What Music Requires
Giving a person with ADHD the opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrumentt provides them the opportunity to learn to persevere, use self discipline and develop better concentration, according to the Brain Therapy Center. Combining some of the positive traits of ADHD with an appreciation of music allows the person with ADHD to find an area of their life where they can learn to excel, thus helping with self esteem problems.
As the person is learning new concepts –– notes, chords, rhythm, tempo –– they also learn that this new pursuit doesn’t come quickly, especially in relation to classical music. Listening to, and learning to play, classical music allows the person to release built-up frustration and helps them relax, but some of the same accommodations used in the classroom setting should be used in teaching music. These include short practice sessions so the person doesn’t have the chance to become too frustrated or bored.
Give the person the chance to choose which instrument to learn; in this way they have more of an emotional investment in sticking with their instrument if they become frustrated.
Before starting the person with ADHD on music lessons, make sure the ADHD symptoms are under control with medication and behavioral therapy. When they experience a difficult piece of music, they will respond more appropriately to the resulting confusion and frustration if they are taking medication and have learned behavioral coping methods.
Learning to play an instrument, becoming engaged in the music, and finding an outlet for creativity are all excellent activities for the person with ADHD. When they find something they are good and and that they enjoy, the combination of ADHD and music can give them a positive focus.