Music Therapy for Children with Autism: Essay

1433 WordsApr 18, 20116 Pages
In a setting with someone with autism spectrum disorder, music therapists make use of music as an educational tool to encourage learning. One of the purposes of music therapy for someone with autism is to provide the student with an initial assistance using melodious and rhythmic strategies, followed by fading of musical cues to assist in simplification and transfer to other learning environments. Music therapy has been proven to decrease symptoms of children with autism, and could even facilitate motivation and social interaction. Even autistic children, who rarely or never speak, can respond to music; sometimes they may even sing along. Music therapy provides a tool that can link the gap between a non-communicative child and one who can…show more content…
In 1944, the first music therapy degree program in the world was established at Michigan State University and now, more than seventy colleges and universities have approved programs, according to the American Music Therapy Association (“American Cancer Society” par. 8). Music therapists must have at least a bachelor’s degree, 1,200 hours of clinical training, and one or more internships before they can be certified. No one knows all the ways music can benefit the body but, it is known that music can affect brain waves, brain circulation, and stress hormones. Students who take music lessons have improved IQ levels and show improvement in nonmusical abilities as well. Listening to music composed by Mozart produces a short-term improvement in tasks that use spatial abilities. Studies of brain circulation have shown that people listening to Mozart have more activity in certain areas of the brain, which is called the Mozart effect. Although the reasons for this are not clear, this kind of information supports the idea that music can be used in many helpful ways. In general, music therapy done under the care of a professionally-trained therapist has a helpful effect, and is considered safe when used with standard treatment. Music therapy can help an autistic child in many ways. One way is helping their speech by singing. Singing can help a child learn how to grammatically structure a sentence correctly. Singing and speech have many
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