Music Therapy and Benefits for Children with ADHD

Music Therapy and Benefits for Children with ADHD

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You know how your favorite music can transform your entire mood? As anecdotal as that

sounds, there is actual scientific proof that music is useful as a therapeutic tool. In fact, music

therapy has been used since the early 20th century as medical professionals observed positive

patient reactions to music as a way to cope with both physical and emotional trauma resulting

from fighting in World War II. Here’s how music can help children with ADHD or autism,

presented below by

Music Therapy: The Mind and Body Connection

The intrinsic connection between the mind and body means that in order to improve one, it is

best to take care of both. Music has a potent effect on our emotions. The right song can change

our mood drastically. By using music to make a person feel more positive or relaxed, they are

better able to heal.

Music Therapy and ADHD

For children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, learning to play an instrument

combines the emotional benefits of music while helping instill discipline and self-esteem.

Music therapy can also be used to help a child concentrate. Classical music has been proven to help

children study and stay focused on tasks. With permission from their teacher, your child can

even listen to music on headphones while completing assignments.

Plus, music gives children a creative outlet where they can express themselves, improve

hand/eye coordination, and broaden their minds. While a child with ADHD doesn’t need to learn

to play an instrument to benefit from music therapy, it’s a great hobby and school subject for

them to become involved in if they are interested. The “if they are interested” part is pretty

crucial. One of the reasons music therapy is so effective for children is because it is non-

threatening and enjoyable -- forcing your child to participate kind of negates those aspects.

However, if your kid wants to learn to play, here is some helpful advice.

● When learning how to play an instrument, in-person lessons aren’t always necessary.

Online music lessons enable your child to learn in a virtual environment, and these

lessons may be cheaper because instructors won’t have to travel to your home.

● Introduce your child to a number of instruments they can learn how to play. Some music

schools offer complimentary introductory courses where they can experience the sounds

and feel of an instrument before committing. Let your child pick one they are comfortable

with so they are naturally inclined to play.

● In addition to multiple types of instruments, allow your children to become well versed in

the different genres of music. Your child may not be as into classical as, say, jazz or

pop. Knowing that there are other musical options out there for them will encourage

them to stick with it and make it their own.

● Pick an instrument that is acceptable for your child’s skill level and abilities. For instance,

many young musicians pick up and learn the clarinet before attempting to move on to a

saxophone. A clarinet is easier to handle and carry around, but it still teaches them how

to read music and fingering fundamentals that they can then apply to the saxophone

when they are ready.

● When it is time to buy an instrument, don’t invest in the most expensive, highest level

version. For instance, if your child wants to learn the trumpet, there’s no need to buy an

intermediate instrument with slide hooks and adjustable slide stops. A student trumpet is

more affordable and has all the tools necessary to learn the instrument. As they grow

and become more serious regarding their playing, you can trade their student instrument

in for a more advanced model.

● Lastly, if you live in an apartment, you need to be aware of your surroundings. A loud

instrument could disrupt your neighbors, limiting your child’s ability to practice. If

possible, look for a rental house that will allow your child to practice freely without

worrying about bothering people with whom you share walls. Online websites can help

you filter search results by number of bedrooms, neighborhood, and price.


Music therapy is a proven method that helps people improve both the mind and body. Children

with ADHD or autism can especially benefit from music therapy and learning to play an

instrument in particular. If they are interested in it, they learn discipline, improve their hand/eye

coordination, and have a creative outlet that helps broaden the mind. When picking out an

instrument, find one that appeals to their interests and allow them to start out with a small,

student-level model they can trade in as they continue to learn.

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