Music Therapy and Down Syndrome Essay

Music Therapy and Down Syndrome Essay

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A doctor shares the diagnosis of Down Syndrome with parents of 1 in 691 live births (NADS). Years ago, before research found the basic cause of the disorder, people with Down’s Syndrome were placed in institutions to live. Some people still believe that children born with Down’s syndrome are not capable of learning. In a group of children where all hope seems gone, music therapy has been found to be very beneficial. It can enhance physical, social. intellectual, and emotional development of the children.
“Music therapy is the skillful use of music and musical elements by a music therapist to promote, maintain, and restore mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health (Angus 4).” It is used to achieve therapeutic results according to unique, special needs of each child. Therapist do not strive to make the children more intelligent, but to help them live better lives. The intention of music therapy is to help address motor skills, communication, mental, emotional health, and social skills (Angus 5). Research has found that participation in the arts has had a positive influence on emotional, mental, and physical development (Roesch 138).
Music therapy helps individuals with Down Syndrome develop physically. Therapist work to enhance motor skills such as finger control, speed, and timing (Roesch 139). Playing an instrument, dancing, and singing are just a few examples of how one can accomplish this task. The weight of an instrument can help with increasing their strength. Therapist may begin initially with having a child use a tambourine and eventually work towards strumming a guitar (Smith 2). Movement activities are used to motivate the child to bend, stretch, jump, march, balance, tip toe, and much more (Smith 2...

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...e. National Association for Down Syndrome. Web. 06 Apr. 2011.
Ji-Yeon, Kim. "The Effect of Interactive Music Activity on Children with Down's Syndrome on Linguistic Learning Ability Improvement." Music Therapy & Down Syndrome Abstracts. Unpublished Master's Thesis, 24 Jan. 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
Pickard, Bethan M. "Welcome! Riverbend Down Syndrome Association." Riverbend Down Syndrome Association. Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
Roesch, Margaret. "The Benefits of Music Therapy." Home | Down Syndrome Information Alliance. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.
Smith, Kay L. Music Therapy Encourages Developement. 4th ed. Vol. 27. Minneapolis,MN:
MT-BC. Print. Down Syndrome News.
Wilson, Pamela. "Music Education and Music Therapy - Special Needs Children." BellaOnline -- The Voice of Women. BellaOnline's Special Needs Children. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.

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