HOW TO OVERCOME HEALTH, ECONOMIC AND EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES
10 Reasons Why Music, Movement and Speech Activities Can Help Children Overcome Health, Economic and Educational Challenges
Music, movement and speech activities are so much more than just ways to develop artistic talents. For some children they are essential strategies for effectively dealing with and overcoming some of life’s most severe challenges.
Perhaps one of the saddest realities in life is the fact that some children have to grow up with the four deadly D’s:
Diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity;
Disabilities like autism, down syndrome and cerebral palsy;
Social, Emotional and Learning Disorders like ADHD and dyslexia; and
Economic Disadvantages that can slow their growth and development for a life time.
Fortunately, there have been so many discoveries of effective music, movement and speech techniques and therapies that will build a stronger foundation for learning, performing and communication skills for children growing up with these types of challenges. However, in addition to building skills and abilities, these strategies have also been proven to alleviate symptoms and develop the inner strength they need to overcome their challenges.
So, how exactly do programs like this work for turning a child’s challenges into strength? The answers can simply be summarized in the following top ten lists of benefits children acquire by consistently practicing progressive sequences of music, movement and speech techniques and therapies.
10. Improves mental health. Studies show that a consistent commitment to physical activity decreases anxiety, reduces depression, increases self-esteem and improves restful sleep. Movement and speech provides relief from worry and stress by circulating excessive energy in the mind to other parts of the body. Balanced and even circulation of blood and energy can decrease excessive thought processes that can be the root cause of many anxieties.
9. Reduces hypertension and sharpens listening and concentration abilities. Listening to music, engaging in full body movement and repeating sounds helps reduce muscular tension being held by stress. Reduced tension allows the blood and energy to circulate more evenly and consistently throughout the entire body and mind.
8. Increases alertness and motivation. Different parts of the brain control different parts of the body. Moving every part of the body can stimulate every part of the brain and increase the communication between the brain, muscles and nervous system. These are the three parts of the body that must work together to create and develop all learning, performing and communication skills and abilities.
7. Builds strength, stability and immunity! We all know that muscular strength and stability is increased through exercise and physical activity. Along with this comes a strengthened immune system. That’s because movement and breath are two of the most effective processes for keeping the lymphatic system functioning most effectively. It is the lymphatic system that keeps the blood clean and helps the body get rid of disease producing particles.
6. Makes them safer. Physical balance is developed through the practice of music and movement activities. As balance increases so does the child’s ability to control and regulate their actions and reactions. This self regulation and physical balance can keep them safer and therefore more confident of attempting new activities.
5. Creates balanced and sustaining energy. Movement and vocal activities build the strength of the heart and lungs. That’s why aerobic exercise programs are so popular and effective.
4. Builds Courage and Confidence. Along with the consistent development of skills and abilities comes the consistent development of courage and confidence. As children overcome fears and learn how capable they are of developing new skills, their minds begin to relax and open to receiving new information.
3. Develops strong and vibrant character. Along with courage and confidence comes the development of a strong and vibrant character. With more skills and less stress, it’s easier to persevere and keep moving forward. Whining and complaining are overruled by a strong sense of humor and desire to enjoy the world.
2. Makes them more capable and independent. The repetition, repetition and I repeat, the repetition of movement patterns develops muscular coordination. As muscular coordination increases, so does the child’s ability to perform more tasks and develop their independence. Don’t you love it when you see a child smile and say “I did it!”
1. Makes children Happy! Physical activity through movement and speech releases endorphins and increases production and circulation of serotonin throughout the body. These “happy” chemicals can alleviate symptoms of diseases and mental illness. In some cases, rigorous physical activity can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression!
These are, in my opinion, the top 10 reasons why you need to provide at risk, challenged disadvantaged and special needs children consistent amounts of music, movement and speech training activities. There are just no better combinations of disciplines that provide more comprehensive and balanced amounts of benefits for the body and mind.
Now most of you, who have read this entire article, most likely already know this and believe I’m preaching to the choir. I sure hope so! I also hope you will send this article and others like it to other parents, teachers or care givers of children who could greatly benefit from consistent amounts of music, movement and speech training activities.
© Scott Liebler 2017
Scott Liebler has been researching, teaching and developing early childhood development programs for thirty years. He is the creator of Funsical – www.funsical.com - a curriculum of music, movement and language activities that appeal to children’s natural desire to move and have fun while developing essential skills. He is the author of Safegard Classes Online - Music, Movement and Language early childhood courses and How to Take a Chill Pill stress management program. He has served as an adjunct faculty member for Front Range Community College in Denver, CO, a seminar presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research (BER) and administers the Move to Improve program for early childhood communities. For information on Funsical audio CD’s, curriculum materials and training programs please visit www.funsical.com or call 303-902-4985