Micah Raskin Discusses the Benefits of Music for the Physically and Mentally Disabled
Micah Raskin on the Benefits of Music for the Physically and Mentally Disabled
Music is a powerful force of creativity and celebration in cultures all across the world. We sing along, dance, discuss, and enjoy music in a truly universal human experience. This makes music a powerful vehicle for communicating ideas and feelings — something that can help people with special needs tremendously. As a musician himself, Micah Raskin is intimately familiar with the power of music.
Music Is Multi-Sensory Explains Micah Raskin
We often think of music as a purely auditory experience, says Micah Raskin. But the way we enjoy and process music is actually much deeper than that. When we listen to music with lyrics, both sides of our brains are engaged as we process the melody and the actual words. This sync between the two sides of your brain is part of the reason that songs can help you remember specific instructions or ideas.
For instance, if someone asks you the lyrics to a song, you may not be able to remember them word for word, but when the music starts to play, suddenly you’re belting out every word! For people with mental disabilities, music can be very helpful for soothing, recalling certain memories, or remembering instructions.
If you’re playing music, these connections can be even more intense and important. For instance, think about playing a simple instrument, like the triangle. Even with the reduced motor skills required (compared to a guitar or violin for instance), there is still a certain level of finesse required. You have to be able to aim, hit the triangle, and do that on beat in rhythm with the music.
Tactile senses are engaged by the feeling of holding the instrument. Kinesthetic sense is engaged as they move their arms. Auditory senses work to hear the musical cues and the visual sense is stimulated as their eyes follow the movement. In these ways, music can be very healing and helpful in restoring or building motor function by making neural connections.
Music Is a Non-Verbal and Non-Threatening Form of Communication
For those with mental disabilities or physical disabilities that make communication difficult, talking can be a completely overwhelming and deeply exhausting experience. Music is a way to communicate thoughts and feelings without having to say anything or force an uncomfortable interaction, says Micah Raskin.
Instead of talking, you can convey ideas through pre-written lyrics or even just the composition of your music. If you’re frustrated, scared, sad, or even just really, really happy…music easily conveys that for you. In music therapy, there is a wide range of exercises that help people with disabilities convey, express, or excise their feelings.
From playing certain notes to answer questions, or choosing a song that helps them relax when they’re struggling, music can help them convey what they want other people to understand. It’s a beautiful form of self-expression and a huge stress reliever, says Micah Raskin. For them, and for all music lovers!
Web Presence, LLC
email us here