Music therapy is an evidence-based effective approach for working with special needs children. Numerous studies and research have demonstrated its positive impact on various aspects of development, such as communication skills, improve behavioural engagement boost academic performance, social interaction, emotional expression, and cognitive skills by using the power of music to stimulate various areas of development.
Music therapy is beneficial for children with autism and intellectual disabilities, as it can help improve their shared attention, communication, and play skills. The rhythmic and melodic aspects of music can engage and stimulate various areas of the brain, by helping in their development and enhancing social interactions.
Music therapy can be particularly helpful for nonverbal children. Music involves both auditory and sensory experiences, it provides an alternative mode of communication for those who have difficulty with verbal expression. Through music therapy, nonverbal children can use instruments, body movements, and vocalizations to convey their feelings, preferences, and thoughts, facilitating communication and self-expression.
Benefits of music therapy is not only limited with non – verbal children. Engaging with music in a therapeutic setting can help verbal children to develop better articulation, vocabulary, and overall communication abilities. It also helps them as a form of recreation by engaging in a better way for them to explore their emotions and thoughts through song writing, singing, and other musical activities.
Music therapy can be incredibly beneficial for individuals with intellectual disabilities to stimulate various cognitive functions like memory, attention, and problem-solving as rhythm exercises and learning songs help in bringing positive changes in cognitive functioning.
Music therapy can help to develop speech and language skills, as well as better understand social cues. Music has a powerful impact on emotions so it helps in exploration and expression of feelings safely and creatively which may lead to better emotional regulation in intellectually disabled people.
Group music therapy sessions encourage them to build social skills and connect with others when they have to sing in a choir or participate in music based activities .Playing musical instruments or engaging in rhythmic movements can improve fine and gross motor skills along with regulation of sensory input and integration of various sensory experiences. Participation in musical task can help to boost their motivation, self confidence and self esteem.
Music therapy can also be beneficial for autistic children in various ways. It can help improve their communication and social skills by providing a nonverbal and engaging way to interact. It can also help regulate emotions and reduce anxiety, which are common challenges for individuals with autism.
Additionally, it can enhance sensory integration and motor skills through rhythmic activities.
Overall, music therapy provides a structured and enjoyable environment that can support the overall development and well-being of autistic children.
Also music therapy can have positive effects on the academic development of special children as it enhances cognitive skills such as attention, memory, and problem-solving through engaging musical activities, improves auditory processing, which can positively impact language and communication skills. As the nature of music therapy is structured its sessions can help develop routines and organizational skills that are generally beneficial in academic settings. At the same time it is also important to note that its effects may vary based on individual needs and capabilities.
Author Sradhanjali Dasgupta
Consultant Psychologist, Speaker , Learning Developmental Coach, Teacher and trainer Miss. Sradhanjali Dasgupta has been extensively working in the field of Counselling and education for the past few years in several Clinics, Hospitals, NGOs and educational sectors. She also contributes her writings and blogs in various newspapers, magazines and e- magazines Her training and workshops are both for the corporate as well as for the educational sector and are geared up for learning and development,upgradation and capacity building. She has actively taken part in many debates