Music serves a lot of purposes. It finds its way into your ears of individuals and then shoots through your body until it reaches the heart. Music will match the beat of your heart or sometimes make your heart match the beat of the music. Either way, the music is truly playing with your heart. It can make you dance, sing, smile and laugh. Even more than this, it can be therapeutic.
Today, I read an article on the reasons why music can help children with special needs. Throughout this article, there were five main reasons why music can be beneficial to children with special needs: music motivates, music is a multi-sensory experience, music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, music is non-verbal and music helps you bond. As for motivation, music tends to be one of the top motivators for children with special needs.The article states that you can sing a song while performing a hard task and the child will be more willing to work on the task. I found this intriguing because I have witnessed this first hand. I volunteered as a buddy to hangout with a boy who had Autism for a night. He did not talk much and did not want to participate in any of the activities and games we had planned for the night. Eventually, he noticed the karaoke station and his face lit up. He ran over there, grabbed the microphone and belted out every single word to “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. I noticed his overall excitement skyrocketed while he was singing. We proceeded to our next station where we were supposed to build a house out of blocks. He did not seem interested so I quietly began to sing “Let It Go” until he joined in. I do not remember how long it took but soon we were singing AND building.
Music really is non-verbal and this is an important key as to why it can be helpful for kids with special needs. My favorite quote from the article says “where words fail, music speaks.” I thought this was a wonderful statement because I think music is a way to express without speaking. My sister (also known as my favorite human) has Angelman Syndrome and is physically incapable of ever speaking. With that being said, she does not have to be able to speak in order for me to know whether or not she likes a song. I can see her love for a song within her eyes and within her smile. That very same smile is the one I see when our mom enters the room, when our puppy runs circles around her, when I dance weird just to make her laugh, that smile is her smile of love.
If interested in reading the entire article click Here.
P.s. If you know anyone with special needs and you think music could rock their world, you may want to check out MusicAndMe!