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Music & Rhythm

Lets sing and dance together!

Music and rhythm reach people on an intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual level.
Unsurprisingly, the majority of all children have a natural love and affinity for music. Because
of this, music and rhythm provide a fantastic opportunity for learning.

Music and rhythm is a strategy that can be used in the classroom to help students recall
information, stay concentrated, have fun, feel positive, and build relationships.

Who does it help?

All children at a wide range of age levels, varying abilities, and diverse strengths
Students with ADD/ADHD
Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Students with learning disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities
Students with communication disorders
Students with other health impairments

How & why does it help?

The effects of music & rhythm take place by
engaging specific areas of the brain
All students with special needsincreases
engagement, involvement and motivation, peer
interaction, social communication, & creates a
positive mood, activates prior knowledge
Students with autismpromotes speech
development, socialization skills, memorization &
Students with ADD/ADHDincreases
Students with learning & mild intellectual
disabilitiesincreases academic growth

What does it help with? Music & rhythm also

Reading skills Attention, Energizes the learning
Communication skills concentration, & environment
Social/emotional skills memory Creates a multi sensory
Early literacy skills such Listening and oral learning experience
as alphabetic principles, language development Releases tension
Establishes a positive
phonological awareness, Self-esteem and attitude
learning state
and vocabulary Sense of community
Examples of Lets write a song
1. Identify the skill/concept you want to emphasize
Strategies: 2. Come up with a theme or title
3. Think about the words, themes, objects, and
Precomposed songs pictures that may align with the title/theme
Song writing 4. Design a simple tune or change the lyrics of a
Musical storybooks familiar song to match the ideas
Instrument playing 5. Consider the challenges for students with
Music stations special needs and modify song to meet
Background music individual needsthis may include more actions,
Movement fewer spoken words, and repetition.
6. SING!!

Implementation Ideas:
There is a wide variety of ways to implement music
and rhythm into the classroom:
Have upbeat music playing while students
enter the classroom to wake them up and get
them ready
Play quiet, soothing music during study/
reading time
Use specific songs to indicate transitions
between activities
Have students create songs to remember definitions or
other important information to use as a review
Utilize a 1-2 minute dance break to stretch and get out
jitters/wiggles/extra energy
Use rhythmic clapping beats or phrases to call students to
attention and begin active listening
Feature a different genre of music in class and engage
students in a discussion on how it makes them feel
Introduce a new language through examples of native music

Constantin, F. A. (2015). Emotional Effects of Music Therapy on Children with Special Needs. Journal Plus Education / Educatia Plus,
Mendelson, J., White, Y., Hans, L., Adebari, R., Schmid, L., Riggsbee, J., & ... Dawson, G. (2016). A Preliminary Investigation of a
Specialized Music Therapy Model for Children with Disabilities Delivered in a Classroom Setting. Autism Research &
Treatment, 1-8. doi:10.1155/2016/1284790
Register, D., Darrow, A., & Standley, J. (2007). The Use of Music to Enhance Reading Skills of Second Grade Students and Students
with Reading Disabilities. Journal Of Music Therapy, 44(1), 23-37.
Vaiouli, P., & Friesen, A. (2016). The Magic of Music: Engaging Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders in Early Literacy A
ctivities With Their Peers. Childhood Education, 92(2), 126-133. doi:10.1080/00094056.2016.1150745
Vaiouli, P., & Ogle, L. (2015). Music Strategies to Promote Engagement and Academic Growth of Young Children With ASD in the
Inclusive Classroom. Young Exceptional Children, 18(2), 19-28. doi:10.1177/1096250614523968