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May 2022

Music Therapy and the Child with a Handicap: evaluation of the effects of intervention

Abstract: A comprehensive review of the state of Music Therapy in Great Britain. Music Therapy related to various treatment models and the psychology of music. Links are hypothesised between music therapy with young children with handicaps and the processes in early child development. A series of interconnecting projects evaluates the effects of music therapy with children with handicaps. A 2-year intervention study indicated general effects observable to colleagues. A second study (l98l) compared changes in behaviour in music therapy with an equal period of no music therapy with two groups of preschool children. Time-based within-session measures indicated significant changes in the amount of playing, vocalising and looking at the instrument, at the adult and away. A third project compared individual children in and out of music therapy and in play with a well-known adult over a longer period of intervention. Quantative measures indicated similar significant results especially vocal activity. More qualitative measures indicated significant differences between music therapy, no music therapy and play in the amount of adult support and turn-taking. Pointers for further reseach were proposed with suggested links with psychology of music in understanding more of the musical processes to reach such outcomes. Individual and group case studies are part of a large group of appendices. Copies of this Thesis are available from City University, London.

Note: City-University, Great-Britain.

Keyword(s): research, ethology, statistics, children, handicaps, intervention, evaluation, psychology.

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