Magical Music for Life Foundation, based in New Canaan, has released its first album, "A Day in the Life of a Child," which is available for download.
Lyrical melodies, rhythms and harmonies can elicit a response in children that stimulates learning, promotes responsiveness, encourages communication and fosters growth, according to the foundation. While music is therapy for all, Barbara Crow, past president of the National Association for Music Therapy, said it "can make the difference between withdrawal and awareness, isolation and interaction" for those with special needs. When used to empower and evoke connectedness in children with autism and special needs, music can be transformative.
In 2012, Magical Music for Life Foundation began its Songs for Skills program designed to use music to help facilitate social, motor, language and sensory skills in children with autism and special needs. The library of music has melodic tunes and snappy orchestrations that make the songs entertaining for toddlers to third-graders.
"A Day in the Life of a Child" is a collection of songs touching on each of the developmental areas. The music and lyrics have been written with the guidance of speech and music therapists. Some songs are written for children with auditory sensitivity to help integrate and normalize particular noises that could elicit discomfort. Other songs facilitate the many facets of language development and communication.
Several of these songs are recorded at various tempos or with a call and response format so as to be interactive and accessible to a wide variety of needs.
Karen Nisenson, founder and clinical director of Arts for Healing, based in New Canaan, said, "What a wonderful gift to the special needs community. With clever lyrics and great melodies, these songs hold the magic of music in the way they bring important skills to every child. I hope that parents and educators the world over will download this music and encourage their friends to do the same."
The foundation is looking to expand its Songs for Skills program and distribute CDs of the music to libraries, schools and organizations serving children with special needs.
Magical Music also will be adding more songs to the ongoing library to meet the varied needs.
For information or to download the free "A Day in the Life of a Child," visit www.magicalmusic.org.