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September 2019

A levels system approach to music therapy with severely behaviorally handicapped children in the public school system.

Journal/Book: Journal of Music Therapy. 1984; 21: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. National Association for Music Therapy 8455 Colesville Rd., Suite 930 20910 Silver Spring, Maryland USA. 117-125.

Abstract: Rehabilitation and reintegration of emotionally disturbed children into regular classrooms is the primary focus of this adjunctive treatment program offered during the school day. Students selected for the program are of elementary school age and demonstrate behaviors that interfere with their ability to maintain correlative academic status and to function adequately in a normal classroom. The approach described in this article, derived from the Positive Education Program (PEP) of Cleveland, encompasses the behavioral methodology of contingency management through a levels system. A music therapy levels system, founded upon Haring's (1979) stages of learning, has been devised to provide a hierarchical structure through which the music therapist successively shapes targeted behaviors. Differential behavioral expectations, reinforcements, and consequences are included at each level. Music activities are carefully designed to accommodate the types of responses targeted and the degree of control required at each level. Techniques and procedures are adaptable and can be applied to a variety of music therapy settings.

Keyword(s): levels-system, music-therapy, behaviorally-disturbed, elementary, contingency-management, children.


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