Adults are not the only ones that have mental health issues, and children can suffer from them as well. Whether it is a condition like autism or ADHD, or even anxiety, kids need the same kind of help and support as many adults. Therefore, music therapy could be an excellent solution when it comes to getting your kids to express themselves, as well as for nipping things in the bud before they get worse. Here is a little more information about music therapy, as well as the ways in which it might be able to help your child.
What is Music Therapy?
It is a form of interactive and expressive therapy that teaches children (and adults) healthy and effective ways of showing their emotions and putting their feelings across. It can involve playing musical instruments (usually simple, like wood blocks and drums) or just listening to music while drawing and engaging in creative activities. There is also the choice to have one on one sessions, or to get involved with a small group – it all depends on what is best for your child.
The interactivity and encouragement of emotional expression can lead to the following positive effects on your child:
- Better communication skills
- Emotional development
- Ability to express emotions clearly and in a healthy manner
- Increase confidence and self-image
Music and Autism
Music therapy, and music, work wonders for autistic children across the spectrum, but some of the best results are found in those who are non-verbal. There have been a number of studies to show that they have been able to use music therapy as a way to interact with others and express feelings that they would not have been able to without the music.
Even the most basic instruments pave the way for excellent expression. In many ways, it is like a new language, and this is backed up by the fact that brain scans show that the area in which language is stored looks the same for those communicating in music and words. It can also help them to achieve the following:
- The ability to listen better
- Spontaneous play
- The desire to communicate and engage with others
- The ability to build better relationships
- The ability to express themselves
- Language development through songs
- Learning to share and take turns
- Boost the imagination and creativity
- Strengthen muscles and coordination
Music and ADHD
The ADHD mind craves structure, and music is made up of a series of organised beats and rhythms – appealing to the brain of someone with ADHD. Every track has a clear beginning, middle, and end, so you know where it is going, and everything can be anticipated. In fact, music can help a child with ADHD learn more about planning and organisation so that they can have a more structured life.
Those with ADHD have low dopamine levels, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for motivation, attention, and working memory. The act of listening to or playing music activates both sides of the brain, and this means that everything gets engaged and the muscles can strengthen themselves, leading to increased motivation and improved levels of concentrations.
Hopefully, this has offered you further insight into the world of music therapy, as well as the ways in which it may be able to help your children handle their emotions and process complex feelings. If you found the topic interesting and want to learn more about the links between mental health and music in children, as well as the potential impact on their development, you might want to check out our detailed article on the subject.
About the Author
Will is a freelance writer & blogger. If you are interested in more information on music therapy, audio guides and gear reviews be sure to check out Will’s articles at Myaudiosound.co.uk
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