It should be easy for anyone to search for music classes online and to book for their discounted trials before signing up, right? Wrong. When you have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), or you take care of a child with ADHD, there are many things to consider before signing up for a music class. It is not as easy as 1-2-3 as it seems.
Why traditional music learning does not work for those with ADHD
Many music classes offered are group classes or structured under a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Therefore, there isn’t much room for the teacher to innovate or stray away from the lesson plan. The structure can be suitable for many students, but how about those with special needs? How can they get by when they need more attention and time to learn music?
For a student with special needs to always be motivated to learn, the music class, whether in a group or one-on-one, must be facilitated by a teacher trained to handle students with a diverse set of skill sets. That means, the teacher is willing to divert from the lesson plan or has the patience to devote more time in repeating and expounding on some lessons.
How does music lessons help with ADHD therapy?
People with ADHD are usually characterized by agitation and a short attention span. To learn music, you need dedication and focus, sometimes even having to devote at least two hours a day to practice. Music lessons, therefore, when conducted well, can help those with ADHD learn how to focus on one task at a time. For example, even learning the song lyrics during voice lessons & theory for NYC residents can take days for most people to memorize. Imagine the challenge that people with ADHD must go through to be able to sit still and zero in on just doing one thing. The short attention span can be a bit of a hurdle for sure, but it’s a challenge not impossible to surpass with many renowned music artists, like Adam Levine and Justin Timberlake, diagnosed with ADHD.
Repetition is vital to be successful with your singing/music journey. Those with ADHD tend to do one thing and quickly move to the next without finding closure to the previous task. Learning music encourages you to keep on practicing until you get to perfect your goal, whether it’s switching between the F and B guitar power chords, or reaching the F# note when you sing. It is therefore not just in the hands of the teacher, but also in the parents, friends, or partner of music students with ADHD to encourage them to keep on practicing even when they get home. It is crucial to set aside some time in a day for music practice, which can go from one to two hours. It is even better if a family member, friend, or partner is also studying or playing the instrument so the student can be even more encouraged to practice.
Confidence in cadence
Learning music strengthens a person’s confidence, too, and it’s one thing that unfortunately many people with ADHD lack in due to their difference from the larger crowd, or other people’s inability to understand the disorder. You don’t have to be great in music to gain confidence because it’s the personal improvements that help keep yourself grounded on your toes. Music allows you to be thankful for every milestone you achieve, therefore giving your efforts the praise they deserve.
Music can be an effective therapy for ADHD, and it’s often overlooked by many parents and therapists. If only people knew of the power of music, for sure, many sufferers would stop doubting themselves on what they can and cannot do.