How Classical Music Effects on Children with ADHD?

Published: 2021-07-12
1494 words
6 pages
13 min to read
Boston College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a medical condition which affects how well someone can pay attention, focus or sit still. The condition affects the part of brains that control activity and attention making it troublesome focusing on some tasks and subjects. The condition also affects children, especially who are in school and may find it hard to concentrate or focus on learning lessons. Parents and caretakers of these children with ADHD find it hard raising the kids as they do not know how to help them focus more on their task such as homework or during quiet time. Children with ADHD face delayed executive function skills which are important for focusing, planning and executing their learning outcome. Various studies have shown that music especially classical music help children with ADHD focus on their daily chores. Classical music can provide pleasure and stir up deep emotions which also impacts on the brain. For this reason, it helps children by reducing stress, increased IQ and improved ability to concentrate as they become more creative and feel more positive.

Investigate points of view and assumptions

Physicians have been using prescription medications to treat ADHD in children who have low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Most of the treatment plans and prescriptions do not go to completion due to side effects and low adherence. Listening to classical music has been (Eckart, and Schlaug, 7). Seen to help as a partial treatment for children with ADHD. The music is known to stimulate the dopamine reward system in the brain which allows a small amount of dopamine to be released. The music can be applied with smaller doses of ADHD medication so as to produce healthy dopamine levels. The classical music is assumed to contain some consonance-dominated tunes. In the education sector, music introduction into the classroom has been seen to improve the overall academic performance. It provides a more cost-effective treatment as well as a new treatment plan which can benefit other healthy children.

The Early Classical music such as Bachs string quartet pieces called Air on the G string can be a great classical music to use with children with ADHD. The music was played with violins and piano played on the evocative G-string of the violin. It has a major sound pitching that helps to improve the focus by improving the firing patterns in the brain cortex. Classical music is better as compared to other music because it has sequences that repeat throughout a musical piece. They do repeat on a sequence of 20 to 30 seconds which match the brains waves patter providing a powerful response. ADHD affects the children and lowers their IQ making it hard to concentrate better and memorize new information.

Studies have shown that classical music has a positive contribution to emotional development as well as motor skills and cognitive functioning. According to the Psychology of Music Therapy, ADHD can be improved by using music on clients. Professionals such as psychologists, physicians, and teachers have been referring children for music therapy, especially classical music. Children with Kids with ADHD learning disorders benefit from Music Therapy by calming them and reducing their impulsive (Myers, 32). Children feel comfortable to open up to their experiences when classical music is playing in the background as they overcome their frustrations and assist to boost their self-esteem. Many children have also improved their ADHD conditions through learning to play a music instrument. When they practice classical music and listening to it at the same time can teach kids to lengthen their attention span.

Classic music is one of the happy tunes which can be incorporated as background music especially when children are learning to provide a groove and constant sound to drown out distracting thoughts. By using classic music, there is no tendency to cause distraction and instead the childrens focus is supported. Classic music is like a universal melody that most of the children like unlike other types of music which may become distractive rather than support. Sometimes the individual differences are evident where the enjoyment factor is greater than the tempo factor, or vice versa. For this reason, it is important to find the music that gets the brain in high gear for learning performance (Cazden, 8).

Why classic music works for ADHD

ADHD kids are assumed to be deficient in certain neurotransmitters that are important for the brain to make connections. The neurotransmitters are chemical part of the brain that helps nerves transmit signals. When these chemicals are deficient, the brain becomes slow. Music has been shown to increase these powerful and necessary neurotransmitters through various aspects. Classical music helps to fire up the entire brain by tapping into left, and right brain hemispheres engages both the left brain responsible for rhythm, structure, and logic; and the right brain responsible for spatial, imaginary and creative aspects (Myers, 30)

The classical music structure is dominated with consonance chords and intervals which are most effective in fostering focus. The brain is associated with consonant sounds that unite and stabilize the listeners brain after they hear music pieces based on consonant chord progressions that are simple and lack in intensity. Unlike classical music, other songs have dissonant sounds with unevenness and instability. The brain has a recognition of sound progression to a more stable sound characterized by classical music. These expectations in variations of dissonant sounds result in greater brain activity focusing on the music (Eckart, and Schlaug, 12).

An active brain is always focused on what is happening around. Individuals use the entire brain at the same time all in microseconds, and they quickly respond to what they see, hear, and are quick to react. On the other hand, music works mostly on individual emotional center, that helps them to calm down. As a result, the person can better connect the emotional center to their thinking allowing them to learn efficiently and respond with information better. In sports, the music in the children brain results in a calmer brain which allows the motor centers to give out signals quicker and with a better response leading to an improved overall performance. The benefits of classical music on ADHD focus cannot be preempted in that not all the benefits can be unpacked. There is new prospects and breakthrough each day as more attention is put on ADHD music therapy (Cazden, 6). Classical music has more instrument and fewer lyrics which allows the listener to avoid distraction because of literary meanings. Being more abstract, they work well as background music which creates a calm mood to help maintain focus.

Various steps have been identified as a means to engage classical music therapy to children with ADHD. First is to get rid of perceived notions which are not realistically grounded. For this reason, it is important to understand the underlying factors in children learning and focus. What works best for the child should be first identified. The second factor is to determine the best ADHD music that works for the child. Music which the child does not like can be a distraction. The third step is to create a working learning environment for the child. The childs learning rhythm is important to help those close to child find out how their ADHD children learn best. This will encourage them to play the music in the house, or at school, to promote these favorable environments. In ADHD parenting, the parent has to advocates for their children outside the home.


It is evident that listening to classical music improves the natural dopamine stimulation, therefore, reducing the dose of ADHD medication. Listening and playing classical music that is dominant in consonance sounds improves healthy of children but it is highly important with children with ADHD who shows the greatest improvements. The treatment is also cost-effective method especially in classroom application of technology when implemented into the elementary school classroom. The ADHD condition is solved as the patients overall focus and work production is improved. It has been proved worthwhile investment to benefit all students. It is important for Physicians to incorporate music in ADHD treatments instead of solely prescribing medications in order to expand the possibilities of discovering more efficient treatment plans. The consonance dominated classical music is better fit for this treatment so as to increase

Dopamine. Studies have found a positive relationship between a focus in children with ADHD and classical music as most of them benefit from music listening during homework sessions. By increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine, children can regulate attention, cope with short term working memory, and are also motivated to work harder.


Works Cited

Altenmuller, Eckart, and Gottfried Schlaug. "Neurologic music therapy: the beneficial effects of music making on neurorehabilitation." Acoustical Science and Technology 34.1 (2013): 5-12.

Cazden, N., Musical consonance, and dissonance: A cultural criterion. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 4, (1945) 3-11. Retrieved from

Myers, J. Why children need music: A multidisciplinary argument based on the emotional power of music (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Harvard University, Cambridge, MA,. (2009).


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