10 Feb

  Music activates the brain in ways that helps people with intellectual disabilities think better while improving their communication skills.   

  According to a website hosted by Infinity Music Therapy Services, “Music is the only sensory stimulus that is processed in both hemispheres of the brain.”  

  “Music can help build up the areas of the brain that are not functioning to their full capacities,” the Infinity website states.  

  That makes music therapy perfect for reaching out to people with intellectual disabilities. Their health and recovery can be greatly improved by music.

  The music therapy service uses a number of ways to help people with intellectual disabilities.   For instance, participants are given a chance to drum so they can learn how to move their two arms together. Dancing with scarves is another activity to teach coordination. Singing is practiced to help improve speech and articulation.

  Infinity Music Therapy Services provides music therapy throughout the state of Connecticut, the website states.   

  Research on how music works its way through the brain is well documented.

  For instance, Agheana Viarel, in “Music Therapy for Children with Intellectual Disabilities,” published by Science in 2017, reviews academic literature on how music is processed. The article can be found on academia.edu.   

  Music activates the frontal and parietal lobes, Viarel states.  

   The brain mechanism is “sort of a radiating pattern of cortical activation that moves outward as harmony, melody and rhythm are perceived,” Viarel writes. The author quotes Faith Brynie’s work, Brain Sense, published by American Management Association, 2009.

  The brain activity sparked by music helps those with intellectual disabilities in various areas, including movement as well as with cognitive, communication and social skills. Music enhances learning, creativity and adaptability, according to Viarel.   

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