Benefits of music therapy for your child with special needs

Benefits of music therapy for your child with special needs

27 August 2019 Admin General Media

Learning music relies on the implementation of sound and rhythmic patterns, hence children with special needs can be immensely helped by music education as it can help them establish a greater sense of logic and organization. It has been proves in many studies that choosing to play a musical instrument that requires swift hand motions on beats like guitar, trombone, violin or drums improves body movement and multitasking skills of those who have problems like dyslexia, autism or any other behavioral disorder. However, apart from paying attention to playing the musical notes, parents and teachers should also must also teach the children to concentrate and judge the music they are paying. Learning music be it singing or playing instruments, it helps children in multiple mental areas, irrespective of the special needs they have.

Many psychologists have seen that kids who have cognitive disabilities can use music as an outlet  to vent out the frustration due to their disabilities which helps them feel good and relaxed boosting a self confidence in themselves. As a matter of fact teaching specially abled children percussion instruments like those that require concentration on rhythms and beats, like piano or drums. However, if a child has language difficulties, musical lessons that implements use of vocalization can be extremely beneficial. For example in a child with ADD or ADHD singing helps in focusing on the musical components of a song that will help may also help increasing the attention span of the child. Children with special needs who are engaged with creating and playing music attain a sense of accomplishment that helps in toning cognitive areas. Many studies conducted on the same topic have proved that that music education can help not only special children but to all children as well, because it develops the gray matter of the brain which further improves memory and cognitive skills.

Ways in which Learning Music Helps the Brain

As we have discussed earlier that practicing and learning music helps in strengthening weak areas of a child with learning disabilities. Music helps in numerous ways, it helps in building up and strengthening the auditory, visual and spatial, and motor cortices of the brain. It has been revealed in many studies that listening to music in the vincity of nature has tremendous beneficial effect on the brain. It also increases the concentration and the learning ability of the person doing that.

Learning challenges can affect a child emotionally, physically, behaviorally and/or cognitively. Children who have difficulty in focusing when there is background noise are particularly helped by music classes. Research has proven that when children with learning disabilities learn to play an instrument the attention, concentration, impulse control, self-esteem, motivation and memory improve which are the areas related to speech and language, reading, focusing, attention, and concentration issues.

Music as a therapy can be a powerful tool for helping children who have special needs. As is explained by The American Music Therapy Association “Research in music therapy supports its effectiveness in many areas such as: overall physical rehabilitation and facilitating movement, increasing people’s motivation to become engaged in their treatment, providing emotional support for clients and their families, and providing an outlet for expression of feelings,”.

 Here are 5 ways that music therapy can make an impact in the life of your child if he or she has special needs 

Boosting Speech and Communication Skills

Music as a therapy can help in developing language skills for those children who faces challenges in it. Communication in kids are encouraged during music classes as a result of interactive learning between the teacher and peers that might be present as well. Simple instructions are by the teachers also given which then require some kind of response. And most importantly, music therapy involves singing which is a great way to practice vocalizing.

Music can be their Outlet for Expression

Music acts as fantastic outlet for an individual’s feelings. For people who struggle with communication and language, music can be just the right release for demonstrating their excitement, anger, worry, sadness or any range of emotions which they might not have properly communicated before.

Training Behavioral and Emotional Approaches

Music therapy can also help in correcting emotional and behavioral issues in children with special needs. Surveys conducted by Journal of Music Therapy in 2005 on autistic children who are associated with music in some form have shown noted growth in behavioral and psychosocial skills. The survey also proved that parents and therapists of the participants also reported a positive increase in their children’s skills and responses after a year of being exposing to music.

Motor and Sensory Skills

An additional benefit of music therapy is its benefits towards increasing agility of motor and sensory skills. Activities like clapping and beating to rhythms while playing instruments are some incredible ways that improves coordination while organizing the function of the brain. Additionally according to a 2010 report by the American Music Therapy Association music therapy on children with special needs have demonstrated a “significant effect on a patient’s perceived effectiveness of treatment,”.  Association with music therapies or classes have also improved relaxation, respiration rate, anxiety levels in kids with behavioral and cognitive disorders.


Self-Confidence Boost

Music therapists set certain attainable goals that lead their students to a sense of accomplishment. This boosts their self-confidence every time they experience success in following their musical tasks. They also attain a sense of accomplishment when they succeed in making their own sounds and rhythmic patterns.