Courtesy of Speak Jane Speak Contributor and Sponsor Elizabeth Campbell
Children have an innate love for music. They absorb it with every fiber of their being. Most children show their appreciation by dancing to the beat. Accompanied by the dancing is usually lots of smiling and contagious laughter. You see it all over youtube.
What about those children who feel like they have a constant fast paced dance going on inside of their head? Take for example 8 year old Sarah. She was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) two years ago. ADHD can be defined as a “persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development.” (source: DSM IV) Sarah has trouble focusing at school and is a handful for her parents, to put it mildly. Her teachers and parents are becoming very frustrated and she has very few friends. Sarah is living a lonely life. What can help her control her ADHD and make her feel more “normal?”
Sarah’s parents decided to try music therapy, as Sarah is resistant to talk therapy, and medication alone is not enough. She loves music, so why not give it a try? For Sarah, considering her diagnosis, it is most important to improve her ability to focus, decrease impulsivity, and achieve a sense of calm. Would she be open to trying music therapy? Yes, she would! Sarah agreed, because she loves music. Music is non-threatening, so it makes children more open to the idea of working with a therapist, and it’s fun! Children with ADHD can be quite creative, so are very drawn to music and music therapy can also bring out hidden musical talents.
For the first time Sarah was excited about the prospect of a form of therapy. To help her focus, the music therapist engaged Sarah in various instrumental rhythmic exercises. How did this help her? The rhythmic aspect of the music provided Sarah with a structure to organize movements and participation, which improved her impulse control, and focus. This helped increased her academic performance, and improved her behavior at home. Listening to and playing music also helped Sarah. She learned how to express her emotions and needs more appropriately and her communication skills improved (through singing). Her interactions with both her parents and teachers improved, and Sarah was making more friends. She was starting to feel….well more…”normal,” which also raised her self-esteem. Sarah was feeling good about herself and it showed. She was smiling and laughing more often, and feeling like a “normal” kid who looked forward to going to school every day, because she was getting better grades and had people with whom she could spend time. To add, Sarah was excelling at music. She was a talented singer, who was learning skills on the piano. Not only did music therapy change Sarah’s feelings about herself and life, but it also gave her parents a renewed sense of faith in their daughter.
Music therapy grabbed her attention and kept it.
Passionate doesn’t begin to describe Elizabeth J Campbell’s feelings about music. She has a varied and successful career in many aspects of music performance and education. Her professional background has combined a lifelong love of music and performing with a degree in Psychology from Syracuse University. She has combined these interests in the area of Music Therapy (graduate certificate from Arizona State University). She has worked in the field of music therapy for over 9 years, most of which has been spent working with severely emotionally disturbed teenagers. She is especially proud of her experiences in Jesus Christ Superstar, Bye Bye Birdie, Fiddler on the Roof, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, singing with the Boston Pops under the direction of Keith Lockhart, and her invitation to audition for the LA Opera Chorus under the direction of Grant Gershon. She has performed live with several rock bands as lead singer, back up singer, and keyboard player. Elizabeth also has vocal demo experience. She is a versatile performer with a love for her craft. She not now only uses music to entertain others, but also a form of positive self-expression. Elizabeth enjoys the outdoors, dueling pianos, and spending time with those she loves. And, well, lots of other things too. She has completed several AIDS Walks and helped build homes for those in need in Mexico.
For more information on Elizabeth Campbell and her career as a successful music therapist and vocalist visit http://www.elizabethjcampbell.com.
If your ready to be a ROCK STAR, click HERE for Elizabeth Campbell’s 12 week Rock Star Program.
Visit http://www.indiegogo.com/bethemusic to help Elizabeth raise the funds necessary to jump start her Rock Star Program.