Non-verbal Communication through Music Therapy

Published by KidLinks on: Sep 15, 2018 — Music Therapy

Instrumental music IS non-verbal communication, so using musical instruments to help children who are non-verbal is not a stretch. While client and therapist are facing each other, playing a drum together and imitating volume level, tempo, and even the WAY to play the drum (with a fist, a flat palm, striking the drum, rubbing the drum, circular motion with the hand, up and down motion with the hand, alternating hands, playing both hands at the same time - should I go on?!), they are communicating without words.

In this scenario, leader/follower roles can be assumed and then switched. These interactions can be incredibly validating to a client who has difficulty with verbal expression. To be understood. To play “games” and understand the rules. To make up the rules and have them be understood. This is powerful and meaningful therapy.

By Cora Lansdowne, MME, MT-BC


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