We teachers were encouraged to post the daily class schedule on the board or on a poster in the front of the class. Our 40 minute periods needed to be divided into activities that could be accomplished in small increments time. And each period needed to be scheduled in a very regular pattern of expected activities. A major goal of this school was to help these students learn to manage themselves, their expectations, their patience and comfort levels, so that they could function doing difficult learning tasks.
Even the regular classroom teachers used music for TRANSITIONS between activities. Music helped regulate the tasks and help the students know what was expected of them. A certain song was played to help the K-3 students finish a task and put away their "tools." A certain song was played to set the mood of the activity. A certain song was played to unify the group in getting excited about an activity, or calm them down for a quiet activity, etc.
At the same time, our Ward Primary had two young people with severe Autism. The presidency was at their wits end trying to figure out what to do to see to their needs as well as serve the other children in Primary. I suggested that we use some of the same principles I was using at this special school. We made a Schedule poster for the front of the classroom and gave the two children their own smaller version of the schedule poster. Their versions were laminated so that they could mark when we had accomplished each of the sections of the schedule. We decided that until the schedule was well understood, we would use the same songs as TRANSITIONS between activities. We used the same Reverence Song, Prayer Song, Activity Song, and other short songs as TRANSITIONS for an entire month. The Opening Exercises, Sharing and Music Times went on as normal, but a bit more time regimented.
What we discovered is that all of the children in Primary benefited from the regularities of the schedule. Reverence was at a high level because the children understood the routines. They could manage to be still and quiet during the Opening Exercises because they knew it was fairly short. Then they would get a "wiggle song" to help them TRANSITION to Sharing Time or Music time. We learned to "read" the signs of just how long our presentations could reasonably be, and learned to adjust accordingly to maintain reverence or interest in the activity.
Before long, routines were in place and we no longer needed the Schedule Posters (but we kept to the routine). The key ingredient in our success was to use MUSIC for TRANSITIONS. Music is a Heavenly gift. And where something has a use for GOOD, the Adversary understands it has an equal use for nefarious purposes. May we understand and always use MUSIC FOR GOOD.