"Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words." - Robert G. Ingersoll
Individuals with special needs often live in a very isolated world, but music can penetrate that isolation. No matter the diagnosis, and no matter its severity, music has a unique way of cutting through the white noise of other stimuli and grabbing their attention. In this population music can be used not only to open up their world, and create a medium through which interaction with others becomes possible, but it can also be used as a learning tool. Music is a great memorization tool for everyone (Remember, it's how we teach and learn our ABC's), but that is even more true for individuals who may not respond to other, more formal methods of teaching and learning. Music Therapy is also a way to bridge the gap between typically-developing individuals and those with special needs. Adaptive instruments and tools become extremely important when working with individuals with special needs and the music itself (not verbal language) becomes the prompt. Many individuals with special needs respond to music in a way that is different than anything else and it is up to a Music Therapist to harness that natural connection in order to achieve goals that transfer into important life skills.