music lessons for Au/DHD kid?

Anonymous
I'm wondering if anyone with an Au/DHD kid has found music lessons to be helpful? If so, what instruments? Our DC 7 seems to enjoy music, dancing, etc., and I took music lessons as a child and am glad I had that opportunity, but their attention span is quite short/energy level is high, so it's hard to imagine a traditional music teacher having the patience to work with them. Has this worked for any of your kids?
Anonymous
Can they hyper focus on music? If not, it could be a tough road.
Anonymous
One on one worked for us, but only bc DC really wanted it. It wouldn’t have worked if he didn’t want to play. We started in fourth grade bc some maturity really does help.
Anonymous
We were able to do a dance lesson at age 8. She loves it, but she is very intense about it. She does not want to do music lessons, but she is open to trying a musical instrument as part of the 4th grade mcps instrumental music program… next year. I don’t know if she’ll be able to do it… especially the pull out from academic time.
Anonymous
Levine School of Music was very open to working with our child with neuro-differences. Studio One dance also offers a class for kids with specials needs and disabilities that is really welcoming.
Anonymous
We are doing School of Rock, and they have been good with our kid. It depends on the teacher, though. We had one that wasn't a great fit, and we started several years older. The nice thing is that it's more "fun" music and more focused on playing songs than learning notes. He does keyboard, which I think has the potential to be good for crossing the midline and using both sides of the brain (but that's my total unscientific opinion).
Anonymous
Anonymous wrote:We are doing School of Rock, and they have been good with our kid. It depends on the teacher, though. We had one that wasn't a great fit, and we started several years older. The nice thing is that it's more "fun" music and more focused on playing songs than learning notes. He does keyboard, which I think has the potential to be good for crossing the midline and using both sides of the brain (but that's my total unscientific opinion).


We’re going to Bach to Rock and having a similar experience to this PP. Don’t be afraid to ask to change teachers until you find a good fit. Our son is 6.
Anonymous
My neurodiverse kids have done very well at Harmonic Music Studios in Upper NW DC. They are very experienced in working with kids on the spectrum and with other neurodiverse kids too. One of my kids drags his feet to lessons but is always really happy after the lesson. He never practices either but it’s been a good experience overall for both of them. We started at ages 7 and 9. We’ve done piano and voice lessons so far.
Anonymous
Messy Happy Music Lab with Corinne Zmoos
Anonymous
How are your child’s fine motor skills? Seems like fine motor challenges often co-occur with ASD. This could make music lessons more challenging and frustrating for your child than fulfilling. Also, is this something they are interested in doing? I have a friend who teaches elementary band in a school where it is mandatory. It is tough if a child is not interested!
Anonymous
Thanks, all for your recommendations. OP here--DC has decent fine motor skills--the challenges are really with social communication, etc. Our pediatrician had recommended looking into music lessons a while back as well, which is why we are looking. But we've definitely tried a few different extracurriculars that DC had absolutely no interest for, so this is really to see if it is something that might be of interest to them.
Anonymous
I was a piano teacher and have a very strong piano background. I sincerely feel that all music lessons helps everyone - learning disability or not. That being said, sharing my experience with my ADHD kid who is also dyslexic - piano is very very hard for him. Drums I understand are the easiest for ADHD kids. He wasn't as into it but def not an issue. Guitar was really hard. Piano really hard too but strings is very technical, engaging fine motor skills.

With piano, because my kid is so talented visually and has an exceptional memory, they can mimic other people playing. So finding someone playing on Youtube and watching them play phrase by phrase and mimicking their dynamics, rhythm, etc. - it's easier than actually needing to do this organically and it works. You can reach a certain level of piano playing but after that, it becomes really too hard unless my kid mimics to learn harder music.

So I wanted to illustrate that even if you hope music will help ADHD kids - it definitely can - but to a certain point I don't think it's about helping them be better functioning.

My other kid plays cello, violin and piano while I only play piano so I am somewhat familiar with what it takes to play different instruments. She has stellar working memory. Working memory is the biggest issue for those with ADHD. It's the red flag for people who wonder if they have it. If you have ADHD, you have poor working memory - that is how I know if someone really has ADHD. It's not just daydreaming and not focusing - it is about managing complexity and fluid memory and sequencing. My ADHD kid simply has limited amounts of this ability and you can't actually get it if you don't have it.

A much more effective approach to helping someone with ADHD is not through music lessons in hopes that will help them develop their working memory, rather I believe, it's to just teach them tricks to use to compensate them for having low working memory. A lot of people want to take someone with ADHD and normalize them but you cannot do that.
What you can do is to figure out the best way to get through life as easily and successfully as possible and often that means overcoming your deficits using other strategies - you don't have what you don't have. Find other tools and ways to get from point A to B.

The study of music is quite technical in nature at a certain level, and not everyone can play every instrument even at an intermediate level well. It's a certain talent you need to be able to play and it's not easy.
Anonymous
Mine with fine motor issues preferred choir. He sang in the Strathmore Children’s Choir for many years.

I recommend Levine School of Music, they’re excellent with neurodivergence.
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