Halloween is one of my favorite times of year at the studio because of all the different festivities that take place! The week leading up to Halloween, we begin something we call Costume Week. True to its name, Costume Week encourages everyone, clients and staff, to come to the studio in their Halloween costume! My friends who work in the office often have a different costume for every day of the week! Spooky decor can be found throughout the studio, and sometimes scary music can be heard in the rooms. I like to do something a little different with my music therapy clients during Costume Week to change things up a bit.
When I think of Halloween, the first thing that comes to mind aside from costumes is going trick or treating. Trick or treating is a highlight of my own childhood, and something I enjoy being involved in now as an adult in my neighborhood. For my music therapy clients, I host something I call the Social Skills Instrument Trick or Treat. This looks different for each of my clients, as their social goals vary. I prepare by asking a few of the teachers to take one of my instruments into their room. Once each room is stocked with an instrument, at the start of each of my sessions I help my clients practice their version of trick or treating. For some, the goal is to make eye contact and take the instrument. For others, the verbal interaction is a larger component where they say “hello”, “trick or treat”, and “thank you”. Once we have collected all the instruments, we head back to my music therapy room to explore how to play them. We chat about Halloween, costumes, favorite candy, and so much more while we play the instruments. Then I reset by returning all the instruments to the teachers to do it all over again with my next kiddo!
I look forward to this event every year. I love taking my kids door to door, seeing them knock and trick or treat in a way that matches their social goals, and especially watching them interact with the other teachers at the studio. It warms my heart to see my coworkers volunteering to be part of this activity to help my clients develop their social skills. These sweet teachers are always smiling, asking the kids about their costumes, and so vibrantly kind to them. It’s incredibly encouraging to be surrounded by teachers who are so welcoming and willing to help me make Halloween and Costume Week something special for my clients!