Music provides the soundtrack for our lives. But did you know that music can also provide relief for children with ADHD? There is so much research that shows that music therapy is an effective treatment for ADHD symptoms, but many parents aren’t sure how to best incorporate music into their children’s lives. To help you make sense of music therapy for ADHD, we’ve put together a few simple suggestions for solving ADHD problems through music.
Playing an Instrument Can Influence Brain Development
Music therapy can offer a host of positive benefits for children with ADHD, but actually picking up an instrument up may offer even more. Long-term studies have shown that people who learn to play an instrument as a child show an increase in cognitive development that may help offset some of the symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, those who continue to play a musical instrument develop an enhanced ability to connect and use their senses, which can also help boost your child’s skills.
But for many parents, purchasing a musical instrument is a major financial roadblock. Luckily, you can pick up quality instruments online, and costs tend to be lower for student-level instruments. You can also get more out of your investment by passing instruments down to younger children. If you do not have younger children, you could also consider selling the instrument. Secondhand marketplace apps like Craigslist and Ebay are perfect places to sell gently-used instruments with minimal hassle.
Learning to Play an Instrument Can Be a Challenge, So Be Patient
It is undeniable that your child can benefit from learning to play a musical instrument, but getting your child to embrace lessons can be a challenge. You know the ADHD signs by now, and children living with this condition have a tough time focusing and staying still, both of which are general requirements of music practice.
So, to make music lessons less tortuous and more enjoyable for your little one, you may need to make some small changes. For one, know that your child is never too young to begin learning an instrument. The sooner that kids start to practice on an instrument, the more that practice becomes ingrained into their regular routine. Those with ADHD thrive on structured routines, so no matter how early or late lessons start, make sure your kids practice on a regular basis to make the experience less stressful. Use a whiteboard to create a weekly schedule for your child, and make sure music lessons are included.
Listening to Music Can Improve Focus and Concentration
Children who play an instrument are helping improve their brain and their learning abilities. Simply listening to music, however, can also have positive impacts on people of all ages living with ADHD. Many parents prefer to have their children study with silence in the background to improve their concentration, but for students with ADHD, music actually enhances concentration during study time. Music activates certain reactions in the brain that boost focus and retention, but parents may need to put in a little work to figure out which type of music is best for their children.
Before you put together a concentration playlist, know that music with lyrics can be distracting for more immersive projects, like studying. Choose classical or instrumental tunes for tasks that require focus, and save the catchy pop songs for more relaxed moments during your child’s routine.
When used in the right ways, music can be therapeutic for ADHD sufferers. Listening to music can help soothe the stress and anxiety that accompanies this condition, while also helping to improve ADHD-related focus issues. Actually picking up an instrument and playing music can hold even more developmental benefits for your child. So, if you haven’t already, make music a bigger part of your lives. Create your own soundtracks for studying, playing and even relaxing so that your child can reap all the benefits that music has to offer.
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