Tune In programme expands to South Auckland

Each Tuesday morning during Term 2, the sounds of singing, laughter and excited chatter are filling the Clover Park Community House as RMTC brings its popular ‘Tune In’ programme to South Auckland.  ‘Tune In’ was introduced at the Centre in 2016 and is different from our other programmes in that it is co-led by a music therapist and a speech therapist, in this case RMTC Centre Director Jen Ryckaert and Speech-Language Therapist Terexa Chan-Mow from Small Talk Speech Therapy.  This particular group is also special in that it is offered free of charge to families of children with Down syndrome, thanks to very generous funding from the Hugo Foundation and the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, as well as our partnership with Upside Downs Education Trust.

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‘Tune In’ sessions use musical activities to develop the social and functional language skills of children with special needs, with our preschool sessions in South Auckland being centred around child friendly themes that maintain children’s interest and engagement and increase their vocabularies.  So far, we have explored the theme of autumn by singing about leaves, autumn colours and colder weather and are currently having fun with a transport theme where we sing about moving in cars, trains and buses.  Literacy and numeracy skills are targeted in each session, as well as learning about concepts such as fast and slow, stop and go.  Speech-Language Therapist Terexa shares a weekly communication tip with parents, and caregivers engage in lively discussions each week about communication strategies they use with their children outside the sessions. 

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Feedback from parents has been terrific, with them praising the learning both they and their children have already gained from sessions and expressing their gratitude that this group is available to the community.  We at RMTC are also grateful to the programme funders and are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with our good friends at Upside Downs Education Trust on this exciting initiative!   

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