The Benefits of Music for Children with Hearing Loss
Whether slow and soothing or fast and upbeat, music provides joy and entertainment for everyone. For children with hearing loss, research shows that music also serves as an invaluable language development tool.
CCHAT aims to capitalize on this concept by making music a key component of the daily curriculum for students of all ages.
Music’s Impact on a Child’s Development
Research has demonstrated that the area of the brain responsible for the interpretation of music overlaps with the area of the brain where language acquisition takes place. The greater the area of the brain that is activated, the more synaptic learning and plasticity changes occur in that specific area, deepening language acquisition and processing.
For children with hearing loss who are learning how to listen and speak, music stimulates the brain and enhances its ability to develop language. Children who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) benefit from several key components familiar to many forms of music.
Structure and Rules
Children with hearing loss who are working to develop spoken language benefit from music’s understandable patterns and structures.
Music’s repetitive nature helps children who are DHH recognize language and draw from memory.
Music introduces new words and concepts to children with hearing loss, allowing them to expand their vocabulary.
Music requires children with hearing loss to focus, follow verbal and musical directions, and use critical thinking to process sounds and melodies.
The Joy of Music
Perhaps most importantly for children who are DHH, as well as their hearing peers, is the joy that music can bring. Hearing your favorite song, dancing to a fun beat or playing an instrument elicits happiness and allows for a level of freedom and creativity for children of all ages.
For children with hearing loss, the joy of music provides an opportunity to learn and develop in a fun and entertaining way. Whereas studying topics in a classroom can become monotonous for some children, singing, dancing and listening to music feels like play and serves as an exciting way to learn new concepts.
Music at CCHAT
CCHAT ensures that music is a regular occurrence in every classroom, from toddler ages to primary grades. Songs are worked into every part of the daily schedule, including morning circle, snack, clean up, calendar and more.
To further drive home the importance of music, CCHAT students attend one of two 30-minute music sessions every day. This interactive music block includes the four research-based aspects of effective music instruction for children who are DHH: listening and hearing the music, singing, moving to the music and playing an instrument. Led by CCHAT’s DHH-credentialed teachers, daily music class plays a vital role in the development of speech, language, listening and thinking.
Continuing the Learning at Home
Music is a valuable tool that can be utilized throughout the day. Because of its ease of access and universal enjoyment, music is something that can be incorporated into daily routines, both on campus and at home. Parents are encouraged to sing and play music with their child who is deaf or hard of hearing to ensure that listening and language development continues outside of school.