Music Can be a Boon for Children with ADHD

Music Can be a Boon for Children with ADHD

Person, Human, Child, Girl, Blond, Guitar, MusicImage courtesy of Pixabay


Many of us turn to music to help ease tension on the drive to work, to celebrate holidays, and to help take our minds off household chores.  As it turns out, science suggests music also offers special therapeutic effects to children with ADHD.  The evidence is compelling and exciting.


Increasing interest.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, studies show increased interest in music therapy for children with ADHD, and results are promising.  Music therapists generally work with children who are preschool age and school age, and a variety of music therapies are employed.  Virtually across the board, therapists felt children’s responses to music therapies were positive.  With approximately one in ten children in the United States diagnosed with ADHD, this is an exciting and important finding.


Why music therapy.  If you’re looking ways to make ADHD more manageable, music may be just the ticket.  Psychology Today cites studies which found music enhanced cognitive ability and improved memory function, planning and decision-making, the ability to function in school, and the ability to focus attention.


Generally speaking, some scientists believe music is a powerful help to those with ADHD because it relies heavily on timing, and timing is impaired in those with ADHD.  Basically, children with ADHD struggle with synchronizing rhythms physically, mentally and socially.  Because music inherently employs rhythm, it is believed to improve functioning for those struggling to find rhythm because of ADHD.


The premise relates to music using a particular section of the brain, separate from other sections.  Basically scientists look at how music engages the brain and developing that section of the brain in helpful, corresponding ways.  For example, while speech uses one section of the brain, singing uses another.  Therapists helping stroke victims who lost the ability to speak may be able to improve speech function by encouraging patients to sing.


People with ADHD also tend to produce less dopamine than others.  Dopamine is a feel-good chemical in the brain, and some of the stimulants used in ADHD medicinal therapies help produce dopamine.  Music also appears to increase dopamine levels, which is another reason scientists feel it can help children with ADHD.


What is music therapy.  Music therapists are professionals trained to help individuals achieve better wellness through music.  However you can do music therapy on your own and reap benefits without the assistance of a professional therapist.  The University of New Hampshire notes individuals being able to achieve many of the same benefits you would seek through a professional service, such as lowered stress levels, relaxation, and motivation.


You and your child also don’t need to be “naturals” when it comes to music therapy.  Even if you can’t carry a tune or never played an instrument, talent isn’t the key.  Any sort of musical engagement can be helpful, regardless of skill.  According to some experts, music therapy can include writing songs, listening to and playing music, composing, or playing along with pre-recorded songs.  The style doesn’t matter, the instrument doesn’t matter, and the genre doesn’t matter – whatever your child enjoys will be perfect!


This means incorporating music therapy into your everyday life can be simple and fun.  For instance learning a new instrument such as a trumpet could be a terrific boost for your child’s health.  However, selecting an instrument like a trumpet can feel complicated if you never played one.  Do some research to feel more confident and make an informed choice.  Explore an online trumpet buying guide before making your decision.


Music for your child’s health.  Science suggests many great reasons to add music to your child’s therapy program.  Music can help your child’s brain function and improve coping with ADHD.  Find a musical outlet your child enjoys and you are likely to see great results!

Charles Carpenter

(With Permission)

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