Quickshifts FAQ

 Last Updated on April 4, 2016

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 Appparticularly 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 17791 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?

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 – Android
Instructions for Therapeutic Listening App – Apple
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.

Quickshifts: More Frequently Asked Questions

How do you incorporate Quickshifts into a Therapeutic Listening® program?

Quickshifts can be used as a second listening time or in addition to two listening times, depending on needs. When a child has difficulty with two listening times per day with Therapeutic Listening, and is making positive changes but may also become disorganized in other ways, a Quickshift can be substituted for the second (PM) listening session. One may attempt this if a child has increased emotionality, perseveration, or anxiety but has made good changes in other areas from Therapeutic Listening (modulated or fine tuning). In this case, it is appropriate to use Therapeutic Listening in the morning, and a Quickshift in the evening (Regulation, Oral Motor, or Gentle Focus are good choices).

Quickshifts can also be used as an additional listening time in conjunction with two Therapeutic Listening sessions a day. Here Quickshifts are used as needed (to increase bilaterality, facilitate eating, etc).

Do Quickshifts need to be used in conjunction with Therapeutic Listening?

No. Quickshifts can be used as a stand-alone tool to set-up treatment, sensory diets, home programs, or to support transitions.

What are appropriate activities during listening?

Any activities a child is drawn towards, but not imposed on them. Quiet, creative activities are best. Computers, television, and reading are not appropriate.

Are there age restrictions for Quickshifts?

Stereo speakers should be used for individuals under 2 years. 2+ years can listen over headphones.

Do Quickshifts need to be listened to over headphones?

Quickshifts can be used over headphones or speakers. Headphones should be circumaural (cover ears) of decent quality. Ear buds are not acceptable. For use over speakers, the individual should listen in a small closed space with stereo speakers and very little competing noise.

What do you look for in a “good match”?

The just right music match will elicit cues from the listener. Following a Quickshift, ask: Is the child in a better state? Easier to engage? Is there less tension in his or her body? More facial expression? Has his or her bilateral motor coordination improved? Is there an increased focus of attention? An improvement in any of these areas indicates a good match.

If I try a music selection and find that it is not a good match for the individual, how soon can I try another?

If your first choice does not appear to give positive change, wait until the next session to try another. This will give you the clearest idea of how the new choice affects the individual.

How long can an individual listen to a specific Quickshift selection?

It depends on the individual. If listening daily, depending on age, you may need to change the music regularly. You should change the music if the individual is habituating to it, that is – bored, removing headphones (make sure this is not a headphone issue), unwilling to listen, not changing state, or irritable. If the individual does not habituate to the music, he or she can continue to listen to the same music selection.