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Teaching Music To Children With Special Needs

by | Nov 10, 2020 | 1 comment

Musical instruction, such as guitar lessons Austin, can benefit special needs students. Lonestar School of Music has certified faculty to teach students with special needs. Our staff has the knowledge needed to create programs for each student.

Special Needs Programs

Our music school Austin designs programs to meet the needs of all types of learners. Students can enroll in programs designed for various learning challenges:

  • Students who are in special education programs at school
  • People with cognitive or intellectual delays
  • Children or adults with communication delays
  • Learners with physical disabilities
  • Pupils who have behavioral or emotional disabilities
  • Hearing or sight challenged students
  • Gifted and talented students

Individualized Education Plans

Many special needs students have Individualized Education Plans that explain adaptations and accommodations these students may need. Our staff will work to change their programs to fit the student’s IEP.

Benefits of Music Education for Special Needs Students

guitar lessons

Students who have difficulty communicating with words can use music as a non-verbal means of expression. Music may also aid in helping some students improve their verbal skills. Some study programs, such as adult drum lessons Austin, have proven effective for improving motor skills. Music lessons that use fast movements, such as guitar lessons Austin, can improve multitasking.

Many types of instruction only engage the eyes or the ears. However, music involves touching, seeing, and hearing. Studies have found that the multi-sensory nature of creating music can aid in cognitive development.

Some students have difficulty with emotional and social connections. Music can be a valuable tool for building social skills, as playing music increases self-awareness and confidence. Music also provides opportunities to interact with others and make friends.

Teachers can persuade some students to try new things by using music. Because music is a fun activity, it can also motivate students to learn non-musical skills. The brain processes music in several regions at the same time. Activating so much of the brain can boost learning. Students may learn skills through music that they can apply to other areas. Learning music also provides students with a sense of accomplishment. Students learn to take pride in and ownership of their work through music. Although music can not replace traditional education, it can enhance it.

Combining Music Education With Physical and Occupational Therapy

Many students with special needs take part in physical or occupational therapy programs. Some students may need adaptations to accommodate their physical challenges. Students can often accomplish some of their therapy goals by learning to play an instrument. Our instructors use a variety of different techniques to connect students’ musical goals with their therapy goals:

  • Body and finger warm-ups
  • Muscle-memory development
  • Frequent breaks, if needed
  • Exercises for developing left- and right-hand independence

Instrument Adaptations

Some students may need adaptations to be able to play their instruments. Adaptive options include color-coding, hardware modification, and tactile manipulation. Examples of instrument adaptations include stickers, color-coded tape, and gloves. Students enrolled in guitar Lessons Austin may benefit from non-standard string configurations.

Vocal Adaptations

kid singingInstructors can also accommodate students who need vocal adaptations. Instructors can have students warm up on vowels instead of consonants. As students improve, they then progress to incorporating consonants. Instructors may also include visual aids. For example, teachers may draw a line to aid students in learning to hold a pitch. Students with reading challenges may benefit from using images, song storybooks, and movement.

Reading Music

Reading music involves unfamiliar symbols and words and can be challenging for many people, including students with special needs. Our instructors can change teaching methods to suit each student’s learning style. Our teachers use familiar images to teach what musical symbols mean. They use color-codes to teach pitches and rhythms. Writing letters below notes, flashcards, and other tools can also be useful. Our instructors start at the student’s level and progress towards independent music reading, learning at the student’s pace. Some students may require some level of adaptation all the time. Our staff will help students discover how to enjoy music for a lifetime.

Get Started Today

Musical education can benefit your or your loved one for a lifetime. Our certified instructors are ready to help you get started. Contact us at 512-598-4171 or send us a message online to schedule a lesson.


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Teaching Music To Children With Special Needs |  Lone Star School of Music – Austin, TX