The impact of music on functional skills

At Share, music is taught as part of our life skills programme, and is proving to have far-reaching impact, helping students with coordination, concentration and speech, and improving self-esteem and confidence.

Music and rhythm, and the art counting and sequencing has helped one of our students – Haroon – out of his shell and engaging with others.

For long periods of his life, Haroon chose to speak very little, or ocassionally only repeating what others said. And when he first came to Share, he found it difficult to stay focused, and day-to-day coordination and sequencing were challenging for him.

Through music, Haroon has been learning to count and practise rhythms as part of sequenced responses – for example, to count and play – which initially was hard for him to do (eg, he would either count aloud and play, or simply count aloud and not play). Gradually, as part of weekly group sessions, he has been able to dissociate words from playing an instrument, and he is now able to play more complex musical pieces more easily. With this, we have also seen changes in his speech and verbal responses, and he is now able to answer questions directly, succinctly and without hesitation.

Haroon can now often be seen engaging in conversation with other students as well as staff, and he carries a calm air of confidence. He has also chosen to go out on trips with Share's Go Anywhere, Do Anything programme, all of which is helping him to widen his social circle and blossom as an individual.


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