An Overview of Music Therapy for Children With Special Needs

Description: Music is the art of arranged sounds in order to create a specific composition in time, with the various components of tone, harmony, rhythm, melody, and arrangement. It is also one of the more universal aspects of human cultures. Since the earliest times music has been used to express many human feelings and needs, including emotions, hopes, fears, and happiness. Music is an essential component of human communication, since it can evoke strong emotions that can influence the mind, emotions, behavior, and moods of those who hear it. Music expresses many human experiences and can affect positively or negatively a person’s life.

The term “classical” refers to genres of music developed before 1760 in Europe, which are based on traditional forms such as opera, ballet, and choral pieces. It is a designation given to styles of music developed before this time that were considered conventional and considered “real”. During the late twentieth century, however, rock and jazz developed as popular musical styles that challenged classical composers and were widely accepted by mainstream society. Rock was a reaction to the staid and traditionalist forms of classical music, such as monophonic (or “simple” music) and polyphonic (or “fluent” music). Classical music became more popular and more accepted by mainstream America in the twentieth century.

The popularity of classical music has declined in recent years because of the growing popularity of other types of modern, commercialized music. Newer styles have often disregarded the structure of classical music, disregarding the uniqueness of each genre. Music that has been modernized tends to disregard or ignore the classical elements of a composition, replacing them with popular themes and styles. For this reason, classical compositions are often “deified” by mainstream society, while being relegated to a sub-category of modern music. As a result, classical composers are less celebrated and given credit for their works.

Music is an expression of human feelings and emotions. It allows us to express ourselves and how we are feeling through musical means. Music expresses thoughts, desires, anger, joy, sadness and optimism just to name a few. It is an important aspect of our culture that is recognized and appreciated by people across the world.

Various types of musical performances can be beneficial to the psychological well being of individuals. For instance, children who are taught to play instruments, sing, dance and play games, especially in front of others with similar interests, will gain a sense of self-worth and positive social interaction. Gracyk and Bork claimed that children who are exposed to musical theater or performances by professional dancers express more positive emotions than children who view the same performances from a more neutral perspective. Children who have positive experiences with musical presentations also show an increased understanding and appreciation for what is being presented. This may cause them to try more difficult assignments, exhibit greater creativity and be more attentive when they are required to read or write.

In conclusion, music therapy can benefit children with various conditions. It can improve mood, decrease anxiety and decrease the feeling of stress. Furthermore, musical performances, which include dance, speech, musical theater or other performance, may be a form of art for some and an effective means of expression for others.g

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