Positive Effects of Music Lessons on Students with ADHD and/or Autism

Music is a powerful tool that has been shown to have positive effects on people of all ages and backgrounds. In recent years, research has also demonstrated that private music lessons can have significant benefits for individuals with ADHD or autism. Below are some of the positive effects of private music lessons on those with ADHD or autism.

Improved Focus and Attention

One of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD is difficulty sustaining attention and focus on a task. Music lessons can help with this by requiring the student to concentrate on the music and the instrument they are playing. In a study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders, researchers found that after six months of private piano lessons, children with ADHD showed significant improvements in their ability to sustain attention and focus on tasks. Another study found that children with autism who participated in music lessons showed improved attention and focus compared to those who did not receive music lessons.

Increased Confidence and Self-Esteem

Many children with ADHD or autism struggle with social interactions and may feel isolated or different from their peers. Private music lessons can provide a safe and supportive environment where they can develop their musical skills and connect with others who share their interests. This can lead to increased confidence and self-esteem. In a survey of parents whose children with autism participated in music lessons, 95% reported an increase in their child’s confidence and self-esteem as a result of the lessons.

Enhanced Social Skills

Music lessons can also help children with ADHD or autism develop social skills such as communication, cooperation, and empathy. In a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, researchers found that children with autism who participated in group music therapy showed improved social skills compared to those who did not receive music therapy. Private music lessons can also provide opportunities for students to perform in recitals or concerts, which can help them develop confidence and social skills in a public setting.  Opportunites to play in bands or larger ensembles can also help establish deeper relationships with peers and in turn improve social confidence. 

Improved Academic Performance

Finally, private music lessons have been shown to have a positive impact on academic performance. In a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, researchers found that children who took music lessons for at least two years had better academic performance than those who did not take music lessons. This was particularly true for math and reading skills. Another study found that children with ADHD who received music lessons showed significant improvements in their reading and spelling abilities.

Overall, private music lessons can undeniably improve numerous aspects of life for those with ADHD or Autism.  Statistically, this has been proven time and time again.  However, as private music instructors with collectively over 100 years of teaching experiences, teaching students with numerous types of neurodivergencies, we can attest to have seen some of these results first hand with many of our students. If you or a loved one has ADHD or autism, consider exploring private music lessons as a complementary therapy to help promote overall wellbeing and quality of life.


Cook Music School is always looking for ways to improve our resources for students, so if you’d like to see any sections added to this blog, please feel free to contact us here.