Top 5 tips for making music for children who have autism

Dr. Biddulph, ASD music specialist and Dr. Schögler, PhD (Co-founder and CEO of Skoogmusic) share the top tips for making music for children who have autism.

Tip #1 Plan ahead

Plan well before, and beyond, any music session. Take into account the person’s sensory differences and profile – especially any potential stress or anxiety that could occur when trying something new for the first session.

Tip #2 Music as part of life

Make music part of the person’s life not just a ‘lesson’; don’t create artificial barriers such as home or school. Music can be made and enjoyed almost anywhere, so make it so.

Tip #3 Explore sound

Explore sound in as many ways as you can, for example a child with autism may respond very well to making noises with familiar objects such as objects in the classroom or around the home, sounds from nature. Together you can make the everyday musical. You can also use free apps like Skratch or GarageBand to record sounds and play with them.

Tip #4 Perform for them

Perform to the child, show them you do it too — don’t just expect them to perform to you whatever your level of musical ability. If you don’t trust the medium as a means of expression, how can the autistic child be expected to?

Tip #5 Record your sounds

Leave the autistic child alone to make sounds, if it is safe to do so. Let them record them and then listen together. You can do this with the free app Skratch. Go on a walk and record the different and ever-changing sounds using the app, then use it as a backing track to play along to.

From experts in the field

We hopes these top tips for making music with children who have autism have been useful. They were brought to you by Dr. Schögler, PhD (Co-founder and CEO of Skoogmusic) who is passionate about empowering people to be more creative. Specifically making music accessible for all young people. Dr. Biddulph, ASD music specialist has received national and international recognition and acclaim through his music and autism programme.

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