The Magic of Music Therapy
In the life of a parent of a special needs child of any kind, therapy seems to be a way of life. You have your major therapies like physical, occupational, aquatic and of course speech; of which we’re personally familiar with all four.
But there is an unsung (literally) hero in the world of therapy that far too often gets overlooked.
Yes, I know. You’re first thoughts are of some choir signing songs or your son or daughter smashing down on some piano keys, but that’s not at all what music therapy is or what it can be because one common thread throughout human existence is our passion for music. It has defined common people, been used to signal strategies of war and used in nightly rituals to sooth a child to sleep.
Targeted music therapy can help with a child’s physical state… I mean, think about it, you can’t be a couch potato if you’re dancing, right. It helps with a child’s emotional state because who can be sad through an entire Wiggles song (maybe an adult could, but no kid could). Gross motor, it’s covered too! Picking up a drum stick and playing them or the guitar (John-Michael’s favorite) takes fine motor skills to accomplish. It can help with cognitive skills as well, knowing when to play and not just what to play. And it even helps kids transition between tasks which is a challenge for both parents and therapists. At The Rise School of Houston, where John-Michael attends classes, whenever they move to a new activity they sign this catchy little tune “we’re on the way, we’re on the way, we’re on the way to…. (wherever they’re headed).”
In speech therapy, song is often used to help a child connect with a word they may struggle with or a therapist may use songs as therapy tools (although, I would like to see them use more of this technique). The reason so many kids learning shows are so popular and effective is because they’ve tapped into the music therapy aspect of teaching kids new things. The bottom line is that music therapy truly is traverse across all therapy platforms and should be used as a tool to help our kids meet and exceed our goals.
We’ve had the distinct honor of having a music therapist at The Rise School who not only helps our kids at the school but also started her own non-profit organization to help kids learn through music called the Music Therapy Center of Houston.
I love and believe in what Veronica is doing there and it’s for that reason that we are officially recommended her organization to you, our dedicated readers and followers. I want you to be confident when we recommend an organization to you so I will tell you plainly that did not take any payment from Veronica or her organization to write this post or review her organization. We simply believe in what she’s doing and want to share it with the world.
And if you happen to live in Austin or Houston, Texas or in Brooklyn, New York and you happen to stop by Juiceland for a refreshing smoothy in the heat of the summer, 50% of the proceeds are being donated to our favorite music therapy center. If you don’t live near one or can’t get one, please forward this to a friend or just make a donation to the great work they do by clicking HERE: