Let me just start this post with a little disclaimer about my time in elementary school music class. Music + me = two.
The fact that I was tone deaf, couldn’t read music, and had poor rhythm didn’t go unnoticed, and I was assigned to that “important” trifecta of percussion instruments known as the sticks, the sand blocks, and the shakers. Love Will Did Not Keep Us Together. (Captain & Tenille reference, kids.)
Apparently, what I needed was a little specialized instruction, and that is what music teachers do. Music therapists, however, do much more.
In fact, accredited Music Therapists study psychology and medicine in addition to music, and complete over twelve hundred hours of clinical training before becoming card-carrying MT-BCs (Music Therapists – Board Certified).
So they are specially trained clinicians who use voice, movement, and instruments to work on a client’s individualized treatment plan. Their efforts are evidence-based, and they often collaborate with occupational, speech, and behavioral therapists on specific strategies and plans to improve on their client’s social and communication goals.
And did I mention that music is fun? It’s true. (<-- Unless you’re only allowed to "play" the sticks for the entirety of 2nd grade.) You can listen to it, dance to it, sing to it, exercise to it (so I’m told), and play it - on any level from improv newbie to concert-worthy performer.
Since it is processed on both sides of the brain, music is particularly helpful in developing speech in tandem with headier tasks like executive functioning, sequencing, and self-regulation. (Bonus!)
And a plethora of benefits are to be had in music’s mathematical patterns and artistic rhythms, running the gamut from emotional to social to physical to sensory.
And if all you really want is just a little more cowbell, you can always get some of that right here. *Wink!*