The Benefits of Music and Music Therapy For Children With Special Needs

Music can be a motivating and fun way to teach all children and in particular children who have special learning needs. It is unquestionable that through the medium of music many essential and enabling life skills can be learned and the benefits that playing and learning music can have on a child’s growth and development are immeasurable.

All children have the same need to express themselves and playing a musical instrument can provide an outlet for creative and emotional expression. When we think of music we don’t often think of it as therapy. But it can be.

The playing of good quality percussion instruments during music therapy sessions can be of inestimable value for children who have difficulties in hearing, seeing, moving, thinking or responding; each can experience the music in their own unique way. The music is not the goal of music therapy. Cognitive stimulation, self-expression, self-awareness, or increased motor movements are some of the goals that music therapy can focus on and the music itself is simply a tool to achieve these goals.

Listening to music for enjoyment is very beneficial but active participation is even better. For children and adolescents with cerebral palsy, playing music may be an effective way to stimulate speech development and communication skills, express emotions, develop a sense of rhythm and provide opportunity for physical, cognitive and motor development whilst creating an environment for socialisation and fun.

Every child can be helped to learn to enjoy and to become involved in music to some degree and instruments tuned to a harmonic pentatonic scale which produce a soothing sound straightaway, makes playing them an instantly gratifying experience.

Playing music and music therapy has proven to be a very effective method in dealing with autism and aspergers syndrome. Most children diagnosed with Autism or Asperger’s lack the social skills that enable them to participate fully in play and other social situations. Interestingly, many children with autism show a heightened interest in music. While they may be unable to easily communicate verbally with others, music is an avenue for many autistic people to express themselves and communicate in a non-verbal, non-threatening manner. Playing music puts the individual at ease, allowing for strides in social interactions to follow.

Easy access to musical instruments may provide an outlet that encourages children to use music to deal with emotional issues, especially when they are unable to express them through speech. Where words fail, music may be a medium through which to explore one’s inner world and experiences. Often people with developmental delays and learning disabilities such as Down’s syndrome will respond to music. The easy, non-challenging way in which pentatonic instruments can be played offers opportunities for response and expression to children and adults with such developmental delays.

Musical instruments in the classroom or playground offer blind or partially sighted children the opportunity to explore and musical sound and awareness. Instruments, which are simple to play and enable creative experimentation and tactile exploration, encourage the use of motor skills, thus developing coordination whilst stimulating the imagination.

Music is a tool that is used in pain management and healing for children undergoing medical procedures and as a comfort for those who have suffered a traumatic experience. Music can be a powerful distraction, turning the patient’s attention away from pain and promoting relaxation as well as to help ward off depression, promote movement and ease muscle tension.

The use of music in group therapy has long been advocated and practiced in the music therapy profession, in addition to the purely musical benefits, playing in an ensemble is useful for working on concepts such as cooperation with others, coordination, and a sense of accomplishment. Making music and singing songs together in a group can build a harmonious cooperative spirit of support and encouragement for everyone. Children who experience severe obstacles in forming relationships with other children, adults and their environment can achieve security and joy in making music. Music making involves many of the fundamental elements of social interaction; turn taking, listening and responding to another person can all be augmented in music therapy.

To see, hear and play musical instruments at school or in community programs is an important cultural experience for every child. While music therapy is an important discipline, you can also achieve benefits from making music on your own. Successful projects include sensory or music gardens where musical instruments have been installed outdoors, making them accessible at break times as well as for use with the curriculum. Playgrounds and outdoor spaces should be viewed as therapeutic settings and an outdoor music centre or garden could enhance learning and development for both children with and without special needs.

What Music to Play on Your Wedding Day

Many brides really want diverse music for their wedding. They don’t really want music which has been done-to-death or in the past played at a friend’s wedding. Having said that, what brides should realize is that the kind of music that they need ought to be the one which is going to be in accordance with their wedding theme.

The best music for your wedding is determined by your wedding theme. Definitely, as a bride, you do not need techno music at the Hawaiian-themed wedding reception. That may simply be a catastrophe and an inconsistency. What you would probably want for your Hula wedding reception is some island music from Hawaii where your friends and family in grass skirts can sway and enjoy themselves to the hula temp. In the same manner, this hula rhythm and Hawaiian music plainly is not going to do for a genuinely modern rooftop wedding!

In basic church weddings, you could have a quartet play the accompaniment to your church music. This creates a beautiful, angelic feel that is in keeping with the wedding venue and the ambiance. A choir having a minimum of four will be also a lot better than a vocal soloist as often, churches are structured to have perfect acoustics that just the textured and layered reverberation of a choir gives justice to.

For any reception, a conventional church wedding with an indoor conventional reception may go with 2 kinds of reception music. For the first portion of the reception program, a quartet is ideally suited. You wouldn’t like your friends and family to choke on their caviar together with the sound of techno dance music, would you? Techno dance music, nevertheless, is perfect for the later hours of your conventional wedding reception. Once you play light classical music, and after that techno dance music, you happen to be unquestionably setting the atmosphere for your guests in enjoying their food and asking them to stay and relish the party area, respectively, without awkward and embarrassing planned effort from your part.

In cultural weddings in which the couples are celebrating their marriage inside a particular cultural concept, it is usually suitable to play the music of that precise culture. It does not have to be the identical genre all during the entire reception but it has to be in line with the culture-theme that you are in. As an example, a conventional Irish couple having a traditional Irish wedding will desire soft and light music played by Irish instruments for the wedding event. But, when considering the traditional Irish reception, you’ll probably decide some other tone of Irish music one which will call you and your guests to grooving.

The real key in picking music for your wedding is to keep true to its concept, its theme. It is the music that should initiate the atmosphere that you would like. It is the music which will evoke and generate the response and emotions that you might want through the guests. More likely than not, it’s also the music that should bring you back to the happy memories of your special day years later, when you and your spouse are sharing those experiences along with your grand kids.

How to Play Music by Ear

Knowing how to read music is an important skill for any musician, but sometimes it can be even more fun to know how to play music by ear. Playing music by ear is the skill required to hear a piece of music and play it back on an instrument without sheet music. Some people think that this is something they will never be able to do, but there are a few things they can do to improve their skills.

The best way to get better at playing by ear is by jumping in and giving it a shot. Do not expect to be able to play a piece of music perfectly on the first try. At first, playing by ear requires a lot of trial and error to find the right notes and intervals. Beginners need only to be patient and eventually they will get quicker at picking out the right notes.

It is also important to focus not only on the individual notes but on rhythm and intervals as well. Pay close attention to how the melody of the music moves for clues to how it might be played. It is also important to be aware of the rhythm and play accordingly. A song may be played very close to correctly, but it will be hard to tell if it is much slower or much faster than the original.

It takes a little bit of work and dedication, but ear training can drastically improve someone’s ability to play by ear. There are ear training programs available, or it can be done independently by listening to simple melodies. Listen to a melody and practice determining the exact interval. Being able to hear intervals correctly will make it simple to translate the knowledge to an instrument.

Learning how to play music by ear is a challenge, but it is not impossible. Techniques such as ear training will make anyone an all around better musician. With some practice and patience, it is possible for any musician to play what they hear back on the instrument of their choice.

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