Friday, 1 September 2017

Music is the Universal language!


When I was a child I loved music. I started playing the Alto Saxophone at the age of 11 and by the age of 18, I was in numerous concert and Jazz bands. I'd travelled overseas with the Jazz band and I'd also performed as part of a concert band at numerous concerts, festivals and stage productions and at an international school sports competition.

Music was one of my escapes. I found that when I was playing music, my anxieties disappeared, I was able to think clearly and I was relaxed. My worries disappeared and I was able to be me.

And it would appear that O has inherited my love of music, in particular a love of singing. When O is singing, her anxiety completely disappears. Like Mother, like daughter!

I've known about the benefits of music due to my own experiences with music but it has only been since both O and L have been diagnosed with autism that I have begun to look into just how beneficial music is to children.

When children, special needs or not, engage in musical activities, their brain is changed for the better. 

Through music, children learn to communicate and cooperate with others, they learn to problem solve and begin to focus better on the task at hand. Children gain immense confidence by participating in musical experiences. Music also provides lessons in perseverance and discipline. All of these are essential skills that are needed by children to be happy and successful.

Playing a musical instrument can assist in the further development of fine motor skills and fine motor control. 

Instead of using words to communicate, children can use a range of musical activities to communicate with others - singing, playing a musical instrument, improvising to music to name a few. Through these activities, children learn to communicate with others, they participate in social interactions, they can practice eye contact and turn taking with others.


O has mentioned numerous times that she would like to learn to play the piano or the violin or the flute or the ........

The instrument keeps changing but she is adamant that she wants to learn to play an instrument of some description!

From a very young age, O has always loved singing. When O started at the school that she currently attends she found out that the school had a choir. And since that very first day she has been desperate to join the choir. On the first day of school this year, O said "I'm in year 3 now so I can try out for the choir!"

The day the choir try outs were on, she wanted to be at school nice and early so that she wouldn't miss it. O made the choir and she hasn't missed a single choir practice all year.

Just recently her school choir participated in the Schools Make Music 2017 Concert Series at the Crown Theatre here in Perth.


The choir has performed at school assemblies throughout the year, but the Crown Theatre was going to be the largest venue so far that they had performed at.

Prior to the concert O was an absolute mess. From the minute I collected her from school to the minute we arrived at the Crown, her anxiety was very visible.



However as soon as her teachers collected the choir in the foyer of the Crown, O became as cool and calm as a cucumber.

From where I was seated in the theatre, I had a clear view of O on stage and not once did her anxiety show through.



Her choir was one of the smallest in numbers to perform, but what they lacked in numbers they made up for in their combined voice. They sang beautifully and very loud!

Apart from O's school choir, there were two other performances that really stood out for me due to background of the students in the performances.

The first was a 5 piece all girl band who performed their own song with an underlying theme of depression. They looked and sounded incredibly nervous but the song was quite powerful and the fact that they got on stage in front of hundreds of people and performed was incredible.

The second act that I thoroughly enjoyed was a drum line of students from a special education unit. You could see the pure joy on the students faces as they performed on stage. It was wonderful that even though their act was quite simplistic, they were given the opportunity to perform at the concert. It was just a shame that others seated around me, could not see the performance for what it was. Students enjoying making music. I was horrified by some of the comments that were being made throughout their performance and I made sure that those making the comments knew that I wasn't impressed - lots of glaring occurred!



The concert really did show that music is a "universal language" and that it is something that everyone can participate in and enjoy.

There was a wide diversity of students involved in the concert and their abilities ranged from beginner students to students who were very obviously quite advanced in their music ability.

The concert showed that music is a beautiful way to open the door to a greater understanding of the world around us and of each other and to connect with others.



4 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful voices singing then as I imagined it. Yes true Music has its wonders to people. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I agree, music is a wonderful learning experience for everyone. I learned to play in my younger years and it was really fulfilling.

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  3. My mom was a music teacher so I grew up with music too. It's something that most kids love at pretty much every age with very little prompting.

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  4. Oh man i sure do wish i could sing. The power music has, Love! My sister has this amazing voice i love so much she sang to my belly while i was pregnant and oh man. My son turned out to love music the bond my sister and my son have is so unbreakable through music

    Xoxo-CYM

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