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Music contributes to: reasoning ability, reading skills, feelings and response, personal fulfillment, language development, the promotion of communication, motor control and physical well-being, positive attitudes to school, socializing and pleasurable experiences in a group.

Therapeutic Characteristics of Music
  1. Music captivates and maintains attention
  2. Music stimulates and utilizes many parts of the brain
  3. Music is easily adapted to, and can be reflective of, a person's abilities
  4. Music structures time in a way that we can understand
  5. Music provides a meaningful, enjoyable context for repetition
  6. Music provides a social context - it sets up a safe, structured setting for verbal and nonverbal communication
  7. Music is an effective memory aid
  8. Music supports and encourages movement
  9. Music taps into memories and emotions
  10. Music and the silences within it provide nonverbal, immediate feedback
  11. Music is success-oriented - people of all ability levels can participate
Music has been successful as a therapeutic intervention for children with disabilities. It has been used with persons, of all ages from preschool to late adulthood and with many types of disabilities whether congenital or adventitious. Music therapy may play an important role in developing, maintaining and/or restoring physical functioning.

Because music is reinforcing, it can be used to motivate movements or structure exercises which are prescribed in physical rehabilitation. Involvement in music may provide a distraction from the pain discomfort, and anxiety often associated with some physical disabilities.

Music Therapy Techniques

Music therapy techniques have been used to develop and maintain joint and muscle function or to increase fine and gross motor coordination and control, increase muscle strength, increase range of motion, improve cardiopulmonary and respiratory functioning, improve oral-motor skills, facilitate relaxation and controlled movement, as well as provide an outlet for emotional self-expression and provide opportunities for social interaction. Musical experiences presented within a music therapy sessions can be effective in achieving a variety of physical, emotional and social goals relevant to the individuals needs capabilities and preferences.

Music Therapy Sessions

Music therapy sessions incorporate the use of different musical media to achieve individualized treatment goals. Through movement to music and dance routines, movements may become more controlled, fluid and purposeful. Recorded or five background music may be used.

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, hand grasp strength, and non-verbal self-expression. These instruments are often adapted to fit the specific physical capabilities of each client.

Music therapy can increase an individual's level of independence, and enhance feelings of self-confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. Through participation in successful and enjoyable experiences, music therapy can assist these individuals in reaching their fullest potential.