Music Therapy Helps ADHD Children in the Classroom

As posted on  October 7, 2012


A special education teacher should be equipped with creativity skills to make her students learn basic classroom tasks. What makes it more challenging is to make learning fun and never let attention deficit be a hindrance for children to learn. Without the proper training, teaching of children with ADHD is close to impossible. This is where experimenting with different teaching strategies, especially children with this learning disorder, reflects the creativity of the teacher.

According to Oliver Sacks, M.D., professor of neurology at Columbia University, “Nothing activates the brain more effectively than music”. Music as a healer of the brain is becoming more popular in many research. For instance, in January 2011, an Arizona congresswoman lost her speech ability due to a gunshot that affected the left hemisphere of the brain that controls our ability to speak. But, with Music therapy she was able to recover as she worked out singing rhymes and mixing melody and pairing words. Another study presented how boys can focus in class with the help of music. It is a fact that children with ADHD have difficulty paying attention to the teacher. Without the proper stimulation children with ADHD can divert their energy to play and unproductive activities. However, music was proven to set the mood of children in class thereby helping them focus on the lessons. This was illustrated in a study conducted by W.E. Pelham, Jr. of the Department of Psychology at the Center for Children and Families at Florida International University. The study further showed the significant difference of how boys with ADHD can get easily distracted in class as compared to boys without the disorder. So, the psychologist made use of music as an intervention to compare these group of boys. Indeed, playing background music improved classroom performance of the boys with ADHD. Thus, Mr. Pelham recommeded that instead of children with ADHD doing classroom tasks in silence, background music must be played to improve classroom productivity.

How does music stimulate the brain? Music provides structure. The rhythm produced by music is soothing for the brain of a child with ADHD. So, this kind of structure aids the ADHD child to plan, anticipate and react positively. More over, music increases dopamine levels in the brain which is responsible for attention, working memory and motivation. According to music therapists, music helps activate brain muscles which goes well with the brain’s overall cognitive processes. Therefore, music can help ADHD children to be better focused and more self-controlled in the classroom. Lastly, music when used in the classroom may be responsible for improved social skills especially for children with ADHD. The teacher can initiate composing an orchestra or ensemble where children can participate by playing musical instruments and collaborate in singing. In this way, children with ADHD can learn the value of sharing, cooperation and listening to each other. A teacher does not necessarily need technical skills nor expert knowledge about psychological disorders just to effectively teach in the classroom. What a teacher needs is a deep understanding of her students with ADHD and try out strategies that will help stimulate their brain for better classroom performance.


heartWhat the ADHD Experts Say about Coaching for ADHD

We recommend that you hire an ADD coach to assist you in the process. Get yourself a coach to help you stay on track- Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. Authors of You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!
Coaching, it turns out, is one of the most powerful and effective ways for people with ADHD to achieve success.- Thom Hartmann. Writer of 7 books on ADHD who has ADHD.
Coaching is the single most effective tool in ADD self-management.- Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. Author of several books on ADHD who has ADHD
Coaching intervention can make a real difference in how people with AD/HD negotiate their own particular deficits and cope with life on a daily basis- ADDA - Attention Deficit Disorder Association

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