Tips for Teaching Music to People on the Autism Spectrum

Research has widely shown that music has many positive impacts on individuals both physiologically and emotionally. These benefits expand into the areas of connection, cognition, and communication in particularly significant ways when it comes to individuals living on the autism spectrum. This is especially true when music is applied therapeutically, utilizing the skills of a trained music therapist. Music therapy is an evidence-based profession that uses clinically-minded music interventions to address a wide range emotional and cognitive challenges. When interacting with adults and children on the autism spectrum, music therapists can help build essential skills, lower anxiety, boost communication, and help navigate the daily challenges of life. 

Surprisingly, very few music instructors have training or experience working with people on the autism spectrum.  Often, it can be challenging to find an instructor who has the skill-set and patience to find creative modifications that support the unique needs of neurodivergent people. At Musicamente, our New York State based team is composed of creative and experienced music therapists and instructors who understand how to effectively adapt to each individual to help them reach their musical goals.

A music instructor at Musicament provides autism services that can help improve cognition, support physical well-being, and most importantly, equip them to explore music simply for the sake of enjoyment. With our team, you can expect your loved one to build communication skills, self-confidence, friendships, and self-respect.

If you’re looking for tips on how to teach music to individuals living on the spectrum, try the following suggestions:

●        Explore more multi-sensory teaching techniques. Visual aids can help immensely with instruction, such as using graphic cards to teach notation. Some people on the spectrum associate notes with colors or shapes. Asking what shape or color a child associates with a note may yield surprising results.

●        Spend less time verbally explaining concepts and more time giving concrete experiential learning opportunities, such as tapping and clapping rhythms together 

●        Check if your student can name a note without an aural reference point. It has been found that most children can play by ear. Have them repeat musical phrases even if the phrase begins on a different note than the original. 

●        Link notes with sounds. Individuals with ASD tend to memorize notes by sounds more than by words. Once they know the sound, they can also learn the name and progress from there. 

●        Choose music pieces they have an interest in. They will enjoy what they’re playing and will learn it faster. 

Looking for a music teacher for people on the autism spectrum?

At Musicamente, we nourish every individual’s talent and musical capabilities.

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