Sensory Music Interaction Zoe Hammond Inspiration
Sensory music songs and techniques are effective in addressing academic skills. Some of these skills may include number identification, counting, and mathematical problem solving. Music therapy is motivating and can allow an individual to attend to a task for a longer period of time. Because music is processed in both hemispheres of the brain, music can stimulate cognitive functioning and may be used for remediation of some speech/language skills. Music therapy can enable those without language to communicate, participate and express themselves non-verbally. Often music can assist in the development of verbal communication, speech and language skills. Singing is an effective technique used to increase sentence length, fluency, rate, and appropriate pitch and volume of the speaking voice. Rhythmic cuing can improve the rate of speech. Conversational skills can also be enhanced through “musical conversations” with instruments where the child takes turns “talking” with a peer. Music provides concrete, multi-sensory stimulation (auditory, visual, and tactile). The rhythmic component of music is very organizing for the sensory systems of individuals with special needs. As a result, auditory processing and other sensory-motor, perceptual/motor, gross and fine motor skills can be enhanced through music therapy. Music therapy strategies can be devised to address poor coordination and balance issues. For instance, tapping rhythm sticks together with a partner requires refined coordination and is a fun, motivating way to work on a motor skill. Because rhythm is structured and predictable, it is often used to improve an individual’s gait or walking stride. Social song stories can be created specifically for the child to target specific social skills or behaviors such as turn-taking, shared play, joint attention, listening and responding to others and appropriate interaction with peers. In the music therapy setting, the individual has the opportunity to role-play different.