Focus My Mind
Updated: Apr 8
Develop your listening and focus skills and brain-train your attention!
What you’ll need: Music player (iPod, iPad, Computer, TV) [this activity can be done individually, a pair, or small group]
What’s it for?
This activity helps you to focus your attention through repeated listening activities to then enable increased confidence and self-esteem. It can be an individual, paired, or group experience.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
With a song:
Play a recorded song with words and listen for and note every time a certain word is sung (eg: ‘Twinkle’ in Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, or ‘Happy’ in Pharrell’s song Happy)
Once the song has ended, ask the individual/group to share how many times they heard the chosen word being sung
Repeat the whole process to check!
Play another recorded song and this time ask the individual/group to listen for and record two words that occur in the song - this is trickier as your attention is split!
Once the song has ended, ask the individual/group to share how many times they heard the chosen words being sung
Repeat to check! If you were doing the activity on your own, did you get it right first time? If you were doing the activity in a pair or group, who got it right first?
Play a band song (marching band, big band or dance band) and ask the individual/participant to write down every music instrument they can hear playing on the recording
Once the song has ended, ask the individual/group to share which instruments they heard
Repeat the band song and request the individual/group to identify the instruments as they join the song
Discuss with an interested adult whether it was difficult or easy to use your attention in this way. If you keep practising, you’ll definitely improve!
Ask yourself the following questions:
How did it feel the first time you listened to the song and noted the repeated words?
Did it help once the song was repeated and were your results more accurate?
Did it help to focus on just one key word rather than the whole text and lyrics?
Did you easily recognise the sounds of the musical instruments?
Did you have a favourite instrument that you heard today and was this the first time?
On a scale of 1-10 how confident were you in completing this activity?
How does this activity link to daily life and needing to focus and concentrate?
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures (firstname.lastname@example.org). Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!
Created by Sarah Kong © March 2020
Creative Art Used: Music
Psychological Area Explored: Communication, Attention & Hyperactivity
Reference: Based on Musical Attention Control Training (MACT) (pg 260) by Michael H Thaut and James C Gardiner, in:
Thaut, M. and V. Hoemberg (2014): Handbook of Neurologic Music Therapy, Oxford: Oxford University Press
These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).