Every child loves music, but not every music is therapy!
What if you could add a sensory-based treatment that targets specific sensory, motor, and behavioral goals, doesn’t require expensive equipment or a large therapy space, and you could see the effects within a very short time?
Since adding Quickshifts to my therapy sessions, I have been able to successfully address some of the more difficult behaviors and sensory processing issues I encounter. Very young children are often afraid of being on therapy balls and swings, and they don’t always tolerate the Wilbarger or Astronaut protocols Why Is The Wilbarger Protocol So Hard To Get Right?. But everyone can listen to music. Enter Quickshifts.
I am primarily using them over speakers, since even older kids are struggling with wearing headphones. I find that this isn’t preventing progress, and I periodically try to reintroduce headphones with children over 2. They change so quickly that I never know when “NO” will turn into “maybe”.
Every Quickshift album uses brainwave entrainment. The use of binaural beat technology (BBT) for entrainment of an alpha brainwave state has made a difference with the kids who display predominantly anxious or dysregulated states, but it is also very helpful to entrain better attention and postural activation. Read more about the science behind BBT in Binaural Beats and Regulation; More Than Music Therapy. It is great for parents too: Stress Relief in the Time of Coronavirus: Enter Quickshifts.
Quickshift albums are intended to rapidly bring the brain into this alpha state, with a focus on reducing anxiety and building affective modulation. Yes; this form of therapeutic listening has the ability to decrease, not increase, anxiety. But there are a wide range of albums. Some emphasize postural activation, some work on sensory modulation and sensitivity, and some improve attentional focus or social interaction. Why would music affect posture or anxiety? Because these albums use specific rhythms and melodies, as well as binaural beat technology. OTs know a lot about how sound affects brain function, and this isn’t about “liking” the music, although kids do. It is about creating differences in the brain.
I am particularly fond of the regulation albums and the social interaction albums, as my clients inevitably struggle with these issues. I can see a shift (not a pun: the shift is real) about 5-7 minutes into the 14-17 minute albums. This is helpful in a session. If I only have 30-45 minutes, I cannot do 15 minutes of sensory input to achieve regulation. I need more time for treatment goals. This gives me precious minutes, and helps kids see that regulation is possible.
Why Modulated Music Wasn’t Working For Me
I stopped using Modulated music a long time ago. I rarely use it with children under 5 now. Not because I don’t think it was an effective treatment. Because I couldn’t get any compliance at home, and I saw very little progress with use only in my therapy sessions. There was often a learning phase, in which I had to adjust the amount of listening time to prevent overwhelming young or very challenged children. Parents start to question my clinical skills and I risk losing their confidence. Families were resistant; even the families that really wanted to use this music.
The way Modulated music needed to be scheduled and used (two daily 30-minute sessions, 2-3 hour wait before sleep times and between listening times) made it almost impossible to use with very young children at home, regardless of how willing parents seemed to be. And very few parents were that willing. Maybe they would be able to do insulin injections on a schedule, but not therapeutic music. Everyone is so over-scheduled and busy. I hated begging, so I had to find something easier that also worked well.
Quickshifts: More Flexible, More Easily Tolerated, More Effective in EI
Quickshifts have been much more flexible, but just as successful. Maybe more! They can be used often throughout the day, any time of the day. I haven’t seen one small child react in a way that indicated that they were overwhelmed. The ability to target specific types of sensory-based goals means I can deliver results the parents can see. the emphasis on alpha brainwave states seems to deliver an extra layer of calmness.
Gearshifters are similar to Qucikshifts, but they do not have the targeted immediacy that I find so helpful. When are Gearshifters better to use? When I need a longer-lasting modulation effect and I don’t have concerns about spatial awareness or need to reduce agitation. Some kids need a Quickshift album followed by a Gearshifter to have a few hours of really good sensory modulation time.
Use the best headphones! Read Doing Therapeutic Listening? Get These Affordable, Comfortable, Kid-Size Bluetooth Headphones From PURO! to learn what equipment is going to make this work for you.
Parents are happy to be able to download the albums onto their phones and use them to improve transitions, sleep, attention and more. The use of technology to entrain an alpha brainwave state means that if the album isn’t a perfect fit, I don’t get an overwhelmed child; there is always some degree of improvement in regulation and arousal. But when I have seen kids generate more postural activation, calm down and even laugh, or tune into their environments in ways they never have before Quickshifts, I wonder why I waited so long to get this treatment on board. It isn’t just for sensory sensitivity or modulation problems; read more about how it can help kids with motor control issues here: Therapeutic Listening Can Enhance Motor Skills….Really!
Wondering if adults can use Quickshifts too? Read Should the PARENTS of Kids With Sensory Issues Use Quickshifts? for more about how this music can help everybody in the family.
If you are tempted to go out and buy these albums without the guidance of an OTR that is trained in sound therapy, please reconsider. The reason that I have had such success with Quickshifts is not just because this treatment works. It works because I use it as part of a whole sensory-based protocol, in which I can select and prescribe the right music to be used at the right time. There really is a reason to have an OTR help you. You will get better results, avoid problems, save time and money, and have someone trained in treatment guiding you. Not Dr. Google. I do phone consultations to help people decide on a sensory processing treatment plan that saves them time and money. Visit my website tranquil babies to book a session!