I wanted to share with you an article published in January on the Huffington Post. Ronna Kaplan, recent Past President of the American Music Therapy Association, opens a door for us and gives readers a view inside the classroom for young students with different abilities. In her article, “Music Therapy in Early Childhood Classrooms” she does a nice job of describing what you might see in a classroom session, and why.
When I read the article, I reflected upon how music can be shaped to be the carrier of information for learners of different sensory needs and skill levels. Often kids with “special needs” have disparities in levels of functioning. This means they might struggle intensely with one thing, and be really quite talented at another. Using music to help kids learn essential academic concepts, as well as therapeutic concepts for communication, psychosocial health, and motor planning are an often non-threatening and fun ways to approach learning and goal achievement. Through music therapy, music can be the tool to access strengths to illucidate the lesson or task being taught.
So when kids have challenges in getting something accomplished, wrapping the content in music might just be the thing that will help get the concept understood and integrated.