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Music therapy and adhd

Music therapy and adhd - what does research show

Living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging, impacting various aspects of one’s life. While traditional treatments like medication and psychotherapy have proven effective, a helpful addition may be music therapy. In this blog post, we’ll explore how music therapy, particularly incorporating elements like music and breath, guided imagery and binaural beats, can significantly benefit individuals with ADHD.

Reducing Anxiety and Stress:

Leveraging specific music techniques has proven to be an effective strategy in reducing anxiety for individuals across various contexts (Elliot, 2015). One notable approach involves the incorporation of rhythmic and slow-tempo melodies, which can have a calming effect on the nervous system and promote relaxation (Chanda & Levitin, 2013). Additionally, techniques such as guided imagery paired with music provide a structured method for individuals to immerse themselves in positive mental imagery, diverting attention from anxious thoughts (Hanser & Mandel, 2018). Moreover, mindful listening and deep-breathing exercises synchronised with the rhythm of music contribute to a heightened state of awareness and tranquillity (Hays, 2015). These music-based techniques, employed either independently or within therapeutic settings, offer accessible and non-invasive tools for individuals seeking to manage and alleviate anxiety in their daily lives.

Improving Executive Function:

Music engages various cognitive processes, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Regular participation in music therapy has been linked to improvements in executive function, which are often impacted in individuals with ADHD.
(Thompson & Schlaug, 2020)

Enhanced Focus with Binaural Beats:

Binaural beats is a technique where two slightly different frequencies are presented separately to each ear, creating a perceived third frequency. Studies have shown that binaural beats can positively impact brainwave patterns, promoting a state of focus and attention.
(Smith et al., 2018)

The Therapeutic Impact:

Customising Music Therapy for ADHD: Music therapists work closely with individuals to tailor interventions based on their specific needs. This personalised approach ensures that the music used in therapy aligns with the individual’s preferences and resonates effectively.(Davis & Gfeller, 2017)

Incorporating Music in Daily Routines:

Integrating music into daily routines, such as during study or work sessions, can provide a consistent and supportive environment for individuals with ADHD. This practice helps establish positive associations with tasks, promoting sustained attention.
(Thompson, 2018)

Music therapy and adhd - what does research show​: conclusion.

As awareness of ADHD in the community continues to grow and demand for services expands, music therapy stands out as an effective and accessible option. With its capacity to enhance focus, reduce anxiety, and improve executive function, the power of music shows significant potential in supporting individuals with ADHD.

Music therapy is an allied health profession, so be sure to check with your provider that your music therapist is professionally registered with the Australian Music Therapy Association and has completed a Master of Music Therapy or equivalent. That way you know you are getting the best possible service with someone who knows all the science and methods behind music therapy.

If you’re interested in exploring the transformative power of music therapy or seeking more information about our music therapy services at Creative Therapy Adelaide, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on our contact page or give us a call at (08) 7080 4618 to find out more. 

Rowan Harding, Senior Music Therapist

Rowan Harding, Senior Music Therapist

Rowan, the sax-stronaut, embarks on a melodious mission, using his musical superpowers to soar through therapy sessions, bringing joy, growth, and sax-cess to children and young adults, proving that music truly is the universal language of awesomeness!

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