There is a reason why many speech therapists advise the use of music in speech development.
Music is a language we can all understand. Sometimes the sound of musical instruments is all we need to relax. Other times a certain song can bring happy memories flooding back!
Special needs kids benefit from music because it enhances their cognitive capacities and allows them to have a medium
where they can express themselves fully.
If you have a special needs child, you should try music therapy and reap the amazing benefits highlighted here.
1. Music helps in articulation and vocalization
Communication skills are very crucial life skills. The ability to articulate yourself in a way that people can understand is very important. Many special needs children struggle with their articulation. Music will help them learn how to speak their minds and how specific
words are vocalized. Many kids’ songs are quite repetitive. This helps them learn how to articulate the words and quickly understand the message being put across.
2. Helps increase vocabulary
Your child will come across new and different words in the songs they sing. These words are often interpreted inside the song’s lyrics. When they can be able to relate a new word inside the context of the song, they will rapidly increase their vocabulary.
3. Helps increase bilateral coordination
To play a musical instrument, certain coordination must be present. Depending on the instrument, bilateral coordination is required which helps both side of the brain communicate better with each other as they build neurological connections.
4. Social interactions improve
Music brings people together. Breaking barriers and creating laughter, music assists the non-verbal with other means of communication. This sets the stage for important social skills development. It can be an amazing way to start a conversation.
Since special needs kids often struggle to express themselves, they can use music as a way to express what they feel.
5. Enhances confidence
When they can play musical instruments or sing, kids start becoming more confident and can interact with other people more easily. They become assertive and their communication skills will improve as well.
6. Music fights stress
Music therapy has been found to have a calming effect on the mind. Doctors argue that music can relieve stress levels and enable people to relax better. It has even been found to reduce blood pressure in surgical patients.
7. Music improves sleep
According to research, white noise has been found to have a soothing effect on the nerves and this will help you sleep better. Try to avoid sleep-inducing drugs and try music therapy instead.
8. Music boosts memory
The reason why music is used extensively to teach elementary children is that it helps boost their memory levels. They are more likely to remember something they sang than something you told them verbally. Special needs kids also understand and remember better when they sing.
Try memorizing something set to a tune. It’s incredible how much more readily it can be recalled, even years later!
9. It improves their auditory skills
Children can process sound better after they listen to music. The auditory system is complex but with the right conditioning, special needs kids can also be able to learn how to process what they hear through music better.
I have found this to be true for my own son who has a lot of issues with auditory processing. If I play classical music in the background for 15 minutes BEFORE we start a difficult subject like math, he is far quicker to respond to me or compute an answer in his head. It’s amazing!
10. Improves their focus and attention
Special needs kids get distracted very easily. Music can keep them focused as it commands their attention. This often spills to other areas in their lives and you will find that constant exposure to music tends to improve their focus and attention quite well.
Not all music is created equal in regards to its intellectual and emotional benefits. Sharlene has written an INCREDIBLE article with more details on how and WHICH songs especially help kids with learning disabilities.