Music Therapy and Developmental Delay

Music Heals

Compared feeding times for five severely handicapped children in a regular cafeteria environment and in a sound controlled environment. Results showed that modifying sound environments with music ameliorated some of the difficulties of therapeutic feeding.

Barber, E. (1973). Music therapy with retarded children. Australian Journal of Mental Retardation, 2(7), 210-213.

Discusses the effects of a music therapy programme with two groups of mentally handicapped children. Behaviour changes resulting from participation in music therapy included increased concentration, performance and self-control as well as improved speech and social graces.

Burnett, M.H. (1983). The effect of rhythmic training on musical perception and motor skill development of preschool handicapped children, male and female. (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University, 1983). Dissertation Abstracts International, 44(2), 419A. (University Microfilms No. 8315094).

Studied the effects of rhythmic training on musical perception and motor skill development in 23 developmentally delayed children. Comparison of pre/post test scores on an inventory of observable musical behaviours and a survey of developmental and perceptual skills indicated significant increases for the experimental group in musical perception and motor skill development.

Cotter, V. (1971). The effects of music on performance of manual tasks with retarded adolescent females. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 76(2), 242-248.

Studied the effects of music listening on the performance of manual production tasks of 16 moderately developmentally delayed girls aged 12 to 21. Three conditions were examined: a) listening to continual music b) listening to music contingent to work produced and c) no music listening. Results showed that work production was significantly increased during the conditions when music was available and that the rate of work production was increased when music was presented contingent upon work rate.

Davis, W.B., Wieseler, N.A. and Hanzel, T.E. (1983). Reduction of rumination and out-of-seat behaviour and generalization of treatment effects using a non-intrusive method. Journal of Music Therapy, 20(3), 115-l3l.

Investigated the effects of contingent music and verbal cues on the frequency of rumination and out-of-seat behaviour of a profoundly developmentally delayed adult. Results found that the use of contingent music was most effective in reducing incidents of rumination and in controlling out-of-seat behaviours. Generalization was also programmed to the subject’s classroom setting.

Groeneweg, G., Stan, E.A-, Celser, A., MacBeth, L, and Vrbancic, M. L (1988). The effect of background music on vocational behaviour of mentally handicapped adults. Journal of Music Therapy, 25(3), 118-134.

Investigated the effects of background music on the work behaviour of 12 moderately developmentally delayed adults in a vocational work/training environment. Results indicate that work production significantly increased under the music condition as compared to the no music condition and there was less non-work oriented behaviour when there was background music.

Humphrey, T. (1980). The effect of music ear training upon the auditory discrimination abilities of trainable mentally retarded adolescents. Journal of Music Therapy, 17(2),70-74.

Studied the effects of choral music therapy sessions on auditory discrimination abilities of 15 developmentally delayed adolescents. Sessions involved melodic and rhythmic imitation, vocal production and auditory memory skills training. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in auditory discrimination scores with the choral (experimental) group scoring higher that the control group who received no music training.

Miller, D. (1974). Effects of selected music listening contingencies on arithmetic performance and music preference of educable mentally retarded children (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1974). Dissertation Abstracts International, 35(6), 3555A. (University Microfilms-is No. 7426605).

Evaluated the use of preferred music listening presented as a contingent reinforcer to increase arithmetic performance of developmentally delayed children. Results indicate that the children receiving contingent music reinforcement achieved significantly higher arithmetic performance scores than those who did not receive contingent reinforcement.

Price, R.D. (1978). The effect of selected musical experiences on the actuation of language in young developmentally delayed children. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Toledo, 1978). Dissertation Abstracts International, 40(l), 141A. (University Microfilms No. 7914850).

Investigated the effect of selected musical experiences on receptive and expressive language in young developmentally delayed children. Treatment included activities that emphasized auditory discrimination, rhythm and movement. Positive results were also achieved in personal-social, fine motor-adaptive and gross motor development.

Strawbridge, L.A., Sisson, L.A., and Van Hasselt, B.B. (1987). Reducing disruptive behaviour in the classroom using contingent-interrupted auditory stimulation. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps,12(3),199-204.

Evaluated the effectiveness of contingent-interrupted auditory stimulation (audiotaped environmental sounds) in reducing the disruptive screaming and crying exhibited by a multihandicapped 10-y ear-old female. Results demonstrated the efficacy of this method in decreasing disruptive vocalizations in the classroom.

Underhill, K., and Harris, L. (1974). The effect of contingent music on establishing imitation in behaviourally disturbed retarded children. Journal of Music Therapy, 11(3),156-166.

Investigated the use of contingent music to increase imitative behaviours. Results showed that the mere presence of music did not produce an increase in responsive behaviours. However, when music was presented contingent upon correct responses elicited by the subjects, there was a significant increase in the percentage of desired behaviours in all subjects.