Music has the power to heal. According to the Music Therapy Association of British Colombia, “Music therapy research and clinical practice have proven to be effective with people of all ages and abilities. Whether a person’s challenges are physical, emotional, spiritual or psychological, music therapy can address a person’s needs.” But a professional need not be involved for someone to reap untold benefits from the power of music.
While a licensed music therapist is going to have access to the tools and techniques to get the most healing power out of music, music, by itself, is powerful. Even if someone picks up a guitar and starts singing, the healing power of music can take effect. And it has the power to make people stronger and better.
The toddler at the heart of this story was born with Down syndrome. But for the first two years of his life, Bo never spoke a word. But that all changed when his big sister took out the guitar and started singing along to it. With her music, Bo is able to pick up new words and repeat them back to her. He is learning. And his sister’s musical technique is inspiring to behold.
Bo’s musical connection was discovered by accident. His mom, Amanda Bowman Gray, asked Bo’s big sister Lydia to watch him for a few minutes so she could take a shower. So while Lydia was watching the baby, she decided to play music for him on the guitar. Bo laughed and clapped like he always did. But then he did something that he had never done in his two years on Earth. He sang.
Amanda stepped from the shower and watched in awe as her daughter brought her son out of his shell. Lydia played the guitar and Bo belted out the words to “You Are My Sunshine.” He accompanied his sister in a way they didn’t know was possible for him. And now that they know music is his best learning tool, they teach him many words through music. He learns them better and faster through song – always.
Amanda has since recorded Bo and Lydia during one of their sibling music sessions. And mom watches, her heart swelling with joy, while her son learns new words every day. Bo seems to know he is impressive when he sings. His face brightens. He belts out the words. He smiles.
Mom writes, “Every word he has learned has been through music and singing.”
At two years old, Bo knows about a dozen words. One of his favorites is “happy.”
And while Bo is succeeding with music, his sister Lydia is overjoyed to have such a positive influence on her baby brother. And mom is so glad they can bond through music like they are.
Scroll down to watch the amazing video of this little boy singing with his sister!
We hope Lydia and Bo will continue to sing their duets for years to come. They both have so much fun with it, and mom loves that they’re spending time together. As Bo continues to experience the world through music, he will learn more and become even more confident in his abilities.