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Music therapy

For people with Autism Apectrum Disorder (ASD), music therapy uses interactive musical activities to improve social and communication skills . Music therapy uses music and the interactions between teachers and children to teach specific skills. Children of any age and ability can benefit from music therapy .
Music therapy was first used for children with special needs in the early to mid-1900s in the United States. Its use became more widespread in the 1950s and 1960s in the United Kingdom. Music therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) developed as a way to improve these children’s difficulties.

Music therapy can give people who can’t easily communicate a way of communicating and interacting. Instead of using words to communicate, they can instead use a range of musical activities – singing, playing instruments, improvising, songwriting and listening to music. These activities are intended to promote communication and social skills like making eye contact and taking turns.
Therapists can also use musical activities to teach new skills. This happens by pairing new skills with their own musical cues. Once children have learned the skills, they no longer need the cues. The cues are gradually phased out until the skills happen by themselves.
For a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a music therapist might also write lyrics about specific behavior – for example, turn-taking. The therapist sings the lyrics to the melody of a song the child knows well. The idea is that the child might be better able to focus on sung information than spoken information.

How Music Can Make a Difference

One of the reasons that music has quickly become a tool used in autism therapy is that it can stimulate both hemispheres of our brain, rather than just one. This means that a therapist can use a song or instrument to support cognitive activity so that we can build self-awareness and improve relationships with others. Music encourages communicative behavior and can encourage interaction with others, which is something that autistic children have great difficulty with. If we look closely at the way that a band works, it is obvious that the instruments must all interact with one another, but the player only needs to interact with the instrument at first. For children dealing with autism, interacting with others can be difficult, but through introducing an instrument to their therapy, they may bond first with the object and then open up to others interacting with their instruments as well.

Listening and Singing Support

Our interpretation of music, both in lyrics and in sound can greatly assist in teaching us to communicate. For children with autism, this could mean learning a new word from a song, or better understanding how to act in a social situation based on the messages that a song is expressing. We know that autism can create barriers for children in social settings, but small groups of children listening to music together may feel confident and comfortable enough to comment or sing along with others. Dancing exercises can also help to stimulate our sensory systems, and allow us to enhance fine motor skills.

Music therapy typically involves the following stages:

  • Evaluation
  • Goal-setting
  • Activities
  • Review
Music therapy sessions can be one on one or in a group. Children typically attend trice in a week, for about 40 minutes. The duration of the therapy depends on children’s needs.
Music is one among the best curing way of specific state of mind .