Learning a musical instrument can benefit a child with special educational needs

Rose, Dawn; Jones Bartoli, Alice and Heaton, Pam F.. 2018. Learning a musical instrument can benefit a child with special educational needs. Psychomusicology: Music, Mind, and Brain, 28(2), pp. 71-81. ISSN 0275-3987 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This study explores outcomes related to musical learning in a child with complex special educational needs. CB is a boy who was eight-years-old at the start of the study, and who was diagnosed with co-morbid Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Sensory Processing Difficulties, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia during the study. He was evaluated on a battery of developmental measures before and after one year of music learning. At pretesting CB obtained a high musical aptitude score and an average IQ score. However, his scores on tests measuring motor abilities, executive function, and social-emotional skills were low. Post-testing revealed improvements in CB’s fluid intelligence and motor skills, and whilst teacher and parent reports suggested a decline in his social-emotional functioning, his musical progress was good. The results are discussed in the context of impairments in developmental disorders, the importance of flexible teaching approaches and family support for music learning during childhood.

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7 May 2018Accepted
June 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

05 Jul 2018 08:30

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:47

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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