Promoting Speech & Language Skills
Because music is processed in multiple areas of the brain, music therapy gives kids the opportunity to learn and practice communication skills in different ways than traditional therapy.
Components of music like melody, rhythm, and timbre make it easier to imitate the correct sounds, label the right words, and complete full sentences. Many songs include lots of repetition, so kids get extra practice hearing and singing sounds, words, and phrases without feeling bored or frustrated.
Music is multi-modal, meaning kids can interact by listening, playing instruments, dancing, and singing. This allows each child to practice new skills in a variety of ways, and it allows children to fully participate regardless of skill, talent, or ability. Since music is intrinsically rewarding, and kids are naturally drawn to music activities, it feels like play!
A board-certified music therapist will lead your child in age-appropriate activities like singing, instrumenting playing, drumming, musical books, scarves, egg shakers, music listening, and movement to work on individual goals. As much as possible, we use each child's favorite songs and activities to work on speech and language skills.
Music therapists are also trained to makeup original songs and activities to address specific goals.
Research studies published over the last seventy years continue to show that music therapy is effective for developing speech and language skills. Additionally, life skills learned in music therapy transfer outside the music therapy session to real-world situations. For children with developmental speech delay, apraxia, aphasia, dysarthria, echolalia, cochlear implants, and stuttering this research shows measurable gains in:
Literacy and receptive language
Interaction skills and turn-taking
Speech rate, tone, and pitch
Attention and participation
Music therapy is an evidenced-based approach to therapy that uses age-appropriate music activities to work toward individualized goals.
Music therapy is different from other therapies because music can be processed in almost every area of the brain. This means music therapy can accommodate lots of goals within one session.
Best of all, the most significant outcomes occur when each child is using their favorite songs and music activities, so it feels like play! When kids are relaxed and having fun, they’re most receptive to learning and practicing new life skills.
To read more about music therapists' training and education, head to the blog.