How Music Therapy Can Enhance Inclusion in the Classroom
Inclusion happens in a variety of settings that address all aspects of life. Thus, music therapy is a motivating way to integrate into a child’s natural learning environment. One way this happens at Rise is through singing. Songs that are repetitive and familiar help guide transitions from circle times to centers or when cleaning up an activity. Singing doesn’t only happen in music therapy but throughout the day.
Additionally, inclusive music therapy at Rise involves active participation through playing musical instruments, singing, moving and dancing. Music is multi sensory which means it involves lots of different senses (visual, auditory and tactile) to process information. Regardless of each child’s ability they can participate in a variety of activities that encourage learning, growth and development. Music is used intentionally to promote gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, social communication and language skills in a successful and organic way.
Here are some other ways music therapy is used to enhance inclusion at Rise:
- Music is naturally an enjoyable activity and provides practice and social engagement with others by sharing a common interest.
- Taking a leader role during music therapy might mean conducting peers through playing the drum and other times they may use their AT (Assistive Technology) device to tell the group to “GO!”
- Sometimes children have medical or surgical needs which may prevent them from always attending preschool on a regular basis. Music participation is an engaging process and creates a sense of belonging in a community with peers.
- Laura Ganguli, MA, MT-BC
Music Therapist Board Certified