Studies have shown for years that music helps students to learn and improve their memory. Many teachers are now using music within their classrooms to help their students. Music in general helps kids to feel more relaxed, they are able to concentrate more, and their performance goes up. Physical therapists are also expanding on the use of music within their therapy sessions with students.
Using Music in Physical Therapy Sessions
Music therapy has been around for quite some time. Its general purpose is to help an individual reach goals in therapy sessions using music as an intervention. Music therapists often work with physical therapists in schools to combine the benefits of music within physical therapy sessions.
People who exercise know that they often enjoy it more when they have music playing. The music may energize them. It also allows them to focus on something else when they start to get fatigued. Best yet, music distracts the mind from thinking about how long a workout has taken place. Simply listening to the music can uplift and motivate you.
Physical therapy sessions can be hard work for kids. They may have to do repetitions of exercises which are not fun. In addition to this, practicing movements will challenge muscles and may make them tired. This can alter their mood and motivation quickly. When something becomes more work during a therapy session, kids can shut down and refuse to continue. This is where music can be combined with typical routines to assist children.
When used properly, the tempo of music can also compliment movements which are being encouraged during physical therapy. This is where a music therapist could assist more in picking music that will help to keep the music and muscles in sync with one another. A trained music therapist can design a music program to go along with specific physical therapy interventions and exercises.
Older students in physical therapy may help to make playlists of music that help them to be more inspired to work on their exercises. Giving kids some input will make it more of their own and keep them more actively engaged in the session.
More Than Simply Playing Music
There are more ways to utilize music in physical therapy sessions. Singing songs and making them up when doing movements can help to engage children. When they are doing the Hokey Pokey,it keeps their minds busy. You can do repetitive motions and practice within the singing with movements. There are a lot of songs which can be used to help with spatial awareness, balance, and more.
In addition to this, making music gets muscles involved. Percussion instruments are a wonderful tool to get kids to work on gross motor movements. Imagine having a marching band of students playing something while they balance on a line on the sidewalk. The possibilities are endless. Check within your school to see what instruments you may be able to use for some sessions. If you have a music therapist available, they will also be able to provide you with additional ideas.
How do you use music in your physical therapy sessions? Please share ways they have been successful so others may benefit from your experiences. Also, if you are in need of a new physical therapy school assignment where you can use your musical therapy, search hundreds of opportunities here!