We got a new toy at the office: a Yamaha DGX-640 keyboard! I am so excited that my suggestion became reality in our clinic, in only a matter of a couple of months. =) Due to the nature of music therapy with the developmentally disabled, I find myself using the keyboard in nearly every session, no matter what cognitive level my clients are currently functioning at. We had two small Casio keyboards (like this) that do the job, though lack the musicality and age appropriateness I feel I need with many of my clients. Now, we have replaced one of the keyboards (which will hold a permanent position in the new “group” room at our new office, when we move in), with this piece of equipment.
While the small casios, as mentioned above, are great tools to use for visual tracking skills and attention to task (utilizing the lighted notes), and are good for portability, I can’t wait to see what I can do with my clients using this new keyboard. There are many clients I work with who are learning to play the keyboard, and who need added work on individual finger and hand strength; the weighted keys lend itself to this! Additionally, I can upload any song from the keyboard to garage band, and vice versa, so we can create any number of compositions to be shared across the media world!
I am not always the type of person to sit down and read a manual from front to back, especially for something such as a piano. However, as there are many things this keyboard can do, I’m not trusting myself to just “find out” on my own. So, here I sit, reading the manual and discovering a large list of things to incorporate into my sessions from this point out. I’d like to know what YOU do with your clients/students with the keyboard and how you use new models such as this one, or other media devices, to provide opportunities that may not otherwise happen in therapy. Thanks, and happy playing!