Children at Music Club are helped to develop communication skills by improvising with the therapist, and auditory skills by listening to different instruments. They start to learn to focus and follow instructions by following the therapist’s movements, stopping when he stops, and taking their turn with others. Many show an increase in confidence and self-esteem, starting to make eye contact and interact as they experience the joy of making music.
FEEDBACK FROM PARENT QUESTIONNAIRE
- 100% said their child’s listening skills had improved
- 66% said their child’s focus and had improved
- 66% said their child’s ability to follow instructions had improved
- 60% said their child’s confidence and self -esteem had increased
|M is 8 and has ASD, sensory processing disorder, and PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance). She was not able to cope with schooling due to high anxiety levels, so her mother has been home educating her.
M has been attending Music Club for over a year. To start with her mother struggled to get her to come into the room. M would sit on her mother’s lap, burying her head into her mother’s body. She was closed down ‘like a snail in a shell’. When the therapist first asked her to come up to the keyboard, she would not come. Finally, she did try, but was very timid, non-verbal, head down, and making no eye contact with the therapist or others.
Very slowly she started to become more confident in placing her hands on the keyboard and playing, and began to come out of her shell, lifting up her eyes. She has naturally good rhythm and began to respond to the music – she will tap very gently on the drums but in perfect rhythm. One day when the children were clapping to a rhythm, she said out loud to the whole room, “That’s too loud”, to the surprise of everyone there. Normally she will sign or whisper to her mother as she doesn’t want anyone to hear her.
Now M feels safe at Music Club and no longer feels threatened. Her sensory processing disorder made her very alarmed by the noises made by some of the other children, but she has managed to overcome this. She has a good ear for music and coming to Music Club has helped her to listen, focus and follow instructions – such as to play loud or soft – which her mother says is helping her concentration at her home lessons.
When M first joined Music Club, she clung to her mother like a ‘second skin’. Now M is the first to run into the room and is able to sit on her own. After only a few months she has progressed far enough to be able join the first stages of our Music School, where she is learning to play the piano. She is also coming to our new choir for children with additional needs where she can express her love of singing – she recognises some of the children from Music Club and says hello to one girl. At the choir, unlike any other activity, she even allowed her mother to leave the room. Our music therapist even thinks that in the future M will be able to take music exams. As her mother said, “Music is so healing”.