Ta-da! Music Is A Terrific Tool for Speech Therapy!
We finalize our in-depth look at tools for speech therapy with Music. Yes…music can truly be an effective tool for speech therapy! Think about it, rhymes, patterns, sounds and movement all help bring about speech language comprehension and articulation. According to “Use of Music in Speech-Language Therapy,” an article by Mary B. Zoller, “Using music is a multi-sensory experience that enhances a number of other skills that impact on speech and language development.” The use of music as a speech therapy tool serves to energize and engage a child, and encourages the child to actively participate. And the good news? You do not need to be a musician or a great singer to reap the benefits of music as therapy! Even using a silly voice and acting out the lyrics is helpful in engaging your child and a way to get them to listen attentively and unknowingly engage them in speech therapy exercises. As we have mentioned throughout this series, this does not serve to replace a proper evaluation or treatment from an SLP, rather music as a tool for speech therapy that you can do at home or in conjunction with your current speech therapy regime.
How Can Music Be A Speech Therapy Tool?
There was a recent story on CNN linking music to language building skills in the brain. In fact, doctors at Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have been treating stroke patients who have lost their ability to speak with melodies and music. Engaging your child in meaningful and motivating interactions and modeling appropriate responses are critical parts of the music therapy process to be effective teaching tools.
When learning a new song, a child generally picks up on the repeating parts first. For example, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” your child will identify with the twinkle twinkle” or “row row” phrases first. The repetitive nature of these fun songs helps children learn words, specific sounds and basic parts of speech. Putting words to music breaks them down into syllables, emphasizes key consonants and slows down the sounds of speech. And, the more the songs are repeated, they gain a better understanding of how the rules of language operate and build predictability. Try to sing one of these songs, then pause while your child fills in the next word.
Some Favorite Music for Speech Therapy:
Music Together, All Around the Kitchen: 09 All Around the Kitchen: This is a great example of a song for speech therapy. It includes fun crazy voices, animal sounds and names familiar items from the kitchen. Plus, it will make your child want to dance all around the kitchen, cock-a-doodle doo!
The Wheels on the Bus: Movement paired with music greatly boosts the ability to acquire language skills. Children who see others hopping all around the room will engage in similar behavior and will begin to associate the words with the actions they are experiencing.
Talk It To Rock It: A comprehensive website of songs and melodies designed to enhance speech and language skills in children.
My First Songs by Ringzero Game Studio: This website introduces children and toddlers to the world of music and rhythm with catchy nursery rhymes and basics such as Old MacDonald and BINGO.All of these songs are excellent speech therapy for kids.
What are your favorites?