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Using Music Therapy to Help Children With ADHD

Today, is featuring Lucy Reed from

There are many resources available to children with ADHD, and the field of music therapy is growing in popularity due to its wide-ranging benefits. Of course, you may have many questions about whether music therapy is right for your child. Learn more about music therapy below.

How Does Music Therapy Work?

Music therapy utilizes the power of music to cause relaxing, healing changes in the body. Research has shown that music has an array of benefits, including improved sleeping, enhanced alertness, and reduced stress. This therapy works towards these benefits in a more structured and individualized setting. Music skills are not required in music-based therapy.

What Type of Music Works Best?

The type of music used in therapy depends on the therapist's intention. In general, therapists commonly recommend soothing, mid-tempo music for children with ADHD to not further agitate their hyperactivity. Classical music has been found to have the most effect on speech and memory, but a therapist may use other genres to generate different responses. Typically, music with words is avoided unless the therapy calls for the children to sing along. Additionally, music with basic rhythms is preferred. This makes it easy for children with ADHD to follow along without confusion.

What Does a Typical Session Entail?

A music therapy session is always designed with the child's music preferences, needs, and triggers in mind. At first, the therapist will likely try a variety of activities to gauge the child's interests before settling on a regimen. For example, the therapist may have the child listen, sing, or dance to different genres of music. Sometimes, to deepen the investment in music, the child may be asked to play an instrument or create music with the therapist.

The location of the therapy session depends on both the therapist and the specific type of music therapy. Most therapy sessions happen within a mental health office, hospital, or school, but many music therapists will travel to the child's home and conduct a session there. This has the added benefit of increasing the child's comfort due to it being a familiar setting.

How Do I Pay for Music Therapy?

Unfortunately, music therapy is not often covered by insurance. Chances are you'll be paying for the service on your own. There are certain programs, however, that you can take advantage of, such as community grants or foundations that specialize in either music therapy or helping children with ADHD. Your child may even be eligible for federal funding based on the Individual with Disabilities Act, so it's a good idea to check out all the available opportunities. Another option is to refinance your home and use the money you save (an average of $160 per month) to spend on therapy. Be sure to carefully research the refinance process to learn more about your options.

Music therapy can be a healthy way for children with ADHD to relax, sharpen their focus, and discover something they may be interested in. Contact a local music therapist and see if this is something your child can benefit from.

Image via Pexels

Update 03-11-2023:

We were contacted by Ella Mfene from and wanted to share a resource that she had asked we post here. Thank you Ella!

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 6 million children in the United States have ADHD and 4.4% of American adults have it too. Drugwatch has published a page about ADHD that covers need to know information about the condition such as:


-Causes and Factors

-Treatment and management


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