Music Therapy for Children with Autism
What is Music Therapy
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
Music therapy makes use of our natural ability to appreciate and respond to music. The music therapy room offers a range of instruments that are easily accessible where the child and therapist improvise together, creating music spontaneously. The child develops a relationship with the music, allowing them to overcome social and communication difficulties and ultimately realise their potential for positive communication and interaction. Music therapy offers an opportunity for the child to develop physical and interactive skills as well as creating a positive experience which promotes self-esteem and motivation.
Music Therapy Sessions
The music therapy room is arranged with a variety of instruments such as the ocean drum, guitar, piano and a range of percussion instruments. The session always begins with a welcome song, followed by a number of activities using singing and guitar and ending with a goodbye song. The structure and regularity of each session provides a safe environment and sense of security for the children to express their thoughts and feelings. Children with autism are very tactile and they love to touch and feel the different instruments, therefore various activities are also created to allow the client to explore. The children always bring a wide range of emotions to the sessions and often express these emotions through a variety of vocal sound effects,
Aims of Music Therapy
- To provide an opportunity to express a range of emotions.
- To provide an opportunity to develop social skills and motor skills.
- To provide an alternate method of communication and there for expand opportunities for interaction on a daily basis.
- To use various musical techniques to support voice projection and strength.
- To provide musical interaction and enjoyment in both receptive and interactive music making.
How we Achieve the Aims of Music Therapy
Instrument playing in music therapy sessions encourages the development of gross and fine motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. Music and movement activities include following simple directions in songs such as clapping hands and stomping feet which also contribute to the development of motor skills.
Music therapy sessions foster the development of social skills through the children waiting for their turn, sharing ideas, listening to each other and appreciating each other’s playing.
Singing words with songs helps the individual to speak and use language. Ultimately, this makes it easier for speech to be transferred to everyday life.
Clinical Music Therapy
I am a qualified Clinical Music Therapist in Nepal with 5 years clinical experience. I studied for 2 years in India to obtain my qualification and since completing my degree.