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Rivanna Music

For Parents - Music Your Family Will Love

How Music Helps Kids Learn


  • Music offers a fun opportunity to learn new words and concepts through repetition (an important factor when helping to improve a child’s language skills)

  • Music encourages turn-taking behaviors (just like in conversation)

  • Music has rhythm (enabling actions to be combined with words to reinforce word meanings)

  • Music has rhyme (encouraging children to become aware of words and their sounds, which also assists with developing their literacy skills)

  • Music helps maintain attention and increases listening skills 

  • Music and movement assists physical development and coordination skills

  • Music motivates children to socialize, assisting emotional development

  • Musical involvement is known to enhance self-esteem and confidence

  • Music, in short, makes the brain learn better

Special Needs Children

Our Music Helps Kids on Autism Spectrum, Down Syndrome and other Developmental Disabilities

Learn more about Interactive performances for children, families and schools

“I have found that developing music involvement and introducing performance skills to the special education students’ potential is the most effective way to prepare these students for possible mainstreaming opportunities.”
--Paul Tooker, Curtis High School on Staten Island

“Music has been shown to help students who are cognitively challenged. For example, learning through songs works as a mnemonic device to assist in memory and learning by organizing and breaking down information into pieces, thus, making it easier for a student to retain and encode what they are learning.”
--Michelle Lazar, MT-BC 2008

Teaching music has also been shown to benefit students with communication barriers. Essentially, singing and speech share many similarities because when a person sings, this requires them to use their speech as well. For example, songs of varying lengths can increase the duration of a child’s speech, while rhythm can be used as a timing cue to aid in speech pacing and intelligibility (Lazar, 2008).

Learning music has been shown improve and develop a child’s gross motor skills. Research shows that basic skill areas such as visual-motor integration, bilateral integration, imitating movement, or crossing midline can be targeted with rhythmic music and activities
(Lazar, 2008).

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Social Skills

Our Music Helps kids learn Social Skills in a new and fun way

  • Because singing and speech share many similarities, yet are accessed differently by the brain, music strategies can be used as a means to improve functional communication and social skills.
  • Songs of varying lengths can increase the duration of a child’s speech, while rhythm can be used as a timing cue to aid in speech pacing and intelligibility.
  • Using singing and music are fun ways to increase breath support and oral motor strength.
  • In the social environment, music activities are ideal for children who need more exposure or practice with peers in a motivating setting. Interactive strategies including music, instruments and song games can promote social skills such as turn-taking, following directions in a group, eye contact, and cooperative play.

--Michelle Lazar, MT-BC, Director of Coast Music Therapy

Suggested CDs for Developing Social Skills


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Speech and Language Development

Our Music Helps Kids develop Speech and Language Skills

“Research is showing that exposure to music on a regular basis increases children’s ability in reading, thinking and learning. Scientists believe music makes an imprint on the brain that helps children with spatial reasoning.”
--Anne Cassidy, Working Mother Magazine

“Scientists are confirming what teachers have long suspected: Music not only touches people’s souls, it also shapes growing minds. When children sing or play music they become better readers, thinkers and learners. The more we discover about how the brain works, the more we recognize how crucial music is to children’s learning.”
--Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer, Ph.D., psychoanalyst at the University of California, Berkeley

Researchers from Hong Kong have found children who are given musical training have better verbal memories than those who have not had the exposure to music. They say their findings could help people recovering from brain injury as well as healthy children.
--Psychologists’ Findings from the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Suggested CDs for Speech and Language Development


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