Quality Therapy Toys - Music Therapy Music Therapy is the beneficial use of a client-therapist’s interaction through music, in order to preserve healthy qualities, to promote development and change, and to achieve a better quality of life.  All children can be helped to learn to enjoy and to become involved in music to some extent. It has been used with persons, of all ages from preschool to late adulthood and with many types of disabilities whether congenital or adventitious. Through movement to music and dance routines, movements may become more controlled, fluid and purposeful. Live music offers increased flexibility and adaptability to match and guide physical movements elicited by the client.
Musical instruments may be used to work on range of motion, handgrasp strength, and non-verbal self-expression. The use of computer-aided and electronic musical equipment also allows severely physically disabled clients to reach their fullest creative potential. The act of singing may assist in the maintenance and improvement of oral motor skills and pulmonary functioning. Singing provides opportunities to improve breath-control, rate of speech, articulation and pronunciation skills. Discussion of lyrics and songwriting may provide opportunities to discuss and share personal thoughts and experiences. Music therapy can increase an individual's level of independence, and enhance feelings of self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. Facilitate relaxationRelaxation is an important component in achieving increased range of motion and flexibility. Music experiences that can promote relaxation include listening to carefully chosen music, instrumental improvisation and music-assisted relaxation exercises.
The music therapist is able to recognize and monitor the effects of the presented music on the individual. The use of selected instruments can improve range of motion as well as fine and gross motor skills through strategically, placing instruments around the individual or using instruments that require the use of specific muscle groups or, body parts. The use of rhythmic auditory stimuli has been shown to increase independent, even control of ambulation in individuals with uneven or arrhythmic gait patterns and to facilate temporal and quantitative muscular control in children with gross motor dysfunction.3. Reinforce and provide motivation for physical exerciseThe use of music in therapy provides a positive and enjoyable atmosphere for persons with physical disabilities to experience success. Through providing live background music, adaptability and flexibility is maintained so that the music therapist can more easily match the individual's motions in tempo, style and rhythm. Music can help provide distraction and diversion from exercises that may be difficult for the individual, provide motivation to maintain participation and make a regular exercise routine seem less tedious.4.


Foster independence, self-confidence- and self-esteemAs physical abilities improve, and persons have increased opportunities to practice and acquire new skills and abilities, independence can be fostered and self-confidence and self-esteem enhanced. A positive self-image and self-concept can be developed through music therapy interventions and music therapy activities can be adapted according to the individual's needs and capabilities. Develop functional speech and communication abilitiesSinging and speech have many commonalities. The use of vocal exercises used in singing can enhance oral motor skills such as articulation, breath control, and vocal intensity. Through manipulating tempo and rhythm, clarity of speech can be enhanced and the rate of speech can be modified to provide increased communication abilities for the individual.
This technique has been shown to be effective in improving word-morpheme performance levels, sentence lengths, articulation skills and intelligibility for language delayed apraxic children and has been an effective treatment for some persons with severe aphasia . Music has also been effective as a stimulus to promote spontaneous speech with physically challenged children and to promote non-verbal communication through bliss symbols or sign language.6. Motivate interaction with othersPersons with physical disabilities may encounter decreased opportunities and motivation for social interaction. Group ensembles provide opportunities to develop peer relationships, develop social interaction skills and provide opportunities for cooperation and working together as a group toward a common goal. Group music therapy sessions can also provide opportunities to share personal experiences with others and provide a means and an outlet for appropriate self-expression. Music therapy and children with autism Music Therapy is particularly useful with autistic children owing in part to the nonverbal, non threatening nature of the medium. Musical games like passing a ball back and forth to music or playing sticks and cymbals with another person might be used to foster this interaction. Preferred music may be used contingently for a wide variety of cooperative social behaviors like sitting in a chair or staying with a group of other children in a circle. Music Therapy is particularly effective in the development and remediation of speech. Speech can range from complete mutism to grunts, cries, explosive shrieks, guttural sounds, and humming. Higher level autistic speech may involve echolalia, delayed echolalia or pronominal reversal, while some children may progress to appropriate phrases, sentences, and longer sentences with non expressive or monotonic speech.
Music therapists traditionally work with autistic children because of this unusual responsiveness which is adaptable to non-music goals Some children have unusual sensitivities only to certain sounds. Through careful structuring, syllable sounds were paired with his singing of the harmonics and the boy began incorporating consonant-vowel sounds into his vocal play. Soon simple 2-3 note tunes were played on the xylophone by the therapist who modeled more complex verbalizations, and the child gradually began imitating them.Since autistic children sometimes sing when they may not speak, music therapists and music educators can work systematically on speech through vocal music activities. In the music classroom, songs with simple words, repetitive phrases, and even repetitive nonsense syllables can assist the autistic child's language.


Meaningful word phrases and songs presented with visual and tactile cues can facilitate this process even further.
Parents and teachers alike can assist the child in remembering these prosodic features of speech by prompting the child with the song.While composing specialized songs is time consuming for the teacher with a classroom full of other children, it should be remembered that the repertoire of elementary songs are generally repetitive in nature.
While the words in such books may not seem critical for the autistic child's survival at the moment, simply increasing the capacity to put words together is a vitally important beginning for these children.For those teachers whose time is limited to large groups, almost all singing experiences are invaluable to the autistic child when songs are presented slowly, clearly, and with careful focusing of the child's attention to the ongoing activity. Music is effective because it is a nonverbal form of communication, it is a natural reinforcer, it is immediate in time, provides motivation for practicing nonmusical skills, and is successful because almost everyone responds positively to at least some kind of music. Music therapists work in a variety of settings, including medicine, rehabilitation, psychiatric care, special education, correctional facilities, state schools, community-based health care, and private practice.
For example, the therapist and client might compose songs for the purpose of expression of feelings; one client might learn to play the piano for the purpose of improving fine motor skills, while another client might use instruments to improvise unspoken emotions. Following coursework, students complete a six-month full time clinical internship and a written board certification exam. Music therapy can increase an individual's level of independence, and enhance feelings of self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.
Through providing live background music, adaptability and flexibility is maintained so that the music therapist can more easily match the individual's motions in tempo, style and rhythm. A positive self-image and self-concept can be developed through music therapy interventions and music therapy activities can be adapted according to the individual's needs and capabilities. In the music classroom, songs with simple words, repetitive phrases, and even repetitive nonsense syllables can assist the autistic child's language.
When applied therapeutically by a RMT, music becomes a pleasurable therapeutic medium that facilitates advancement toward articulated and often multi-purpose goals and objectives. Music therapy can address several needs simultaneously and is highly transferable to the home environment. Furthermore, as young children with delay in development are not necessarily delayed in their music skills, music therapy allows them to experience a sense of success and fun whilepursuing other non-musical goals. The Music Therapy Process Specific music therapy goals are determined by the RMT through initial music therapy assessment and ongoing review of the child.



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