The Benefits of Music Therapy for Kids
How it Makes a Difference
The power of music has been known for many years to have an impact on people’s wellbeing. Music therapy is an evidence-based way of using music in a clinical atmosphere for a particular patient in need, with the expected result of accomplishing the patient’s objectives.
Studies have proven that there are some methods of music therapy that provide patients with better moods, improved speech, and even can help with alleviating pain. It has far-reaching benefits and impacts which can be essential for positive growth and development, particularly in children.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
A published study from 2005 that was done found many benefits of music therapy for children, the first being that using music therapy has resulted in patients’ reduced stress and anxiety.
Since music has the ability to ignite responses in our bodies through feelings and emotions, it can be elevating, releasing endorphins and help produce a state of mental relaxation. It distracts the patient from thinking about things that cause stress to improve the mood and create a positive, content atmosphere. The key of the therapist would be to find the type or style of music that works best to put the patient’s mind at ease.
Reduces Aches and Pains
Music also has this incredible healing power to decrease surgical and chronic pain. By playing music to reduce anxiety, it helps patients who are undergoing any procedures, treatments, and surgeries tend to be more relaxed and therefore, have an easier recovery.
Helps Children with Disabilities
Music is used as a form of natural therapy for many different diseases, even showing benefits for those who are severely physically or cognitively impaired, such as handicapped children. In this study covered by The Huffington Post, you see Jonah, a boy who was born blind and with developmental disabilities, learn to tie his shoe with the use of Music Therapy. With the music therapy guiding him, he’s more involved and seemingly happier.
Before Jonah started music therapy he was unable to read braille. In working with his music therapist, he has started learning how to read, vocalizing a few words at a time, which is a huge increase in his communication skills. His parents used various other strategies to assist him with progress, but only music therapy has succeeded in helping him live a more fulfilled life.
Assists Children with Delayed Speech or Autism
Another study done in 2010 on the effects of music therapy in children shows that those who have delayed speech and social skills have benefited from the use of the therapy. Music is used as a way to understand words and language. Language development that was delayed in children, especially young children, as this was done with 3 to 5-year-olds, was found to give those children more ability in forming words and speech after music therapy than from before, suggesting that music therapy is a good form of learning communication.
Likewise, children with autism have also found solace in Music Therapy. It aids those children with auditory stimulation, and can even assist in addressing sensory issues in addition to helping with their language and speech.
Developmental Disabilities and Memory Retention
Within that same study, you find that music therapy has been utilized with children who have other developmental disabilities, not just with speech. Music therapy shows imitation, which is essential in the repetition of learning for children and therefore has a profound impact on their development.
The repetition of lyrics, rhythms, and melodies all assist in the memory recall part of the brain. This has been shown to improve memory since the brain is getting a workout. The sooner a child is introduced to this, the risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s decrease.
Coordination and Fine Motor Skills are Enhanced
As a parent, it is worth taking the extra time to involve your child in music studies and music lessons. Specifically consider instruments like the guitar, that requires the use of fine motor skills, which improves coordination within children. As a form of music therapy, actually playing an instrument can create the same advantages as having a therapist that plays the music in some instances. Some children are more “hands-on” and would like that approach.
Though to use music therapeutically, it’s important that any child taking lessons be as comfortable as possible. There are great options out there, like Music To Your Home’s private online instrument lessons, where instructors can come directly to a student’s home – either virtually or they do have a socially distanced in-person option – to allow a child to learn in the comfort of their own environment. Additionally, learning a musical instrument can provide children with higher math scores, as well as provide them with a positive creative outlet where they are able to express emotions and feelings, on top of gaining a higher level of self-esteem as they conquer a new skill.
Music Therapy Makes a Positive Difference
Children who struggle developmentally, as well as those with imperative disabilities, and those without all can find advantages through the use of Music Therapy. It aids in helping to manage stressful situations and allow children to express themselves. It is always important to take time to research and explore the options for therapy with children, and Music Therapy is a wonderful tool to make an impact to improve growth and development in children.