How is Rhythm, Sound and Music a Sensory Tool?

  • Tire-SwingSound is processed through the single sensory receptor in the cochlea of the inner ear, having similarities in location, structure and function with the older more primitive vestibular movement sensory system, which has 5 sensory receptors in the inner ear. Both sound processing (through the cochlear sensory system) and movement processing (through the vestibular sensory system) occurs at a sub cortical, unconscious level, whereas higher level auditory processing occurs at a cortical cognitive level.
  • The cochlear system in the inner ear processes higher frequency vibrations or sound, giving us information about self and place, informing us “I am here. This is there.”
  • The only difference between movement and sound is the velocity of the vibration. We feel sound all the time. It is a movement experience.
  • Sound supports movement and movement supports sound, with both the sound and movement systems supporting the visual system.
  • Music and rhythm influences brain function and body organization.
  • Rhythm is the link between the vestibular system and the auditory system.
  • 60 beats per minute provides rhythm similar to the rhythms of heartbeat, sucking and walking.
  • Music has a vibrational impact on energy and alertness, self-regulation, organization, motor-planning, respiratory patterns, and emotional state.
  • Sound is a powerful modulator. Some sounds are alerting while other sounds are calming. What sounds are rhythms support a calm balanced state in you or your child? What sounds increase a sense of overload?
  • Although the music one loves is usually the most therapeutic, it is important to be aware that when over stimulated, one usually needs calming music and when one is sluggish and under aroused, one usually needs stimulating music.
  • Moving to music helps us get in touch with our inner rhythms, feel more grounded in space, and increases body awareness. And it feels good!
  • Drumming provides low frequency vibration for bone conduction to the inner ear. It penetrates the body’s core. When it is played in sync with body rhythms, drumming gets one moving and provides intensity that is organizing, calming and grounding.

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