Music can mean a lot of different things to people young and old, regardless of the genre or time of year. Amazing things have been made possible through the art of music, both in terms of original creations, but also provide value in areas like therapy. Because Cerebral Palsy can involve an extensive, diverse number of symptoms, there are a lot of different ways kids with CP can engage with music. Its overall value, though, as a field for exploration cannot be overstated.
For children capable of a wide range of motor function, music can be an invaluable avenue for exploration, as well as interacting with classmates. Just as a child with Cerebral Palsy can grow into a musician, even a singer, so too can some children with CP participate in school concerts, programs and more. Speaking with a physical therapist on which instruments best match with your child’s abilities can be a great first step in exploring options in music. This dialogue can be important because, rather than allow your child to be discouraged by trial and error on the instruments that initially interest him or her, this can help open the door to focusing on one or two avenues with a higher likelihood for success.
Unfortunately, for some children with Cerebral Palsy, performing a traditional instrument may not be an option. If this is the case, parents should explore their options in the realm of technology. New programs, software and devices exist that open a world never before possible as recently as five to ten years ago! Exploring ways to create music, or engage it through the likes of a computer, can be a great way for your child to become part of the creation process and build self-confidence.
Children with Cerebral Palsy that face severe mental or physical challenges may find music to be a tremendous therapeutic medium. Whether listening to recordings or enjoying the playing of a family member, music can be a rallying point of interest for the entire family that includes, rather than excludes. From a therapy standpoint, music can be participatory or soothing but, in all ways, something considered by every family looking for new opportunities for their child with Cerebral Palsy.
How does your child engage with music? Let us know with a comment or by leaving us feedback on our Facebook Page!