Music Input

My daughter, Mary and I went away for the holidays. We spent a very long day traveling and she was unable to to get down on the floor and play like she likes to do. I noticed during the plane ride that she was pushing her hands together and almost popping her wrists. Later that night, still before we got to our destination, she complained of her hands hurting. I said that I would let her doctor know and that seemed to help her feel better. I told her occupational therapist about it this week and her suggestions were that perhaps Mary’s hands fell asleep or needed sensory input since she was stuck sitting all day and unable to use them. (Mary is unable to bend her fingers.)

This got me to thinking of all sorts of things that a person does with their hands and body, in particular relating to music. When you are in the car, does your head bop to the music? Do you find your fingers drumming along on the steering wheel? As you sit at a concert, do you tap your foot in beat with the music? Do you take a deep breath before the first note when the choir sings? Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and can’t get it out? Do you walk to the beat of music when you workout?

There are a lot of musical ways a person can gain physical sensory input. Being in a marching band, can give a person input in their feet while marching and in their hands while playing a drum. Sitting on a speaker that is turned up loud can give vibration input into legs. There are many small rhythm instruments that are used to help with tactile sensations.

An instrument called a Cabasa is rubbed on the musician’s hand to make a musical sound, but can also be rubbed on other body parts to give this type of input. Body percussion is a simple way to give input into a person’s body. Clapping, tapping, snapping, stamping, jumping, etc. can all be done to music and in an organized manner to help a person gain input.

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