Anthropologists may call it the “universal language,” and they just may be right. What else, you may ask, can express raw emotion without words? Think of an opera singer…singing in Italian. You are not fluent in Italian, yet you know that she is very emotional about something. You can sense her hurt, passion, love, whatever without really knowing what words she is using. Music has been around for a long, long time…singing to infants to quiet their tears, chanting at a feast, or responding to a natural rhythm in the environment.
Music therapy is an established profession which uses music to tap into the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages. In a clinical case study of a 3-year-old girl with CAS, it was found that she was able to produce many syllables, combination sounds, and words by the end of therapy. She received 24 therapy sessions over a period of 9 months, and was found nearly non-verbal when she began therapy. Hard to say whether her improvement had anything to do with her developmental age or if she was receiving speech therapy in addition to music therapy. Among managing stress, promoting wellness and enhancing memory, music therapy seeks to improve communication and express feelings. Hummm…now that might be something to sing about.
Of course, music therapy is just an extra thing we may choose do to help our kids with apraxia, along with speech therapy and at-home work. Music and music therapy just adds to the multi-modal approach.
Interested in finding a music therapist, check out the American Music Therapists Association at www.musictherapy.org .
Next Week’s “Apraxia Monday” will feature an interview from music therapist and mom of an apraxic daughter, Katie Eshleman. Katie has written, performed, and produced a music CD for kids with CAS. One copy of her CD Sing Out! will be given away on the blog. You won’t want to miss this. Let your friends know and stay tuned!