For Therapists

Quickshifts: Information for Providers

How do I use Quickshifts with my clients?

Perhaps one of the most convenient aspects of Quickshifts is their flexibility. These sound tools can be used by almost anyone at almost any time. Therapists across the world have implemented an array of methods when using Quickshifts. Here are some common ways in which these sound tools have been used.

In treatment only

Some therapists use Quickshifts in treatment sessions only and do not incorporate sound tools into home programs or sensory diets. Quickshifts can be very appropriate using this method since they often facilitate immediate change. When using Quickshifts in treatment sessions, you might have the client listen at the very start of your session or you may choose to pair a specific album with a particular sensorimotor activity. In either circumstance, Quickshifts can “set up” the listener’s brain and body for greater success and functional performance.

In a school sensory diet

Whether you are a school-based therapist or work in a private clinic or hospital, you may have clients who would benefit from using Quickshifts to support school participation and performance. Some individuals may listen right before school, while others might listen during a specific time of day such as before art class, math class, gym, etc. Other students may benefit from listening to a Quickshift during independent, quiet work time in the classroom.

In home programming

Many individuals will listen to Quickshifts at home whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Timing of listening should support your targeted outcomes. For example, listening in the daytime might be more appropriate for an album that supports enhanced focus and attention. Meanwhile, listening in the evening may be the optimal time for supporting relaxation, calming, and recovery. Therapists have found the Therapeutic Listening App particularly helpful for home programs because clients and families can easily access the albums whether they are at home or on-the-go. Even after a client has completed treatment with you, they may use Quickshifts as a part of their ongoing sensory diet.

As an adjunct to Therapeutic Listening

For many therapists, Quickshifts have been a valuable compliment to other auditory intervention tools such as Therapeutic Listening. Quickshifts can be used in conjunction with Therapeutic Listening, whether as a separate listening time or in place of a modulated album. Additionally, Quickshifts have been used in preparation for a traditional Therapeutic Listening protocol, prior to ever using any modulated albums.

How do I explain Quickshifts to my clients?

Feel free to download and print this resource to give to families.

Download “Quickshift Summary for Parents and Caregivers” Quickshift-Summary-Handout-rev.-06.25.19.pdf – Downloaded 17923 times – 107 KB

Parents can also learn more about Quickshifts in the For Parents section.

How do I choose Quickshifts for my clients?

Quickshifts are named by their impact on function. For a thearpist’s first foray into usage, this is often helpful. For example, Oral Motor can be used for an individual with feeding issues or to accompany an oral motor treatment session. Regulation can be used to help improve regulating arousal and affect.

For a deeper understanding of the art and science of choosing Quickshifts, Vital Links offers one-day online training course. In Quickshifts: Revolutionizing the Use of Sound in Sensorimotor Integrative Treatment, we take you in-depth into understanding the two critical pieces for success – blending an understanding of the musical elements with the clinical reasoning needed to inform functional goals for improved clinical outcomes.

What are the Quickshift Album Descriptions?

Sensory Modulation & Regulation

Regulation…contains easy listening music that flows without a heavy emphasis on timing or rhythmicity. The listener tends to easily synchronize with the music, offering a soothing experience that often assists in arousal and emotional recovery. The musical presentation supports “recovery,” a return to an alpha state from brainwave frequencies that are associated with high arousal, and defensive patterns of response, stress, and anxiety.

Regulation 2…is similar to Regulation 1 in that it is comprised of easy listening music that flows without an emphasis on timing or rhythmicity. However, there is an additional slight dampening of frequency patterns which are associated with auditory defensiveness. This may be an appropriate choice for individuals with sound sensitivities as well as those in need of support for recovery and regulation of arousal, emotional, and behavioral states.

Oral Motor/Respiration…contains classical music that Mozart originally composed for a relaxed outdoor dining experience. The simple, flowing rhythms of this album tend to match those of natural human biological rhythms as well as support entrainment to the innate suck-swallow-breathe synchrony. Thus, this selection would be beneficial for individuals who need to coordinate the suck-swallow-breathe synchrony as a support for self-regulation, feeding, and oral motor programs.

Space…contains solely nature sounds that have been specifically recorded to enhance the three-dimensionality of the spatial surround. The listener is enticed to orient outwards into the environment but is provided with the support of a sense of organization and an emotionally neutral template*. As an emotional regulator, this selection would be appropriate for individuals who are either emotionally labile or who display a flat affect. Individuals who tend to become stuck in logic, detail-orientation, literal thought, and otherwise strongly “left-brained behavior” may also benefit from this selection.

*This would not be a therapeutic choice for individuals who have previously experienced trauma in an outdoor environment.

Movement: Motor & Interaction

Gravitational Grape…contains familiar children’s music that incorporates simple and grounding rhythms. The listener is provided with a wide panorama of sound (drawing one outward) and yet is afforded a solid, anchored reference point within the soundscape. The intense yet simple rhythms ignite wide ranges of basic movement patterns that encourage the listener to challenge gravity and move through space, thus enhancing movement in and around midline.

Bilateral Integration…contains familiar rhythmical music such as “The Pink Panther” and a wide array of instruments and percussive effects. Heavy yet simple rhythms facilitate alertness and invite movement through the environment. Simultaneously, the music supports organized and integrated movements of the two sides of the body and thus can immediately impact bilateral motor coordination. This album is appropriate for supporting improvement in gross motor coordination, enhanced midline perception, and bilateral motor skills.

Agile Apricot…contains familiar children’s music that invites physical exploration with composure. The alternating rhythmical patterns simultaneously summon the listener to physically move through space and yet provide the simplicity and support for organization and collectedness. As the listener moves through and explores the environment and his/her own ideas, one builds upon the basic tenets of praxis and higher levels of cognitive function.

Rhythmic Razzberry…contains familiar children’s music using a novel, jazz-like presentation. Musical selections offer great variety in rhythms, frequencies, and levels and layers of complexity (from basic to integrated patterns). The listener is afforded a plethora of musical elements from which to synchronize for improved emotional and physical regulation and organization. This selection is a good choice for individuals who have difficulty with transitions, emotional overload, and who tend to become mentally “stuck.” This selection may also benefit individuals who are ready to broaden their movement repertoire. 

Peachy Peach…contains familiar children’s music with a twist of novelty to capture and hold a listener’s attention. The rhythms and melodies in the music are both time-honored and cross-cultural. The turn-taking style of the singer and instruments supports the natural flow of human relationships. A subtle hint of emotional activation supports social connectedness and engagement. This album facilitates synchronization with others, nurturing and comfort for regulation, and enhanced social interaction.

Sentimental Strawberry…contains familiar, award-winning songs that have stood the test of time including “High Hopes” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The musical presentation elicits feelings of emotion and openness, and yet supports and centers the listener to feel safe and supported while experiencing the full range of emotionality. This selection offers complex yet delicate rhythmical structures that facilitate the listener’s ability to tune into him/herself and synchronize with others and the environmental context. 

Syncing Up…is similar to Rockin’ Surf in that it contains surf-style music and appeals to a broad audience across the age spectrum. The musical progression begins with an upbeat, fast tempo with a variety of instruments, creating a “musical playground” that features individuality and playfulness. Gradually, the listener is drawn into songs that contain heavy, clean, simple rhythms with slower tempos, ending with rhythmical patterns that are similar to those of biological rhythms. This selection is best for the client who seeks intensity (i.e., calming up) as opposed to the client who requires environmental dampening to calm down. This is also an appropriate selection for further supporting organization and coordination of physical movement.

Power Wave…is similar to Rockin’ Surf in that it contains surf-style music and provides a broad appeal to children, teenagers, and adults. The music contains both fast and slower tempos but is consistently delivered with intensity. The simple yet powerful rhythms provide stability for organized movement and the assortment of rhythmic patterns invite variations in movement. This selection is appropriate for igniting physical movement and energy. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who need intensity and power.

Rockin’ Surf…contains surf-style music inspired by musicians such as the Beach Boys and provides a broad appeal across the age spectrum from children to adults. The intensity of the music ignites energy while the simple, repetitive rhythms support organized and skilled body movement. Clinical applications vary from supporting bilateral motor coordination and movement skills all the way to enhanced focus and attention through anchoring and alerting the listener.

Motor Organization…features a guitar and piano and a musical presentation that supports refinement of timing, sequencing, and graded body movement. Originally named “the handwriting CD,” this selection facilitates energized focus and higher-level bilateral motor coordination for activities that require skill in fine motor, gross motor, and/or multi-layered cognitive performance. Additionally, the strong timing element may be helpful in the support of handwriting, spelling, as well as reading.

Sensory Enhancement (Body ‘N’ Space)…is comprised of nature sounds and rhythmical, playful music such as “Over the River and Through the Woods.” The listener’s attention is drawn outward with a simultaneous invitation for movement through the environment. This selection is appropriate for a variety of individuals who would benefit from support in the “body in space continuum” from both ends.

Executive Function

Gentle Focus…contains music composed by Beethoven that features two guitars. While one guitar is picked and gently marks time, the other guitar is strummed, providing a rich soundscape that gently draws the listener outwards into the environment. The listener tends to naturally and easily synchronize with the music. This album tends to support regulation, centering, timing and sequencing, and readiness for environmental interactions.

Collective Focus…contains classical music composed by Bach and Carulli that features a guitar and flute. The musical soundscape contains a variety of elements that creates complexity and depth, yet is presented in a clean, uncluttered manner. The guitar gently marks time and grounds the listener. Meanwhile, the flute provides a flowing melody that is easy to follow and draws one’s attention outward. Thus, this selection creates an experience of maintaining focus in a dynamic environment. This would be an appropriate selection for adults and children alike who would benefit from enhanced focus, attention, and cognitive grounding, especially in environments or contexts that can be distracting or disorganizing.

Vivaldi for Attention…contains classical Vivaldi compositions ranging from orchestras to sonatas. The frequencies, tempo, and style of the music invite higher-level attention that supports complex thought processes in social interactions, games, and cognitive tasks. The sophisticated style and sequence of this music supports whole-brain processing; however, for a listener with minimal body awareness and midline organization, this album may be too complex.

How do I purchase Quickshifts?

Therapeutic Listening App

If you have an Apple or Android device (e.g., phone, tablet, etc), you can access Quickshifts via direct download through the Therapeutic Listening App available at iTunes. Through this medium, you will be able to play any album that you have purchased at any time. We particularly find this format beneficial for home programs and school-based sensory diets.

Instructions for Therapeutic Listening App

Download “Instructions - Therapeutic Listening App for Android” TL-App-Instructions-Android-rev.-03.19.19.pdf – Downloaded 13149 times – 780 KB

Download “Instructions - Therapeutic Listening App for Apple” TL-App-Instructions-Apple-rev.-03.19.19.pdf – Downloaded 22545 times – 872 KB

Music Chips

You may purchase the Quickshift albums as microSD chips that take place of a traditional CD. In this case, you will want to use the Sansa Clip+ music player to play the music. Both chips and players can be purchased directly from Vital Sounds.


You may purchase CDs directly from Vital Sounds. We recommend using a portable, battery-operated CD player in this circumstance.