Monday, September 27, 2010

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Play that funky music...............

I decided last night that I would write about music and special needs children today. But I had no idea how fun it would be to get resources for the blog and do the research! I've had a smile on my face for an hour. Noting my documented hate of mornings (see last blog), this is a monumental occasion. Therefore, I just have to share!  The links to the articles I refer to will be at the bottom of today's blog and in the resources page.

It has been known for quiet a while now that music has the ability to lighten your mood, make you melancholy, relax you (babies and lullabies. need I say more?), get you all energized (aerobics at the gym. Something I'm voluntarily allergic to), and provoke a multitude of other feelings. I have listened to symphonies on youtube or on a CD and gotten goosebumps to the point that my hair stood up on the crown of my head. I have listened to Concrete Angel by Martina McBride and sobbed ( and will never listen to it again... I can't get through it. But, that's just me).  I listen to the Eagles, Queen, Billy Joel or KT Tunstall when I need to clean the house. I play Bobby Darrin, Sinatra, Neil Sedaka, and Elvis when I want to see my kids roll their eyes and pretend to become embarrassed.

The article, How Music Therapy Can Help Your Child by Kristyn Crow ( a mother of seven.... I like her already! *wink*) really spoke to me. She notes the benefits in music for gross and fine motor difficulties, speech disorders, and disabilities including... ~drum roll please~ autism. Please humor me... I'm going to quote her directly here for a minute: 
  •  Here are several ways that Music Therapy can help your child:
  • stimulates and engages many parts of the brain not used in typical language processing. Often children who have difficulty with language can improve their skills through song. I have heard of some children learning to sing before they could speak.
  • Playing an instrument helps teach a child muscle coordination, rhythm, cause and effect, and improves fine and gross motor skills. It also increases self-esteem and confidence.
  • Music brightens a child's mood. Have you ever noticed how certain songs can make you feel melancholy, or happy? Music is mood-enhancing, and children with disabilities often benefit greatly from upbeat, rhythmic music that they can sing or play an instrument with.
  • Music is tremendously helpful with stress-relief and can be used with relaxation techniques.
  • Interestingly enough, playing the kazoo has been found to be an effective way to promote speech. Something about the feel of the vibrations and hearing the sound emitted stimulates the desire to create verbal sounds. Many children have improved their ability to speak using a kazoo.
OK. Raise your hand if you have a child that would NOT run around the house like a maniac and play the kazoo if you let him/her. I mean, how fun does this sound?!?! I'm excited just thinking about it!

So, I'm reading all this, and getting......pleasant.... at 8 am, and thinking, wow. This is really important! This needs to be one of our resources! And I read some more, and the article links to The American Music Therapy Association website. Double wow. Triple wow! I could get lost for DAYS with all the resources and articles and fun stuff they have. And seriously, the cutest little girl in the world is on that home page, and I just melted. I love little monsters. I really, REALLY do. ( Don't. tell. Ben!!!!!) 

So. I'm going to stop typing now, and post the links for both the article and the American Music Therapy Association and let y'all be as blown away as I was.  Go ahead and read and smile and stuff. I'm going to hunt me down some kazoos!! Don't worry.. by this afternoon I'll have a raging headache and be cursing myself and saying something like, "SEE?!?! Do ya SEE what happens when I'm pleasant in the morning?!?" But for now... it's all good! Happy Monday everyone!

How Music Therapy Can Help Your Child by Kristyn Crow

The American Music Therapy Association
http://www.musictherapy.org/

1 comment:

Alex Saunders said...

Just wanted to let you know that I stopped in and read your blog. I have it bookmarked in my phone because it's so interesting, and I love hearing about your family. I don't get to be there as often as I would like. Ya know...school and stuff. Speaking of that, I am typing this as I am sitting at my second home (A.K.A. the Dixie State College CIT computer lab. It's really cool to hear your stories and how Logan is improving and developing. keep up the good work :) ttyl

Gardner

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