New Jersey (888) 755-4657 | Georgia (470) 888-1650 | Indiana (317) 960-3400 | North Carolina (704) 461-3400

The Benefits of Music for Kids with Autism

Table of Contents

Music has the power to evoke a myriad of emotions – joy, sadness, nostalgia, and hope – sometimes all at once. It’s a universal language that speaks to the very core of our being, surpassing barriers of language and culture. But did you know that for children with autism, music is more than just entertainment? Studies have shown that music therapy can improve cognitive functioning, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance communication skills in children with autism. Today, we’re going to explore the magical world of music and how it can make a big difference in the lives of children with high-functioning or low-functioning autism

What is Music Therapy?

First things first, let’s talk about what music therapy actually is. It’s not just about listening to your favorite tunes (although that’s part of it!). Music therapy is a structured way of using music to help people with different needs, like those with autism, to improve their skills and overall well-being. Music therapists are trained to carefully select and adapt musical experiences to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual, being some of the best therapies for autism. This could involve playing instruments, singing, songwriting, listening to music, or moving to the beat. The therapist creates a safe and supportive environment where the individual can freely express themselves and explore their emotions through music.

Does Music Help with Autism?

Little Autistic Girl Dancing

Absolutely! Music isn’t just a fun pastime; it can also be a powerful tool for children on the autism spectrum. The benefits of music therapy for individuals with autism are vast. It calms the mind, encourages social engagement, facilitates emotional regulation, and enhances pitch perception. Music serves as a powerful tool for enhancing the well-being and development of individuals with autism.

Benefits of Music Therapy with Autistic Kids

Improved Cognitive Functioning

Studies have shown that music therapy can enhance cognitive skills in children with autism. It helps them focus, think creatively, and problem-solve. So, next time you catch your child humming along to a song, know that their brain is hard at work!

Reduction in Stress & Anxiety

Just like a soothing lullaby can calm a crying baby, music can help reduce stress and anxiety in children with autism. 

Communication and Valuable Connection

Music has a special way of bridging gaps and fostering connections. For children with autism who may struggle with verbal communication, music can be a powerful tool for expressing themselves and connecting with others.

Supports Social Skills

Music therapy often involves group activities, like singing in a choir or playing in a band. These interactions help children with autism develop social skills like turn-taking, listening, and cooperation. Music therapy fosters a sense of belonging and acceptance while building confidence and self-esteem, ultimately improving social interactions beyond the therapy session.

How to Incorporate Music Into Daily Life

Now that we know how beneficial music can be, let’s talk about how to incorporate it into your child’s daily routine:

Engage with musical instruments at home

Whether it’s banging on a drum or strumming a guitar, encourage your child to explore different instruments and sounds.


Create a playlist of calming music or your child’s favorite tunes to play in the background throughout the day.

Sing to your child

You don’t have to be a professional singer to serenade your child with a song. Singing together can be a fun bonding activity.

Tapping syllables with speech exercises

Children in Classroom Playing Instruments

Use rhythm and music to practice speech and language skills. Clap along to the syllables of words or sing nursery rhymes together.

Examples of Autism Calming Music

One type of music often recommended for children with autism is classical music. Pieces by composers like Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven are known for their soothing melodies and harmonious compositions. The gentle rhythms and intricate patterns of classical music can have a calming effect on children with autism, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.

Another option is nature sounds, such as ocean waves, rainforest ambiance, or chirping birds. Many children with autism find comfort in nature sounds, as they provide a sense of familiarity and safety.

Upbeat music can also serve as a powerful motivator for movement and physical activity. Children with autism benefit from activities that involve movement, such as dancing or jumping. By playing upbeat music during these activities, you can encourage your child to engage in physical movement while enjoying the rhythm and energy of the music.

Nursery rhymes are another excellent choice for children with autism. These simple, repetitive songs are not only fun and engaging but also offer a range of cognitive and developmental benefits. Nursery rhymes help improve language skills by introducing new words and phrases in a memorable and easy-to-understand format.

In addition to these suggestions, personalized playlists tailored to each child’s preferences can be highly effective. By incorporating songs and melodies that resonate with the child’s interests and experiences, you can create a calming music playlist that speaks directly to their soul.

Heartlinks Can Help

Music is like a universal language that speaks to the hearts of children with autism. It has the power to uplift, calm, and connect. So, why not harness the magic of music and incorporate it into your child’s daily life?

And remember, if you’re looking for more ways to support your child with autism, Heartlinks ABA is here to help. From in-home ABA therapy to anxiety management strategies, we’ve got you covered. Our team of dedicated professionals is committed to providing personalized support and guidance to help your child thrive.

So, crank up the volume and let the music play!

Contact Heartlinks ABA today to learn more about our services and how we can support your family on this journey.

Contact Us