Using Music To Support Speech And Language Development In Children With Hearing Loss

Music and language development in children

Music and language are similar. Music resembles the tempo, pitch, and rhythm of normal speaking patterns. A connection exists between music and the development of speech and language skills in children with hearing impairments. Current evidence should encourage speech therapists, music therapists, music teachers, parents, and children to use music for the development of speech and language skills in children with hearing loss.

New Research

Music in early childhood education can benefit all children, including those with language disorders and developmental disorders. According to the research, the use of music in teaching intensifies the learning process and gives children a way to express themselves. Music benefits the brains of children with hearing loss as well as their language development. Musical activities develop children’s rhythm, pitch variation, and spoken language. The researchers believe that these skills can make children’s lives more comfortable and less stressful.
The research team tested and measured speech sound perception, auditory skills, singing skills, and brain responses to variations in musical sound in children with cochlear implants. One group participated in artistic activities while the control group did not participate. The findings indicate that children with cochlear implants who sing regularly have a better perception of speech in noise than the children who do not sing. This finding is of great importance in daycare or school where children communicate in noisy conditions.

Music To Enhance Speech

Musical activities can be a therapy in addition to traditional speech and language therapy or as an activity within the home. The research team has guidelines for using music to support the development of spoken language. These instructions will serve as a guide for parents, early childhood education providers, teachers, and speech therapists. Here are the recommendations for using music to enhance the speech and language skills of children with hearing loss:

  • Use music systematically at an early age before the application of hearing aids.
  • Incorporate body movements to accompany the music the children hear.
  • Use singing as the main instrument, especially with young children.
  • Conduct musical activities in small groups and use several musical instruments and pictures that represent lyrics.
  • Use repetition and turn-taking.
  • Advise families on how to use music with their child.
  • Use computer games and apps to help children produce sounds.
  • Support the musical hobbies of children with hearing problems.

The Importance Of Music

Music and language are similar, and music closely mirrors the tempo, pitch, and rhythm of standard speaking patterns. The outcomes of the study confirm the importance of musical programs at school and exposure to music in the home. The exposure to music increases a child’s ability to perceive speech sounds accurately, improve auditory skills, improve singing ability, and respond to variations in musical tones. Music can significantly support the speech and language development of children with hearing loss, and they mustn’t face exclusion because their ability to hear is compromised. Further research is also needed to appreciate the effectiveness of music while programs are developed to strengthen the hearing and auditory processing mechanisms through music.

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