According to Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote, a person who sings will frighten their ills away. While it may not be true that music can chase away evil spirits, It is true that music has great therapeutic value. Music, especially singing, has a powerful effect on our health. The therapeutic value of music, especially for children with hearing problems is high. New research is showing that singing and music impacts the communication ability of hearing-impaired children who have cochlear implants.
Music is therapeutic. Listening to music can generate emotional responses that relax or stimulate people while helping them communicate or heal. The research literature indicates that music can positively affect those with autism, stroke complications, dementia, depression, and other health problems. The activities of singing, playing instruments, composing, and creating benefit speech and listening skills. Music trains a person to hear conversations in loud places as it helps to identify sound sources.
Keeping the brain engaged throughout life is very important, and few things can stimulate the mind like music. Musicians have a selective auditory attention ability that many non-musicians do not possess. This ability to selectively focus listening attention may benefit children who have hearing problems. Enjoying music, singing, and playing a musical instrument can improve children’s ability to decipher speech in noise much like a musician selectively interprets sounds within music. The process strengthens the brain network making communication effective.
Exciting new research is finding evidence that children with hearing impairments and cochlear implants might gain from participating in hobbies that involve music and singing. This research demonstrates that the auditory skills of children with hearing loss share a connection to the amount of singing and music that is in the children’s lives.
The study measures auditory skills, the perception of speech in noise, singing skills, and brain responses to changes in sound in children with cochlear implants. A portion of the children in the study sing and participate in musical activities while the other children do not.
Results of the study indicate that hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants who sing regularly have a better perception of speech in noise than children who do not sing. The investigators also stress the importance of parental singing. Communication skills and the ability to decipher speech in noise are of extreme importance to a child’s education. The research team hopes that all children will have exposure to singing and music.
Singing and playing musical instruments is not only fun but therapeutic too! The ability of music to relax and stimulate listeners directly impacts their lives. Children who are hearing-impaired and use cochlear implants can improve their communication ability by participating in musical activities according to new research. The lesson here is simple, encourage children to make music! Not only will they have fun, but they will also gain much-needed communication skills in the process.