Sounds impact us throughout our everyday life. For example, listening to repetitive nature sounds can be calming. On the other hand, fast paced music can be energizing. Sense of hearing, also known as auditory, provides us information about the environment and has an influence on how our body reacts. Therapeutic Listening is a sound-based intervention that provides sensory information through sounds. The approach was created by using principles from sensory integration, neurology, and human development. The sounds, or music, highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that capture attention and activate body movements, giving the listener unique controlled sensory information. It uses electronic modifications and organized rhythmic sound patterns to provide sensory information to the brain and activate organization of the nervous system. Neurologically, the auditory system is connected to many areas of brain function and as a result it has a vast range of influence on the nervous system. Through the controlled and enhanced sounds of Therapeutic Listening, changes in the nervous system occur, specifically affecting the sub-cortical processes of sensorimotor functions in the brain.
Therapeutic Listening uses music that range from simple rhythms and melodies of nursery rhymes to complex and multilayered patterns found in classical music. The music has been filtered in order to expose the nervous system to low, mid-range, and high frequencies at various times throughout the music track. In addition, the music has been specially crafted or selected based on the type and number of instruments used, the rhythm, melody, and the room in which the recording was created. Each of the albums used in the Therapeutic Listening program target skills such as sensory modulation, interaction with surrounding space, core and movement, and executive function.
The music elicits improvements in vast areas of the child’s life such as focus and attention, handwriting, tolerance to noise, anxiety, sensory modulation, posture and movement, communication, arousal, and emotion. Children who exhibit one or more of the following behaviors/difficulties listed below may benefit from the program. The list is not inclusive of all the areas targeted by Therapeutic Listening.
- Difficulty processing sensory information
- Poor listening and attention
- Poor communication skills
- Difficulty interacting with peers or limited play skills
- Difficulty with transitions or changes in routine
- Poor movement, muscle control, or postural insecurities
- Difficulty navigating space or poor spatial awareness
- Poor timing and sequencing of motor skills
- Difficulties with regulating energy level
- Difficulty responding to sounds and verbal directions
- Sensitivity to sounds
Therapeutic Listening can be implemented in various settings such as schools, clinics, and at home. The program is individualized to the child with the guidance of a trained practitioner who has assessed the child’s needs.
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