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Research: Music in Schools

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011
Music Interventions for Children with Autism: Narrative Review of the Literature
Kate Simpson1 and Deb Keen
Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Virginia, QLD, 4014, Australia
Published online: 4 January 2011
It is widely reported that music can be beneficial to individuals with autism. This review was undertaken to determine the evidence base for the use of music as an intervention for children with autism. After searching relevant databases, 128 articles were identified of which 20 articles met the study’s inclusion criteria. Composed songs and improvisational music therapy were the predominant music techniques used. There was somewhat limited evidence to support the use of music interventions under certain conditions to facilitate social, communicative and behavioural skills in young children with autism. The implications of these findings in terms of use of music interventions, issues related to generalization and maintenance, and future research are discussed.

Nordic Journal of Music Therapy  / Volume 20, Issue 2, 2011
Effects of relational music therapy on communication of children with autism: a randomized controlled study
Gustavo Schulz Gattinoa*, Rudimar dos Santos Riesgoa, Dânae Longob, Júlio César Loguercio Leitec & Lavina Schüler Faccinia  pages 142-154
Available online: 09 May 2011
The intent of this study (registration ACTRN12608000625370) was to investigate the effects of Relational Music Therapy (RMT) in verbal, nonverbal and social communication of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 24 boys from the Programme for Invasive Developmental Disorders (Porto Alegre City, Brazil), was designed to compare individuals treated with music therapy (n = 12) and standard treatment (clinical routine activities including medical examinations and consultations, n = 12). The outcomes were assessed by two blind evaluators, before and after interventions, through the verbal, nonverbal and social communication scores of Brazilian version of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS-BR). The CARS-BR scores in T1 and T2 did not show a statistically significant difference in the three measured outcomes. However, the study found a positive statistically significant difference on subgroup analysis of nonverbal communication among patients with autistic disorder, p = 0.008 and standard mean difference of 2.22 (95% CI 1.90 to 2.53). The results observed in the investigation of the effects of relational music therapy on communication skills of ASD children are inconclusive. The next investigations need more rigorous designs leading to smaller effect size estimates and more accurate tools for the outcome assessment (including some specific instrument of music therapy). These modifications will increase the accuracy to observe the treatment effects in this population.

Music Education Research / Volume 13, Issue 1, 2011
The engagement in musical activities of young children with varied hearing abilities
Lily Chen-Haftecka* & Lyn Schraer-Joinera  pages 93-106
This multiple case study examined the musical experiences of five hard-of-hearing/deaf children (hearing loss ranging from 35–95 dB) and four typical-hearing children, ages 3–4. Their responses to various musical activities were observed and analysed using flow indicators. It was found that both groups of children: (1) were capable of engaging in musical activities; (2) demonstrated musical knowledge in musical structure, musical styles, beat and rhythmn; (3) expressed their need to communicate through music; (4) showed that their quality of flow experience was dependent upon individual characteristics; and (5) indicated that their exhibition of flow experience was affected by the nature of musical activities. It was concluded that musical activities can be pleasurable for hard of hearing/deaf children even if their perception of music is different from children with typical hearing. There is a need for a variety of activities that can encourage development of various skills and aspects of flow experience. Teachers need to respect children’s different learning needs and believe in their learning abilities.

Encouraging creativity in children with autism and severe learning difficulties using microphone-operated, interactive software in a playful context
Author: Howarth, Imogen
Source: Good Autism Practice (GAP), Volume 12, Number 1, May 2011 , pp. 52-63(12)
Publisher: BILD – The British Institute of Learning Disabilities
This paper presents a case study of a child with autism and severe learning difficulties. It explores the effects of ReacTickles®, sensorimotor software developed by Wendy Keay-Bright, on playful and creative behaviours. The findings suggest that the pupil’s repertoire of playful behaviours increased both in frequency and complexity. How original and creative these behaviours were remains a matter for debate and is dependent upon the evaluative criteria applied. The implications of these findings for educational practice, intervention and research are discussed. The advances in computer technology and its use with children on the autism spectrum is very exciting and will continue to lead to advances in developing a wide range of skills for all abilities. The Editors invite other articles on this topic.

Vol 8, No 3 (2008)
A Collaboration Between Music Therapy and Speech Pathology in a Paediatric Rehabilitation Setting
By Maggie Leung
This article describes the importance of flexible music therapy practice when focusing on communication skills with a speech pathologist within a paediatric rehabilitation setting. A brief literature review on the combined use of music therapy and speech pathology in rehabilitation is provided. A case vignette is then used to illustrate the unique role of music therapy and the importance of changing the goals of music therapy in order to meet the patient’s needs.

The Effects of Improvisational Music Therapy on Joint Attention Behaviors in Autistic Children: A Randomized Controlled Study
Jinah Kim, Tony Wigram and Christian Gold
July 2008

Name: Journal of Instructional Psychology Publisher: George Uhlig Publisher Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education; Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 George Uhlig Publisher ISSN: 0094-1956
Date: Dec, 2008 Source Volume: 35 Source Issue: 4
Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Integrating music therapy services and speech-language therapy services for children with severe communication impairments: a co-treatment model.