A friend of ours sent us a link to a short piece about stuttering and singing as something that has proven helpful for some. After Emma and I read the piece I asked Emma what she thought. Emma wrote, “Singing is the only time words come easily.”
When Emma was very young many of her therapists would sing various songs to her, but usually repeated the same ones, “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” and “The wheels on the bus” being the two that feature most prominently in my memory of that period. I was curious about Emma’s memory about those songs and so asked her.
“The mistake people made was in not using music more. Music was more beneficial than anything else,” Emma wrote.
“Even though you couldn’t articulate the few words you spoke back then, I’m talking about when you were just two and three years old, you loved singing and sang a lot. Did you understand the meaning of the words of the songs you would sing?” I asked.
Emma wrote, “Yes.”
Did you purposefully choose songs that communicated what you were feeling?
“Music conveyed my feelings more than anything else. I might feel something that no words can describe. Music is the language of the soul,” Emma wrote.
Yesterday Richard, Emma and I were discussing consciousness, thinking and different ways of communicating our thoughts. Emma wrote, “Can you think about how I sense the world and then try not to use words? My pacifist’s stance is the only way. Fighting requires words, pacifism does not.”
Richard then asked, “Are you saying that from your perspective you see all intelligence as being linked and one, and we, who use words, fight because we cannot see and understand this?”
Emma wrote, “You are trying to define knowledge and intelligence with inadequate words. Intelligence is not word based. Music and words used in song come closest.”
❤ Emma and all of you!
Beautiful! I love your thoughts on music, thinking and pacifism!
She is just so amazing.
My almost three year old daughter is about to be diagnosed with ASD and she loves music, although she can’t say any words. She is always humming melodies of her favorite songs. The reason why we knew that there was no way she was deaf (even though our families both thought that she might be) is because she loves to “sing” all day and night. Thank you for this post and your blog.l Hugs to you and your angel Emma! ❤
How is this girl only 12?
Emma, I play the harp, and a few other instruments. The harp is supposed to be very soothing. If we ever meet I would like to play for you and have you try out the harp and see what you think. It is an easy instrument to play by ear. I love your comments about music. Truly it can be the language of the soul!
Music IS the language of the soul! This girl is brilliant ❤
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Beautiful! I have been working on this concept for a long, long time, with a friend and fellow musician. As a musician and an autistic person, I do believe in music as a communicative language, not just a cogent agency for learning verbal language, but a cogent connectivity in the sensorial realm. Thanks for the insights and confirmation of our theories, Emma! Always ever so brilliant!
My husband teaches music. When we first met, one of the reasons we got along so well is that I mentioned how two hours of music classes each morning (choir, then band) was the only thing that got me through high school. He’s long insisted that music needs to be a “core” subject, not an extracurricular, for precisely the reasons you mention here, Emma, and for precisely the reasons music mattered (and matters) so much to me. ❤
Music is the BEST THING EVER. My drug of choice it is SO AWESOME I LOVE THAT STUFF and synesthesia makes it even BETTER.
I love Emma’s thoughts on music. I feel the same way. Music has no barriers between thoughts. It does not create conformity by excluding the unique wanderings of the mind’s colorful streams.
Music is interesting to me more in the way other people like it, than in any way I can enjoy it myself. Everyone else around me likes music, but unlike Emma, music does not speak to my “soul”, art does, or more specifically colour does.
It’s beautiful to see people so connected with something they can both create and share, of course that goes for art too, but I think more people enjoy music than art. Just not me. I like quiet as much as I like music.
(Too much sound is the thing that causes me meltdowns, and even music can be too much for me at times.)
I’m so glad others can enjoy it all the time, the way I can only enjoy it at the best of times. 🙂
Leo does not always find speaking easy, but he can sings entire songs. 🙂
This is so beautiful and hits so close to home. I suspect my Dad was also on the spectrum. His special interest was music, and I wrote a piece a couple of years ago how he used music in the same way Emma describes. I have often wondered what it would be like to live in a culture where music wasn’t allowed. I can’t even imagine it.