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January 2023

Research in Great Britain into the effects of Music Therapy with particular reference to the child with a handicap

Abstract: The development of a programme of outcome research is related to the stage in the growth of the music therapy profession in Great Britain. The background surrounding the subject - journals, texts - reveals an anecdotal stance with indication of the need for less inferential description. Reference is made to the ethologists in describing in clear terms what can be observed and heard in MT. The paper reviews the research carried out in GB concentrating on three interlinked projects that took place between l977 and l982 for the most part at The City University London. A 2-year intervention study highlighted key areas where colleagues observed changes in behaviour. Using video analysis and time-based measures further more rigorous studies evolved. The results indicated significant changes in vocalisations, turn-taking, contact with instruments when individual children with handicaps were used as their own controls in and out of music therapy or when compared to individual play with an adult. The paper summarised results of a doctoral study (Bunt, l985). Pointers for future research and problems encountered were highlighted. This paper is available from the BSMT Price 3.

Note: City-University-London.

Keyword(s): research, handicapped-children, ethology, intervention, statistical-analysis, individual-therapy.

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