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Sound Medicine for Kids with ADHD

children adhd

First developed in 1944 at the University of Michigan, music therapy has for a long time been used to aid people with conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or depression. In addition, it has also been shown to be a sound medicine for kids with ADHD and commonly being used for that reason in medicine, nowadays.

Psychologists suggest that music is one of the old-age ways to heal: It works exceptionally well for kids with ADHD. These medical experts have also cited the ability of music to reduce the levels of anxiety in especially in the especially. Thus, music can be of great benefits as far as dealing with ADHD is concerned since the condition is generally all about high anxiety levels.

Music is calming when played at the right rhythm. Calmed kids with ADHD are at a better position of being able to pay attention and focus on whatever activity they are engaged in. There are also singing lessons for kids that can help them too. Since it is not threatening and is familiar, music also makes kids with ADHD more open to interact with people close to them.

Research shows that calming music raises the levels of dopamine in the brain. This is an important neurotransmitter, which is responsible for regulating motivation, regulating attention, and working memory. It is however supplied in low levels in the brains of ADHD affected children and hence affects their performance. Fortunately, music helps in firing up the synapses in the brain of such children, thereby raising the production levels of this essential neurotransmitter.

You can always connect with your child through music to help them recover ADHD. Singing songs or playing music together or even listening to music is always one of the best ways to bond with such children. As a parent, you don’t even have to worry about the kind of tune coming from your vocals: The most important thing is to calm and maintain superb health brain for your child, through music.

Ways To Treat Anxiety With Music Therapy

Listening or writing music can help relieve anxiety as well as improve your overall health. During stressful and anxious moments, our bodies suddenly relax when we listen to a song we enjoy. Music therapy uses licensed and trained professional to create personalized programs that can include singing, playing music, listening to your favorite music or even writing music to help improve psychological, physical, social and cognitive functioning. After a close examination and evaluation of an anxious or stressed person, a music therapist creates a program that will address individual needs. Below are five ways to treat anxiety with music therapy.

1. Listening to the music that you enjoy

The music that you will enjoy at a certain time depends on your mood. Sometimes soothing music will help you relax and forget life hassles while other times, an upbeat music may be just what you need to enhance your outlook in life.

2. Use Technology

You can use your tablet, computer or iPod to listen to your favorite music throughout the day. If you are stuck in traffic, on lunch hour break in school or work, or waiting for an appointment, putting your headphones to block the stress around you and listen to good music can greatly help you relax and reduce anxiousness.

3. Look for local live music performances

Listening to live performances by your favorite artists can also help you forget your daily hassles. You can check online or the daily newspaper for performances that you will enjoy. Or if you like to overcome anxiety today, checkout http://www.nervousnovelist.com/.

4. Write a song

It is much easier to express your feelings and emotions through lyrics or music than speaking how you feel. In this case, the music or lyrics are yours, so you do not have to worry if other people will love it.

5. Take time to analyze your favorite lyrics

As you listen to your favorite song, analyze the lyrics and try to find out why they are meaningful to you or why you can relate to them.

A History Lesson

music-therapy-history

What is the history of music therapy? I’ve always been a bit of a history buff myself in general life, so of course I have often wondered upon the history of my profession. So for my good readers here I decided to do a little bit of research and dug up some good material for you to read about famous individuals who have either employed or benefited from some sort of musical therapy.

Let’s go back. Way back to the bible days. Well, yeah, 3000 years ago if you know your old bible stories you are aware of the stories of David the future king of Israel, and Saul the first king of Israel. Well, Saul to put it simply had some problems. He would go into fits that were a mixture of fear, anxiety and rage out of nowhere. These mental episodes were so debilitating they would paralyze Saul and make him unable to even govern during crucial points in Israel’s history.

David known for his great music ability with the Harp and other instruments, as well as being a songwriter (David wrote Psalms), was for all intents and purposes Saul’s music therapist. When Saul had a mental breakdown he would immediately call upon David. There were instances of Israel under attack and Saul having a nervous breakdown unable to lead, and then his advisers would summon David and he would soothe Saul with his Harp and he would snap out of it. Saul would tell David that he wouldn’t have been able to make it without his therapeutic songs.

In ancient times music therapy was actually pretty common. In ancient Hindu mythology there are many instances of music therapy being employed in India. There are countless Vedic texts where music therapy is shown to be affective in treating illness. Music therapy was regularly practiced in India all the way until present times.

Another great Music Therapist from the ancient world was an Iranian by the name of Al-Farabi. Al-Farabi wrote an extensive documentation of the effects of music upon patients. He wrote of the therapeutic effects music can have upon the soul and how well his clients responded to his music therapy. He wrote this great work in the early 900’s. It was another great music therapy clinic that existed in the world just 1100 some years ago.

It seems the Mid-East and East had been using the practice of music therapy for a long time, what about the western world? Well it took the west a little while to catch up. It is said that modern music therapy really began in the west after World War 1 and World War 2. Especially the United Kingdom, after world war two regularly sent regiments of musicians to play for wounded and shell shocked troops; this is where the modern practice began.

t was an early success with only one hitch; it soon became clear to physicians that the musicians needed to be able to take some sort of course to guide them into more of a professional clinical field. So it was with those post war gestures that the college major of Music Therapy was born. The first musicians to come around the VA hospitals after wars were not trained, just musicians improvising, but now it is a rigorous program of board certified music therapists. The field has really come a long way.

Here in the United States the American Music Therapy Association was founded in 1998 merging with NAMT (National Association for Music Therapy). And that brings the history of music therapy nicely up to my backyard so to speak. I begin my music therapy profession in 2002; just after this big merger. What did that mean for me? It meant that I was lucky to begin fresh in a great blend of organizations.

So for something that begin thousands of years ago with ancient David plucking a harp for suffering Saul and with Indian and Persian music therapists working wonders, we have really come a long way to get to the present. And I am proud of our great history and what we can still accomplish today to help others to feel better. It is really a blessing to help and love other people through this wonderful music.

Reach Them Where They Are At

I saw an interesting clip on YouTube today that gave a good look at what my occupation is all about. It showed a professional music therapist discussing the fundamentals of her job and who she encountered on a daily basis. She described some rather poignant scenes I can relate to. She discussed being right at the scene of the emergency room when people have been brought in after attempting suicide. She described how they often displayed states described in our textbooks as the, “Tin Man”.

The Tin Man is a mental state that is described as being like a hollow tin container or the person feels like they are made of tin and completely empty inside. I have met many such patients as this music therapist described in the video. It is indeed very sad to come across some who is just empty; completely devoid of all emotion. They are just wore out and tired, tired of life.

She described her first sessions meeting this critical patients, she said that she had to approach them very delicately at first. She would try to reach them wear they were, which is obviously in a very sad state. As a music therapist we are taught to do that. You would not play a happy upbeat song to a suicidal person, they are just so disconnected from that it would only make them feel worse. Instead you meet them where they are.

One interesting twist on that though, is that I have used Pherell’s song, “Happy” in my music therapy sessions with depressed clients and it is extremely effective. But the thing you have to realize that even though the lyrics of Pherell’s song say, “Happy”, the music is melancholy and sad, played in a sad minor key all throughout. It connects well with my clients because the sad tone reverberates with them, yet at the same time it has a positive lyric.

How I Became a Music Therapist

Music can be a wonderfully healing medicine. I started playing music myself all those years ago because it was a healing exercise for me to undertake for myself. After a hard day at school I would come home and instantly zone out to guitar and piano, soothing my mind and nerves. My dad was always amazed at how entranced I was every day at 3:20 like clock work letting out all my steam from the school day into my music. He would tell people it was my medicine, if someone called for me or something like that when I was playing he would say, “Hold on John is taking his Medicine!”

It really was medicine for me though to get all of my stressful high school feelings out in music. I feel really lucky that I had that kind of outlet; I think that all teenagers need an outlet like that, whether it is music or sports, the turbulent teen years run much smoother with a good outlet for stress.

Later on in college I took a class on eastern philosophy and learned of aruvedic medicine and also something else called Music Therapy. This class greatly opened my eyes to the possibilities; playing music to heal, I mean me and my dad joked about my music as being my medicine, and then suddenly I had a textbook that was verifying this as an irrefutable fact.

After seeing this chapter in my Eastern Philosophy book it all came together for me and I knew what to do. I immediately set up an appointment with my course counselor and changed my major to Music Therapy. And now over ten years later here I am with my own Music Therapy practice and it has been the most rewarding career I ever could have imagined.

music-healing-patients

I have seen a lot of people recover from many different illness and malady just through listening to music. I have seen cancer patients gain energy that assisted them in fighting their disease. I have seen students with autism gain a better understanding of emotions and feeling. The latter is actually a major breakthrough in Autism research. Music therapists are on the frontline in this field.

When people have given up on certain patients when meds and behavior therapy does not work they thrown them to the door of Music Therapists like myself and we have found that connection that has been so sought after. We have found a way to light that spark that has stayed dormant for so long. I treasure the kids that smile for the first time when I play. It really is a tremendous feeling, and helping these people is the best kind of boost and therapeutic medicine in my own life that I could ever have asked for.

Music was always my last refuge when I had a tough day at school as a high school student; I guess I understood that magic well then without knowing the exact application. Now I am able to apply it and perfect it and use it for the benefit of others it is the best job I could have ever asked for.

Photography for Beginners

Photography is much like any other subject that you can study, but it is also an intricate, deeply personal form of art. For beginning photographers, there are several things that must be considered and remembered in order to achieve superb photographs.

The Camera

Since photographs cannot be taken without a camera, good photographs cannot be taken without a good camera. Finding the proper camera is not difficult if certain steps are taken.

While finding a good camera is important, it is not necessary to spend more than you are able. Set a budget for your purchase.

Determine your commitment to photography and your camera. If you feel you will remain a casual photographer, a basic point-and-shoot camera will suffice. If you feel you will expand your abilities and talents as a photographer and wish to achieve a standing in the professional field, a Digital Single Lens Reflex or D-SLR, may be a more expensive but more suitable option.

Determine what the end product of the photography session will be. e.g. see http://www.perfect4tography.com. If pictures are going to be printed or enlarged, more megapixels will equal a better quality photograph. You should not purchase a camera with less than eight megapixels.

Lens quality should be addressed before purchasing a camera. Most photographers would prefer an optical zoom lens for the ability to enlarge photographs without losing quality. Optical zoom lenses also offer more options for shot preferences, such as portrait, action, low-light, landscape or telephoto shots. While the 3x is standard on point-and-shoot cameras, and is good enough for enlargements to be made up to 8*10 photographs, serious photographers might wish to invest in something slightly stronger.

Make sure the camera is a good fit for your hand. If the camera is too small, a tighter grip will be necessary, and muscle fatigue from such a grip can cause shaking. If the camera is too large, a good grip may not be possible, making photography difficult, if not impossible.

Shaky shots are rarely worth bragging over. For this purpose, it is recommended that any photographer invest in a tripod, to keep the photograph sharp and clear. For additional stability, use the timer function on your camera to avoid shutter shake.

 

Taking the Photographs

Now that you have your camera, make sure to keep it with you at all times, because you never know when a situation or setting will capture your attention. These spur of the moment candids can quite often be some of the most powerful photographs.

Of course, there are plenty of still scenes that likely catch your attention, as well. Make a list of these shots that you would like to capture. Pay close attention to what it is in these surroundings that catch your attention, whether it be the lighting, the weather or something entirely different, so that you can return to this place under the same conditions.

Open your eyes to new possibilities in familiar places. Sometimes the most common scenes can become transcendent due to a small trick of the light or atmosphere.

Do not be afraid to take photographs of anything, at any time. There is always a chance that a scene may end up feeling more powerful after the shot is taken and post-produced.

Expanding Your Knowledge Base

Experiment with your camera in different settings. The cost of error does not exist with digital photography, and it is possible to Learn how to use lighting and shadows and other cues to get the maximum impact from your photographs. Also experiment with the settings on your camera. Take plenty of pictures of each scene using different settings. You can review them later to determine which setting works best with each type of scene. There are numerous books, websites, magazines, newsletters and a myriad of other sources which will teach basic techniques. Learning how your camera works will also enhance your understanding of how to best capture a worthy photograph.

 

The important thing to remember about photography is that there are not set rules. Photographs have personal meaning and power. What may speak to one person may not speak to another. It is important to understand how the camera, the settings, and the techniques all play a part in making a powerful photograph, but those are only guidelines. While some pictures are more powerful when they are crisp and clear, other photographs may be more powerful when they are slightly blurred. Sometimes, darker photographs full of shadows can be more powerful than photographs bathed in light.