How Can Music Help Students With Special Needs?

Music has been shown to help unlock the door to learning for children who think in neurodiverse ways. In fact, studies have found that individuals on the autism spectrum, who often have difficulty with communication and connection, frequently thrive in musical spaces. Music therapy, a treatment modality requiring licensure and board certification,,  has been recognized by the US Department of Education as a useful service for special needs students. Music therapists have developed music-based interventions and after-school classes in New York to help special needs children make progress in academic areas.

Musicamente is a special needs program in NYC that uses music as a motivator, memory tool, or timekeeper when other strategies have become obsolete. Music therapists compose educational songs, write chants, and use musical cues to help students that have difficulty learning and grasping concepts find a creative route to comprehension. Moreover, they also provide consultation, training, and resources regarding speech and language.

The following are four ways Musicamente programs use music in education.

Music along with visuals to increase comprehension:

Music combined with visual cues is an effective memory tool and learning modality. Music therapists use flashcards, storybooks, digital pictures, and even physical gestures accompanied by musical prompts to enhance hearing, learning, and comprehension in special needs students.

Using favorite songs as a teaching tool:

Some students have limited interests or find it hard to engage with the text represented in long-form. Special needs programs utilize areas of interest for the student, such as a favorite song, in order to retain attention and increase the likelihood of engagement with learning material. Students can work together with the therapist to rewrite song lyrics to make it relevant to learning material. Additionally, students might identify unfamiliar vocabulary in a song they love, circle keywords and discuss the song’s meaning. Afterward, students can complete a related writing activity based on the song’s central theme.

Use rhythm to your kid’s advantage:

For children on the autism spectrum, structuring their environment is imperative. They might find it difficult to filter for the critical information in a series of texts. Rhythm can help create a container for activity which gets their body synced with music and focused on a task. Rhythm can also improve speech by teaching articulation and pacing.

Facilitates generalization of skills:

It is great to see students narrate facts, rules, or phone numbers as a song, but what happens when the music is over? Special needs after-school programs near me facilitate the generalization of skills from the classroom to real-world settings.

At Musicamente, we know the power of music.

Our after-school programs help special needs students find creative paths towards learning.

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