The Positive Effects of Music on Autism


Parents of children with autism are often given little to no hope of ever reaching their child. It is frustrating not only for the parent but for the child to be locked in a world where no one can find a way to bridge the gap of communication. While autism looks different for each child there is a common therapy that seems to work well with many of them. Music is the language that seems to reach even the most profound levels of autism and helps many children become more social, interactive and receptive to other types of therapy and learning.

Working one on one with a music teacher, especially in the home setting can be the most beneficial because it eliminates a number of the issues that a clinical or classroom setting could present. For instance, in a room with others, a child with autism may withdraw even farther and may act out because he is scared or overwhelmed. Introducing a new person to these children can be traumatic but introducing many at the same time can set the child back months or even years. Even traveling to a music class can be trying because of the sensory overload that can occur in a short car ride from one place to another.

Because it does not insist on actual verbal communication, music allows the child the freedom of expression that can reach to his very heart and touch the essence of him as a person. Music is rhythmic which can be soothing to everyone even those who do not have autism. Patterns and repetition can also make simple songs easy to learn and to remember. The ability to make sounds that echo what the child is hearing inside may also be a saving grace because the ability to communicate is being restored. Exploring simple instruments can also encourage children to tolerate different textures and materials. After a few minutes of time it might be easy to see what kind of tones and sounds are positive to the child because those will be the ones that they return to frequently.

While music can certainly work for many children and even adults with autism, it is important to remember that it is not a magical “cure” and that not everyone will respond to music therapy. Those who enjoy it will likely see many benefits though and that alone makes it worth exploring as an option especially when other therapies have failed to produce any results.

Music therapy pairs well with speech therapy. As the child accepts music’s rhythms and patterns, simple songs can be taught. Eventually the words move from the words of songs to the spoken word and can be progressed from there. Possibilities can be endless and all progress, no matter how small should be considered a victory.

Recent Posts



In-Home Music Lessons Today

Schedule your free music lesson to start your journey learning music. Discover a symphony of possibilities with affordable private music lessons, and have fun making the most of your music education experience. In addition to music lessons for everyone, Create More Music also offers online lessons and group master classes.

Lead Form