Friday, October 21, 2011

The Magic of Music

A lot of people with Down Syndrome have sort of an uncanny response to music and Aaron is no exception. It is really incredible to watch. The boy has had rhythm since he was an infant and he absolutely loves to dance. He has a "cat" keyboard that plays all sorts of different tunes and he will walk around carrying it and bouncing to the beat. In fact, he has listened to it so many times that he can flip through the songs to get to the one he wants to hear in a matter of seconds. It amazes me that he can figure out how many times to press the button hearing only a fraction of a note and lands on the song that he wants.

He is particularly fond of 80's music and anything with a good beat. If he hears a song that has a good beat, he will come running from anywhere in the house and start dancing and laughing. He loves to watch The X-Factor and American Idol. When he sees and hears people singing on tv, he is entranced.

I have written before about his sensory integration problems and music is one way we deal with it. When he gets difficult or starts to get out of control, if I sing to him, he will usually calm down. It doesn't always work. If he is too worked up, he just gets mad at me, yells and shakes his head at every song I try to sing. But if I happen upon a song he wants to hear and he isn't too worked up, it will calm him down - just like magic. For example, he hates getting into his car seat. He fights me pretty much every time we get in the car. He wiggles and twists his body in unimaginable ways (the low muscle tone and loose joints make that possible) and if it weren't for music, I'm not sure I would ever be able to get him in the car at all. But if I start singing his favorite song, he looks at me and stops fighting. It is amazing.

He loves every kind of musical instrument he can get his hands on. He "sings" into his microphone, plays the drum, the keyboard, the xylophone and anything else he can get his hands on that makes any sort of musical sound.

I love that he already has such a strong love for music. I hope he doesn't lose it. Luckily, chances are pretty good that he won't.

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