Make Music Day is an annual, international celebration of music held every year on 21 June, now in 125 countries and over 1,000 cities. It’s made by everyone for everyone, and there are many ways to get involved – in the UK, with European projects, and globally.
At Make Some Noise, we love Make Music Day as a great opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary potential of children with complex needs, showcasing the musical talent within our local communities across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and encouraging children and young people to have a go.
Music can be a powerful tool to help parents connect with their child, reduce stress, and promote positive behaviours. Parenting a neurodivergent child can be a challenging and rewarding experience. Neurodivergent children, such as those with autism, ADHD, and anxiety often struggle with sensory processing and communication.
Music is a universal language that can help bridge the communication gap between parents and their neurodivergent child. Music therapy has been shown to improve communication and socialization in children with autism, as well as reduce anxiety and improve mood. Parents can use music to create a calm and soothing environment, help their child transition between activities, and provide a fun and engaging way to learn new skills.
Here are some tips for using music with your neurodivergent child:
- Create a calm environment: Playing soft, calming music can help reduce stress and anxiety for both parents and children. Create a playlist of your child’s favourite songs or choose instrumental music that is soothing and relaxing. Use music during bath time, bedtime, or other calming activities to create a peaceful environment.
- Use music to transition between activities: Children with neurodivergent conditions often struggle with transitions between activities. Using music can help signal to your child that it’s time to move on to the next activity. Choose a song or sound that signals that it’s time to clean up, get dressed, or move on to the next task.
- Use music to teach new skills: Music can be a fun and engaging way to teach new skills. For example, you can use songs to teach your child the alphabet, counting, or colours. You can also use music to teach social skills, such as turn-taking and sharing.
- Dance and move to music: Dancing and moving to music can be a great way to release energy and reduce stress. Encourage your child to dance and move to their favourite songs. You can also use dance to teach coordination and balance.
In conclusion, music can be a powerful tool for parents of neurodivergent children. They can help bridge the communication gap, reduce stress, and promote positive behaviours.
By incorporating music and creativity into your daily routine, you can create a safe and supportive environment for your child to thrive.
Here are five challenges to be aware of that neurodivergent children may face when listening, composing or playing music:
- Difficulty with auditory processing, which can make it hard to distinguish between different sounds or tones.
- Sensory sensitivity, which can make certain sounds or frequencies overwhelming or uncomfortable.
- Difficulty with motor coordination, which can make it challenging to control fine movements required for playing instruments or singing.
- Struggles with executive functioning, which can make it hard to follow instructions, stay organized, or manage time effectively during music lessons or performances.
- Difficulty with emotional regulation, which can make it challenging to express oneself through music or cope with the sometimes frustrating or overwhelming aspects of playing or composing.
If you have found this interesting, here are some social media accounts that parents can follow to learn more about raising a neurodivergent child:
These accounts may provide valuable information, support and resources for parents of neurodivergent children.