out!!