Music Therapy helps children with autism and developmental dyslexia use and understand speech.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Music Therapy in the news! At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers shared new studies, which support the use of music therapy to improve language development in stroke patients.  Gottfried Schlaug, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School reports that, people who suffered strokes on the left side of the brain, affecting speech, can sometimes learn to communicate through singing.  More research was shown to support that music education and music therapy, can help children with developmental dyslexia and autism more accurately use speech.

Music is a multi-sensory experience that involves large areas on both sides of the brain. Nina Kraus, director of Auditory Neuroscience at Northwestern University, reports that the musically trained brain is better at picking out specific sounds, patterns, and subtle changes in the human voice needed for processing language and emotion.

How does this effect the child with special needs? These studies have shown that areas in the brain that are enhanced in musicians are deficient in the brains of children with autism and developmental dyslexia. “Playing an instrument my help youngsters better process speech in a classroom, and more accurately interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by the human voice.

 At Joyful Music, we use music therapy to help language development by singing songs, playing instruments, movement to music, and sensory exploration with musical instruments. We have seen dramatic changes in our students’ articulation, intonation, and word phrasing. We focus on using the power of music to encourage communication. Music therapy facilitates musical experiences to challenge and motivate their body and mind.

Music Therapy and Autism  


Tamela Ponder, MT-BC 2/24/2010 1:15:00 PM

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