Wednesday, July 05, 2006

AUTISM: Therapists use music to boost motor and brain functions

Even back home in the Philippines, I've been integrating music into my early intervention class curriculum and my students loved it. When I got here and began using classical music to my Junior High School classes, I got the anticipated initial reaction from my students - very negative. One of my students turned it off. I explained to them the calming effect of classical music. I insisted on playing it while they were working. Amazingly, without them noticing it, they are quieter now than when there was no music. And they are able to produce more work output.

Therapists use music to boost motor and brain functions

The 100 students in the Berklee College of Music's undergraduate music-therapy program spend much of their time in hospitals and schools, where they help people with different medical conditions improve their moods, hone their language skills and develop coordination. The mother of a 17-year-old with autism credits her son's music-therapy sessions with improving his ability to express his needs. The Boston Globe/Associated Press (7/4)


watson said...

music: the universal language!

TJ said...

Hi Sol,

Interesting insight into your methodology. Would music be allowed in Philippine setting? In an ordinary class of high school students? The traditionalist educators would not probably allow it. I really dont know the trends. Maybe music is now allowed, like Easy Listening or light classics as background music, just like in an office environment.

Bicol Bob said...

An interesting discussion. I wonder how much 'easy listening' or 'light classics' would overlap with 'ballads'. And considering how popular the Beatles are still, how many of their songs would be acceptable?

You may find the Nordoff-Robbins approach here in the UK of interest, I'm not sure, but it may be worth looking up.

michelle said...

Teacher Sol,

How wonderful to know that music is being used in classrooms! I wish more teachers would do the same. Music truly empowers the brain.

My son, RJ, plays the trumpet and it is because of him that I've learned to truly understand classical music. I truly believe that music made him a better academic student.

Best of luck and please share more stories/insights regarding this "experiment" in your classroom.



The integration of music in the
classroom is now encouraged by any
curriculum even in the traditional
classroom in the Philippines.
Research suggests the positive
result of this with the student
learning. We use this as
background music during worktime
but not during lecture.


The Nordoff-Robbins approach
creative music therapy is based
upon the belief that there is an
inborn musicality residing in
every human being that can be
activated in the service of
personal growth and development.
This self-actualizing potential is
most effectively awakened through the use of improvisational music
in which the individual's innate
creativity is used to overcome
emotional, physical, and cognitive

Every philosophy/ approach in
music therapy is based upon this
assumption, they are just given
little variations by the
proponents, then viola!... the
approach is named after them.


Please encourage your son, RJ, to
continue his interest in music. My
daughter, Rae, plays the violin
too and has a musical inclination,
she knows when a note is broken
and can sing a tune she just heard
once. Aren't kids like them really

michelle said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement for RJ... RJ is in college now and is majoring in Music Ed. He is involved in the school's orchestra and jazz band. We always encourage him and always tell him how much we love his playing and we brag about his talent as much as we could.

bicol bob said...

Here in Watford we now have the Purcell Music School who, amongst many other places, give concerts in our town centre parish church of St Mary's from time to time. My reason for wanting to mention them is that they have the most absurdly talented performers from the Far East among their pupils and it's most enjoyable to hear them play, for example, a Chopin piano piece so brilliantly.

Promethean Planet


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