Ask any audiophile, and you will quickly discover that music is very powerful. Not only can it impact one’s mind and mood, but also it can impact one’s, very soul. It can do this with a variety of beautiful sounds and with or without words. Because music can be so multi-functional, it is a great tool when used for special needs therapy or in special education classrooms.
It affects the physical body as well as the mind and the emotions. It can create feelings of calm, excitement, happiness, rest, tension and more depending on the sounds and the words employed. When used with certain special needs children, it may be best to use instrumental-only music to avoid overwhelming the mind. In special education areas, music can be used to develop motor skills, to aid in communication, to motivate children to do a task and to participate with others.
This makes music particularly helpful for children who struggle to communicate as well as for autistic children. Music can help children connect emotionally with others even when words fail them. Plus, listening to instrumental music helps release the hormone oxytocin in the body, which is the bonding and feel-good hormone.
Many special needs children benefit significantly from experiences that utilize more than one sense simultaneously. When children make music in class or therapy, they are obviously able to use their senses of hearing and sight. However, they are also using their sense of touch as they play the instrument. Some of the best classroom instruments are drums and other percussion instruments that are incredibly easy to play.