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Ahjay Stelino - Album Review: Music Therapy Songs for Special Kids

09 Jun 2015 // A review by Photographer

It’s not often my two jobs overlap, by night I am a music photographer and reviewer and by day I am an early intervention teacher, supporting preschool children with disabilities in their early education.  So I was quite excited to be asked to review Ahjay Stelino’s Music Therapy Songs for Special Kids.

A registered music therapist, Ahjay has a string of relevant qualifications, accolades and experiences. The songs on this album are musically enticing, catchy and I’d imagine quite irresistible to the wee ones. The learning focuses included in this album are woven comprehensively through it. Children are encouraged through fun lyrics and tempos to engage in fine and gross motor activities for physical development. Specific sounds and mouth movements are also promoted by songs on the album (The Family Song is a great example). These activities are easily adapted to the level of the individual child. There is also plenty of opportunity for children to engage musically with these songs by playing drums and shaking bells and maracas, as the beats are overt and groovy. It’s difficult not to bop your head to this album.

I can see how these songs can be utilised with small and large groups as well as one on one. These songs are great tools for encouraging children to contribute and participate, engage socially with others and explore movement.

I can see many ways in which I will use Music Therapy Songs for Special Kids in my work as an early intervention teacher. I also would have found it useful for mat time when I was working as an early childhood teacher. 

This album has been well thought out, using aural cues with the first and last songs so children can predict what is about to happen as they become more familiar with the routine.

I’m going to go right on ahead and assure you that this album is not one of those kids’ albums that you will end up hiding from your children. It is an album consisting of genuine music with purpose. The feel of this album reminds me of Ziggy Marley’s Family Time. It’s enjoyable to listen to as an adult, and this is important!

This fantastic album deserves a place in every parent’s box of tricks. As a therapeutic album, Music Therapy Songs for Special Kids hits the spot. It reaches out and touches on a range of curriculum areas and pulls the listener in to participating in a super fun way. Plus, it’s a wonderful listen, and isn’t that the most important thing? I foresee lots of happy giggles accompanying these songs being played!


About Ahjay Stelino

Ahjay Stelino is a professional musician based in Auckland. He works as a songwriter, music therapist and guitar tutor. He has been playing guitar for 29 years and has been a professional musician for 10 years. He holds a Masters degree in Music Therapy from the NZ School of Music, MMusTher(Hons) and a Licentiate Diploma in Electric Guitar from the London College of Music, LLCM(TD).

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Ahjay Stelino


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