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Music is an intrinsic part of all of us: rhythm in our heartbeat, breathing, and movements; melody in our laughing, moaning, crying, or singing; the full spectrum of human emotions is contained in all the various musical styles and genres. These powerful connections with music are hard-wired into our brains and we can access them when shown how, regardless of any disability.
Research shows that music lessons help special needs children improve their development while engaging them in a powerful expressive outlet. It’s proven to help people with Down syndrome:
- Social and Communication Skills
Music classes help children and adults with Down Syndrome improve communication skills. In addition, group music classes can promote many social interactions, encourage positive social development, and boost their self-esteem. The structure and interaction provided by music lessons are highly effective. Children learn to interact with the teacher as well as other people in the group. They learn how to work together to make music. This positive, and creative engagement is truly beneficial.
- MotorSkills, Movement, and Coordination
The rhythmic nature of music gives students a better understanding of movement and timing. Repeating tasks and working on rhythm helps them to improve their motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. If kids have a hard time understanding speech or saying certain words, music can help. Often learning to imitate animal sounds is a great way to improve speech. It improves their articulation and over time allows them to improve their communication skills.
Learning chants and songs is also a great way of improving memory as well as speech. The rhythm of the words can be played on a body part, drum or piano. Guessing games challenge the child to hear the song when you sing the words in your head while playing the rhythm of the song. There are many, many songs that incorporate actions so the child not only learns the names of body parts but has fun in the process.
Whoever you are, music can make your life better and brighter! To learn more and to find out if music lessonsare right for you, contact Judith now!!
We all have fond memories of learning skills that are play based. Time flies by and we didn’t notice how many hours we spent learning how to ride a bicycle or put the basketball through the hoop. We were busy having fun.
Having fun learning music can start very young, and continue for a lifetime.
My approach to acquiring music skills, (regardless of the instrument), is based on having fun. I carefully choose songs and activities that engage the student and help to develop all the skills necessary to do something well and improve in all these other areas.
- Language Skills – singing generally, and specifically, is potentially helpful for developing the function of language including the following areas: speech, vocabulary, articulation, flow, and even literacy.
- Cognitive Functioning – developing memory, learning how to learn, mental processing, and clarity. Note that there is a lot of information available about how music can help develop the brain. While this is true, I am talking a great deal more than this: enhancing specific mental abilities as a consequence of becoming a more accomplished musician.
- Physical Functioning – singing and playing instruments require a high degree of coordination, and, at a higher level, flow. And, as music making becomes more flowing and coordinated, so too does the body usage. It is possible to use the acquisition of musical mastery, therefore, to enhance body usage.
To do this I play and sing with the student so that we are learning how to work together, and have fun. I also have at my fingertips, an enormous amount of material that I use and adapt for each student, depending on their age and interests.
The goal is to have music making become an activity that is rewarding and will last a whole lifetime.
The Alexander Technique (AT) is a unique self-help approach that enables people to do things with more ease and freedom – from sitting in front of a computer or texting to playing the guitar or dancing. Regular practice can help the learner recognize and prevent poor postural habits that can lead to overexertion, underperformance, and pain.
Although the Alexander Technique is not a therapy per se, pupils may notice improvements in their overall health and well-being. Alexander Technique helps us to change our habitual ways of moving and holding ourselves, and because these habits unconsciously condition how we feel and function in daily life, Alexander Technique’s benefits are deep and pervasive. Over the course of their AT lessons, many people achieve a greater sense of serenity, lightness, relaxation, and alertness than they have ever experienced before.
Unlike treatments or exercises, the Alexander Technique teaches people to gradually improve the way they look after themselves in all their waking hours – both at rest and in movement. As healthy postural support and an overall sense of focus and calm become more established, AT learners are more able to let go of tension and unproductive effort they may previously have been unaware of. Through the Alexander Technique, the pupil becomes more autonomous, able to use new strategies to do things with greater ease, and often, greater enjoyment.
Developed by actor F.M. Alexander over a hundred years ago, the Alexander Technique has helped many thousands of people make the most of their lives.
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When things get tough you need confidence and reassurance that you can cope. Through lessons in the Alexander Technique, you learn reliable and long-term ways to prioritize self-care even in the midst of personal, professional, or global upheavals.
As you learn to calm your nervous system through applying Alexander’s principles to yourself in your daily life, your thoughts and activities will become more balanced and integrated – a kind of ‘embodied mindfulness’. You begin to develop a deep trust in who you are, with increased resilience and a calmer frame of mind.
If you’ve struggled to cope with the effects of a pandemic or its aftermath, you’re not alone. Learning the Alexander Technique is one way to find the right support you need.
You may have come up the strategies that help you stay calm. But if that doesn’t work or you need other help, the Alexander Technique can help. It’s not just about posture. You can also use it to:
- Manage your emotional responses
- Develop new ways of reacting to stress and anxiety
- Find balance, calm and greater personal stability
- Feel more confident about coping with difficult people or situations
- Become more resilient in the face of the unknown
Basically, the Alexander Technique empowers you to self-manage your conditions without the side effects of drugs or the physical cost of surgery.
We all know how powerful music can be in our lives, and in the lives of our children, but why is music so fascinating and captivating? What exactly is it about music that makes it such a profoundly rewarding experience, as well as helping children with special needs?
Music-making helps children in so many areas regardless of what their special needs may be. They are easily able to participate in music-making sessions that are individually devised for them. Focusing on what they can do, instead of what they have difficulties with is incredibly empowering.
The regular music-making session for children with special needs easily gives the child an experience of being able to express themselves creatively, a sense of accomplishment, enjoyment, and confidence in themselves, as well as enhancing the neuroplasticity of the brain.
Scientific studies keep on showing us how music lessons are very powerful. They develop our ear and memory, improve our cognitive functioning, movement and speech.
What’s more?? While listening to music can improve our mood, and keep us engaged for hours on end, it is being involved in the activity of music-making that will enrich our lives the most.
You know millions of people today really want to improve the way they look, and as a result spend a lot of money on their clothes, cosmetics and at salons. Yet, most people would agree that one of the most attractive qualities of a person is the way they sit, stand and move – or in other words, their posture.
However, Alexander Technique can help you to achieve good posture as you learn new ways of sitting, standing, breathing, and moving that reduce stress on your body and in turn, will allow you to perform all your daily activities with greater ease and efficiency.
How Alexander Technique lessons can help you breathe
The Alexander Technique exists to help people identify their own harmful postural patterns, and especially patterns that hinder free and easy breathing.
Alexander technique lessons provide students a supportive environment where they can explore what works and what doesn’t work — and why. As they regain a healthy, upright posture they can not only improve their breathing but also become increasingly free to choose their own responses. More and more often, those responses are conscious, well-informed choices instead of subconscious habits. And their choices revolve around improving their posture to improve their breathing and improve their quality of life.
Why not try this out for yourself by enrolling alexander lesson today??
It’s been a while since you last picked up the saxophone or sat down at the piano, and you only sing in the shower or car -it’s probably been years. Right??
It’s not like you stopped enjoying it. BUT Life got busy and time had to be devoted to other things, however, you are conscious of something missing in your life and remember that it is the deep satisfaction of being able to make music.
And now, you might be curious but nervous about returning to making music again after such a long break. Is it even possible, or have you lost years of valuable skill-building?
In fact, it’s so much easier as you are an adult, many people have done it. You may be a bit rusty, but it’s a lot easier than you think. While life may have caused you to take a break, the memories and love of music remain. It doesn’t matter what instrument you played as a kid, the skills are easily transferred to another instrument. The piano is a great instrument for an adult to take up later on in life. It is really easy to work out how to play all your favorite songs, and by learning simple chords, you can provide your own harmony.
However, the most important thing is that you can pick up where you left off and immerse yourself in the world of music.
AND, Enjoy the new journey!!!
Many of us took music lessons as a child but stopped when we left school, went to college and life took over. Now more than ever, is a particularly good time to upgrade all those things that you learned as a kid so that your music-making can help enrich your life as an adult, so what are you waiting for?
Ahh… don’t say you are too old for learning music or that you will never be as good as your favorite musician. Remember, it is never too late to start again!!!
Learning how to maximize music’s deeply therapeutic power becomes a wonderful adjunct to our daily health and wellness programs. Listed below are some of the well-known scientifically proven benefits.
- Music reduces stress and anxiety
- Music improves our immunity and therefore general health
- Music decreases feelings of depression and loneliness
- Music enhances memory and recall
- Music alleviates pain and promotes physical rehabilitation
More importantly, you will have a lot of fun and enjoyment in the process. So if you think it’s time to get that item ticked off your bucket list, just go for it. In fact, as an adult, you will have developed a whole bunch of skills that make progress in your lessons so much faster, and deeply rewarding. Of course, this comes with the caveat that you may now as an adult have more responsibilities than you did when you were a kid!
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Contact Judith now!!
Lessons in the Alexander Technique teach us how to stop and notice what we are doing to ourselves in response to a stimulus. This could be a thought, a sensation, or an emotion, often they are all connected. When we learn how to stop and notice, choices open up to us on how to respond. Over time applying this skill allows us to live a life of increased peace and ease. We are less at the mercy of richochetingaround like a ball in a pinball machine, from one thing to another.
F.M. Alexander refined his own awareness of his reaction to a stimulus, i.e. that of recitation, to such a degree that he noticed his neck stiffening. This in turn caused a cascade of tensions and compression. Stiffening his neck, pulled his head back and down, and compressed his spine. This was the original cause of him losing his voice onstage during dramatic recitations, and solving this problem led to the development of the work that we now know as the Alexander Technique. This was over one hundred years ago and lessons in the Alexander Technique are continuing to teach people how to take charge of their lives.
But what takes place during an Alexander lesson begins with increasing our awareness. An individual cannot learn to solve a problem unless they first learn how to “stop, think, and then act”.
Did you know that your thought process can have a positive effect on your physical well-being? This is one of the skills you develop with the Alexander Technique, an educational method with over a hundred-year track record.
The Alexander Technique gives you a way to better understand how your body works. Through a course of one-on-one sessions with a certified Alexander Technique teacher, you will learn to:
- how to recapture the ease, and freedom of movement that we enjoyed as young children.
- how to release the stress so that it doesn’t compound your condition.
- return your body and mind to balance and gain a sense of control over your tension and stress responses.
Basically, The Alexander Technique empowers you to self-manage your conditions. It offers practical, proactive methods for dealing with the acute onset of pain and the challenge of getting through daily activities.
The Alexander Technique helps you find long-term relief without the side effects of drugs or the physical cost of surgery. Since you activate this process on your own, you know how to perpetuate its beneficial effects, long after your sessions are over.
And, once you have greater control over how you feel, your focus naturally swings to other areas of your life – to exercising, playing your favorite sport, going through a workday in greater comfort, or savoring a long walk. Rather than tuning out the constant static of pain, you re-awaken sensation and access a new reservoir of energy and enjoyment.
“The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act, not react” — George Bernard Shaw.
One of the many famous people who have benefitted from lessons in the Alexander Technique was lucky enough to study F.M. Alexander himself, and started having lessons in his 80’s.
Do you know learning to make music helps your child develop skills that are quite difficult to acquire from any other activity?
For instance, if a child starts playing a musical instrument before the age of seven their neurons are likely to show a strong connection between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. In simple words, music supports the growth and development of every part of the human brain and also contributes to greatly improved academic skills.
The real advantage is that even if music lessons don’t extend to a higher professional level, your child will have developed a love of music as well as music skills that will enrich their entire adult lives.
- From learning foreign languages to bringing back memories in Alzheimer’s patients, music improves memory and brain function.
- Before children can understand words and gestures, they learn to recognize musical notes. Subsequently, the music develops fine motor skills.
- Whether grown-up or child, music improves spatial reasoning. How? It is because visuospatial ability and music stimulate the same neurons in the brain.
- When a child takes a music lesson, they learn to process different types of complex sounds which in turn improves their listening and speaking skills.
However, the most important thing of all is that it is never too late to learn how to make music as the Sing-Play approach makes it all so easy.
Alexander Technique Lessons clear up the confusion about how you should hold yourself. Whatever your age or ability, with practice you’ll learn that you don’t need to actively hold yourself up and this will happen naturally if you change the habits that bother you.
Through Alexander Technique Lessons, you’ll learn skills that you can use anytime, anywhere, without having to stop and do exercises. All it takes is a nanosecond to switch off the patterns of tension and activate our postural mechanisms by directing.
By learning the Alexander Technique, students learn to recognize and switch off negative patterns, pulling down (slouching) which also will relieve excessive muscle tension.
Excessive tension in some areas and slouching down in others is often the source of pain and other difficulties.
Reducing or eliminating these harmful patterns will allow the postural muscles to function so we are naturally held up. This will also improve the quality of movement, posture, and breathing in all activities.
As a result, the state will be neither too tense nor too relaxed. Instead, it is balanced, relaxing, energetic, and free of strain.
But what takes place during an Alexander lesson begins with increasing our awareness. An individual cannot learn or solve a problem unless they are mindfully “thinking in activity”. The key for the individual is to learn to “stop, think, and act”.