Natalie, an 11-year-old girl who loves music and possesses amazing memory recall, radiates confidence whenever she is immersed in music. Her music therapist, Iani Sujono, asked her and her father about the daily living skills Natalie needs help with. Her father expressed concern about Natalie’s tendency to run when excited, which can potentially endanger both herself (such as slipping and falling down) and others she might inadvertently bump into while striving to reach her destination.

Regulating her emotions can be quite challenging for Natalie. Recognising her love for music and her excellent memory recall, her therapist proposed composing a song specifically tailored to help Natalie regulate her emotions and keep herself and others safe.


For Natalie to develop her emotional regulation and coping skills to be able to overcome situations she finds challenging.


To develop Natalie’s self-regulation skills through song-writing that she can use to regulate in her daily life.


For Natalie to learn and sing specifically tailored ADL (Activities of Daily Living) songs to regulate and stay safe in her daily life.

Here’s how the process unfolded:

  1. Collaboration: Iani collaborated with Natalie and her father to incorporate familiar language and scenarios into the song.
  2. Identification of challenges: Together, they identified areas where Natalie struggles with regulation.
  3. Song creation: Using insights from Natalie’s challenges and preferences, they composed a song to address her specific needs (such as walking safely instead of running).
  4. Learning the song: The song was learned gradually, focusing on discussing the strategies embedded within the lyrics.
  5. Practice and memorisation: they practised and memorised the song together, enhancing its effectiveness.
  6. Integration into Daily Life: The completed song was shared with Natalie’s parents and teachers, empowering her to use it as a tool for regulation in various settings while feeling supported.

This intervention is grounded in the basis that lyrics will reinforce the message, the rhythmic beat of the music will aid Natalie in regulation, and the song’s enjoyable nature adds an element of fun to the process. Through this intervention and approach, Natalie not only enhanced her emotional regulation skills to stay safe by walking instead of running, but she also found joy and empowerment in the music.

Natalie’s father has reported that whenever Natalie feels the urge to run, simply singing the first few words of the song is typically enough to almost instantly stop her running, changing her pace to a walk instead! This song has certainly become a very effective strategy for Natalie in her daily life that helps to keep her safe.