Music and Drama for Neurodiverse Kids

One of the fundamental purposes of art is to shift perspectives and see or hear something interpreted in a new way. Whether it’s music, theater or sketching, kids who practice an art can embrace new perspectives and learn about themselves. This might be more true for kids who already operate from unique perspectives, like students with learning differences.

According to The Child Mind Institute, it’s possible that many kids who struggle in the classroom could be naturally drawn to performance art. While many traditional learners find themselves “in their own heads” as actors say, kids who learn differently seem to have an easier time accessing the part of themselves that can open up on stage.  They are often able to express deeper emotion with less hesitation.

Trinity School’s newest drama and music instructor Mr. Ryan believes his students have a lot of talent to discover.

“Creative energy is perhaps expressed in its most pure form through the arts. Students with learning differences are at an advantage when it comes to creativity, because uniquely thinking minds have so much to tap into,” said Mr. Ryan.

Practicing an art can have an especially powerful impact on neurodiverse kids, as well. Children can develop emotional regulation skills and tools for more effective means of expression from activities like performance art according to the Austin based B*Tru Arts. Dance can be a means of channeling excess energy, or expressing oneself nonverbally. Improv and acting challenges kids to actively listen. Learning a new piece of music develops memorization skills and active group interaction. For every type of different learner, there is a perfect fit for artistic expression, and Trinity’s faculty aims to help them find it.

Mr. Ryan believes Trinity Tigers have so much to offer the world through performance art.

“The arts celebrate uniqueness. No matter who you are, we all have a story to tell. I believe the artistic impulse resides in everyone, because human beings are creators,” Mr. Ryan says.

Creativity is within all of us, and developing creativity benefits all types of learners. Students with learning differences, however, may reap even greater benefit from practicing an artistic skill.  Every day offers the opportunity to be creative, and practicing arts like acting or playing music can enhance your life in unexpected ways.

Mr. Ryan is eager to meet and work with his new students starting in the new academic year. All of us at Trinity School are thrilled to see what our Tigers can create!