Music is a really powerful tool for children to express themselves, improve their mood, and connect to others. While playing music is a great way to develop skills and build confidence, listening to music or watching other people play instruments has a similar effect on girls struggling with anxiety and low-self esteem. A recent study investigating the effect of music groups in therapeutic programs found that most participants described it as one of the most meaningful parts of their stay. Middle school girls often have a hard time staying engaged in traditional processing groups and benefit more from experiential therapies, like music therapy.
Music Program at Asheville Academy
Our academic program at Asheville Academy includes a variety of creative electives, including music, theater, and art, to help girls explore their passions and share their talents with others. Music is one of our most popular electives, where girls learn music theory, analyze some of their favorite songs, and are encouraged to pick up instruments and apply what they’ve learned. Girls are allowed to bring their own instruments, like guitars and ukeleles, and practice during free time. We weave in elements of music therapy in a variety of settings, including classrooms, processing groups, and even equine therapy.
Benefits of Music Therapy:
- Improves mood. People often describe music as “uplifting” and “happy,” regardless of the genre. Listening to music activates emotional processing in the limbic system of the brain that helps people become more aware of their emotions and reduces negative emotions.
- Reduces Stress. Even listening to sad music can have a calming effect when overwhelmed. Listening to music helps people feel more connected to the moment and pay attention to how they’re feeling. Music helps people feel more grounded.
- Improves Communication Skills. Studies suggest that when children learn how to play instruments, they are also improving their brain’s ability to understand language and nonverbal communication. Middle school girls are often overwhelmed by their negative emotions and don’t know how to communicate what they are feeling. Teens often express themselves by connecting to lyrics of songs that have put into words feelings they struggle to name themselves.
- Improves sensory skills and executive functioning. Playing an instrument involves a lot of concentration and motor control. Through touch and listening, people become more in tune with how they are feeling and learn to regulate overwhelming sensory experiences.
- Social anxiety. Building confidence in developing musical talent reduces anxiety around playing around others. Girls move from doubting their own ability to being enthusiastic about sharing their music with others and wanting their voice to be heard. Playing music with others is a healthy way of bonding over shared interests, building close connections, and supporting others.
Asheville Academy Can Help
Asheville Academy for Girls is a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 10-14. Many of our students struggle with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, ADHD, learning differences, anger management, and attachment issues. We are a relationship-based program that focuses on building meaningful face-to-face connections through teamwork, experiential activities, and equine therapy. Our accredited academic program allows girls to stay on track academically and explore different areas of interest with individualized support.
Call 800-264-8709 for more information. We can help your family today!
Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy for Girls. She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.