Music as a Treatment
While ushering a new child into this world can be a rewarding and exciting experience, it can also be extremely scary and uncertain. In addition to all the outside factors parents must worry about, there are also the ones they cannot control.
One out of every 65 births in the United States produces a child with an Autism spectrum disorder. These are also known as pervasive developmental disorders (PPD’s) and can affect a child’s social skills, communication, ability to empathize, and demonstrate flexible behavior; such as changing plans at the last minute. While there are more disorders that fall under the PPD umbrella, the most common are Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
In addition to developmental disorders, parents must worry about a generation of children who seemingly cannot pay attention to anything. Many point to video gaming culture as the source of children’s short attention spans; a problem that is manifesting itself in lowered academic performance. Parents and teachers are puzzled at how to get kids to stay focused and on task.
Fortunately, researchers in California are hoping that music and the learning of it can be major factors in treating these things. Through separate studies, researchers are finding correlations between the acquisition of music skills and improved symptoms. Additionally, thanks to technology finding a quality teacher is easier than ever, and takes very little time.
Music and Autism Spectrum Disorders
Autism spectrum disorders have to do with the brain’s ability to process sensory information, this can put people with these types of disorders in situations where there may be an overload to their senses, like a busy social setting.
Research from Cal Berkley’s College of Music Therapy, suggests there is, “scientific evidence that music therapy influences children on the autism spectrum in several ways, like enhancing skills in communication, interpersonal relationships, self-regulation, coping strategies, stress management, and focusing attention.” The presence of music allows them to organize better what they are seeing, and react as if there wasn’t an overload of sensory information. The tricks is figuring out how to implement music into their life, so it is most effective.
One way is through the use of personal music players that allow for whoever is listening to organize their thoughts more clearly. Learning an instrument has also shown to be therapeutic and beneficial to those that are dealing with Autism spectrum disorders. While being able to play an instrument is always looked at as a positive, it could be a life changing thing for someone with one of these disorders.
Music and Attention Disorders
It becomes harder and harder to find ways to get young people to pay attention and focus. Luckily, researchers in San Diego are doing something about it. The Museum school is using instruments and music as a way have studying how children focus, and how best to increase that focus.
Using sensors that are attached to instruments, researchers are able to monitor how accurate a child is at hitting a certain beat, and are then compared to cognitive tests and assessments done by teachers and parents. When studying the results they found a correlation between inaccuracy and low test scores. However, they also showed as accuracy increased so did those same test scores.
Researchers believe that the obligation to coordinate in a large group, is causing the students to focus and pay more attention to what they are doing. With 1 in 10 children in the United States ADHD, most of them are medicated with pharmaceuticals. Music could be an exciting alternative treatment, for those that don’t want to medicate with drugs.
Families that must deal with Autism Spectrum disorders, attention disorders, and other behavioral disorders have a lot on their plate. While they would do anything for a struggling family member, they wouldn’t argue with a way to relieve some of the stress too. Getting a child with one of these disorders involved in music could be the best thing for them.
However, some may find it difficult to find a trustworthy music teacher that will be patient with their child and their needs. LessonRating allows users to locate, review, and rate music teachers in their local areas. This gives parents the ability to prescreen any teacher before deciding what is best for their child.
Additionally, this makes the process easier than usual. This saves you from running around town to different locations trying to find a teacher, pay for lessons, and coordinate schedules. Using this and other services like it, parents can browse from their own home in their free time, and open their child’s eyes to something that could help them better cope with the world around them.