How do you accommodate a child with autism who is sensitive to loud noises when incorporating music into your classroom?


Imagine there is a child with autism in your classroom that is
extremely sensitive to loud noises.
Additionally, several children in your class reach high levels of
excitement when they can hear music and dance or move to the sounds. The combination of behaviors makes it harder
for you to manage your room. However,
even though it is more difficult to incorporate music into your classroom, you
know it is a valuable teaching resource and can be used to facilitate of
different learning activities.
Explain how you would bring music into your classroom, and be specific
in describing how you will make accommodations to meet the individual needs of
your students. Make sure you reference the textbook or any other reliable,
valid resource in your answer.
Isenberg, J. P. & Jalongo, M. R. (2010). Creative Thinking and
Arts-Based Learning Preschool through Fourth Grade (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.


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In a classroom with a diverse group of students, it can be challenging to find ways to engage and accommodate everyone. This is especially true for teachers who have students with special needs, such as autism. Some students with autism can be extremely sensitive to noises, especially loud music, which can make it challenging to use one of the most useful teaching resources for engaging with students- music. Teachers who understand the benefits of music in the classroom will want to create ways to accommodate all students’ needs to create a comfortable and engaging learning environment.


Incorporating music into classrooms has demonstrated enhanced learning experiences, especially in early childhood education. For example, music promotes language development, creativity, self-expression, and social interaction. However, incorporating music should always be done with regard to the individual needs of all the students. For a class that has children with autism, the teacher should acknowledge the needs of the child and make accommodations that enable the child to feel comfortable in a learning environment. The teacher should create a comfortable environment with minimal noise, carefully select instruments and songs to ensure that they do not make too much noise or irritate the students with sensory processing disorder. The teacher should also create a routine-based dance or movement activity around a particular song that will allow the students to appreciate the music without feeling overwhelmed, follow the rhythm of the song in a predictable way, and make everyone feel comfortable. Moreover, the teacher should consider the possibility of providing headphones to children with autism to listen to music or White noise, which has been proven to help students focus on constructive learning (Isenberg & Jalongo, 2010). In conclusion, when incorporating music into a classroom with unique learning needs, the teacher should prioritize the students’ accommodations and choose music that fosters a fun and engaging learning experience for every student while considering their individual needs.

Isenberg, J. P. & Jalongo, M. R. (2010). Creative Thinking and Arts-Based Learning Preschool through Fourth Grade (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.

To demonstrate how to use accommodations to incorporate music into the classroom environment while meeting the individual needs of all students.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify the possible challenges of incorporating music into the classroom setting.
2. Discuss the value of music as a teaching resource to facilitate learning activities.
3. Describe the accommodations that can be made to meet the individual needs of students with autism and sensory sensitivities while using music in the classroom.
4. Create a plan of action for incorporating music into the classroom that includes accommodations for individual student needs.


It can be challenging to incorporate music into the classroom setting when there are students with individual needs that must be met. For example, a student with autism may be extremely sensitive to loud noises, while other students may become very excited and energized by music. However, music can be a valuable teaching resource that can be used to facilitate various learning activities.

Identifying Challenges:

To begin, it’s important to identify the possible challenges of incorporating music into the classroom. According to Isenberg and Jalongo (2010), “Children with autism may have sensory processing issues that lead them to be easily overwhelmed by loud or sudden noises, which can interfere with their learning and behavior” (p. 170). Other students may become overly excited and find it difficult to focus on the task at hand in the presence of music.

Value of Music:

Despite the challenges, music is a valuable teaching resource that can be used to facilitate various learning activities. For example, singing songs with repetitive phrases can help children learn and remember new words, while playing instruments can help them develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination (Isenberg & Jalongo, 2010).

Accommodations for Individual Needs:

In order to meet the individual needs of students with autism and sensory sensitivities, accommodations can be made when incorporating music into the classroom. For example, music can be played at a lower volume or with noise-cancelling headphones for students who are sensitive to noise. Similarly, quieter instruments can be used in place of louder ones.

Creating a Plan of Action:

To ensure that all students can benefit from the use of music in the classroom, it’s important to create a plan of action that includes accommodations for individual student needs. This can be done by incorporating a variety of musical activities into the lesson plan that offer different levels of sensory input. For example, quiet and repetitive activities can be used with sensory-sensitive students, while more engaging and energetic activities can be used with other students.


In conclusion, incorporating music into the classroom can offer many benefits for students of all abilities. By understanding the challenges and making appropriate accommodations for individual student needs, teachers can create a more inclusive and engaging classroom environment that uses music as a valuable teaching resource.

Solution 1:

As a teacher, it is essential to create a classroom environment that is inclusive and meets the individual needs of all students, including those with sensory sensitivities such as a child with autism. In this scenario, incorporating music into the classroom while considering the needs of all students can be a challenging task. Therefore, It is crucial to start by creating an individualized educational plan for the child with autism that outlines their specific needs and preferences regarding loud noises. To achieve this, consult with the child’s parents or guardians and the school’s learning support team to gain a better understanding of the child’s specific needs. The plan can include strategies such as providing headphones or earplugs for the child during music sessions or moving the child to a quieter area of the classroom during music time. Additionally, the use of visual aids such as pictures, graphics, or videos to explain how they will participate in activities can be helpful.

To address other students’ needs, learners could have the option to participate in music activities in a separate area. The different location could also mean using different types of instruments that may be less noisy. Moreover, the teacher can adjust the volume of the music to match the sensitivity of the child with autism and monitor the students’ volume during singing or other activities.

According to Isenberg and Jalongo (2010), music can be used in different ways during learning activities. For example, the use of song lyrics in teaching concepts such as math or grammar helps improve memorization and builds confidence in children. Therefore, selecting music or songs that are appropriate and helpful during teaching is a critical step. In general, it is vital to approach music integration as a tool that is inclusive of all students, including creating a positive environment for students to learn and express themselves.

Solution 2:

Bringing music into the classroom and accommodating children with autism in learning is a sensitive matter, and it requires the teacher to create a flexible approach. Isenberg and Jalongo create in their book, Creative Thinking and Arts-Based Learning Preschool through fourth grade, a helpful tool, “The Pyramid of Learning through the Arts.” The Pyramid of Learning through the Arts is a model that demonstrates how the arts fit into the context of a child’s overall education. The circle at the bottom is the foundation of the educational pyramid, which is experiential learning. The second level is the language building block that helps in language acquisition. The third level is making connections, where students learn to connect new things that they are learning with the existing knowledge. Finally, the circle at the top of the pyramid is learning transfer, where students apply what they learned in other situations.

To bring music to the classroom while taking care of the child’s sensory sensitivity, the teacher can modify the approach to music activities. For example, using hand clapping, finger snapping, whistling, or humming can be a good alternative to loud music. Also, integrating technology in music teaching by using headphones or plugging earbuds, which helps control noise levels.

Another accommodation is allowing children to choose their style of music, create personalized playlists, or dance to their favorite music. Diverse musical styles and genres can offer excitement to you as well as the students. Incorporating dance movement activities also helps with kinesthetic learning, in which students use their bodies alongside sounds.

Overall, the inclusion of music in the classroom can help improve cognitive development and learning motivation among children. Teachers only need to be flexible, creative, and encouraging to integrate music within different activities that align with the curriculum. The inclusion of all students, particularly those with sensory sensitivities like autism, is critical to creating an inclusive and nurturing learning environment.

Suggested Resources/Books:

1. “Music for Special Kids: Musical Activities, Songs, Instruments and Resources” by Pamela Ott
2. “Teaching Music to Children with Autism” by Alice M. Hammel and Ryan M. Hourigan
3. “The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit” by Don Campbell
4. “Making Sense of Autism” by Travis Thompson and Susan Thompson

Similar Asked Questions:

1. What are some strategies for incorporating music into the classroom for children with special needs?
2. How can music be used as a teaching resource for different learning activities?
3. What are the benefits of music for children with autism?
4. What accommodations can be made for children who are sensitive to loud noises in the classroom?
5. How can music be used to facilitate the learning of children with different learning styles?

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