Special Education Music Therapy Research
Research Supports the Benefits of Music Therapy
Coast Music Therapy promotes an evidence-based approach to music therapy in the IEP and after school programs. Our Board Certified Music Therapists draw from the fields of Neurologic Music Therapy, Psychology, Special Education, and Applied Behavior Analysis to help learners with autism and other special needs make progress in educational and developmental goal areas. Special education music therapy research shows positive outcomes of music-based intervention for a range of diagnoses and need areas such as:
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Motor disorders
- Rett syndrome
- Speech and language disorders
- Williams syndrome
- Neurologic impairments
Some of the most compelling findings include :
- Individuals with autism and Williams syndrome diagnoses demonstrate elevated music strengths.
- Music can act as a mnemonic device to improve memory.
- Music can act as an aesthetic to elicit attention, motivation, and positive mood.
- Rhythm can act as a timekeeper for movement.
- Singing and chanting can access different neurological pathways to speech.
Neurologic Music Therapy
An Evidence-Based Approach to Music Therapy
Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) as defined by The Center for Biomedical Research in Music at Colorado State University is the therapeutic application of music to cognitive, sensory, and motor function due to neurologic disease of the human nervous system. Neurologic Music Therapy is research-based. Its treatment techniques are based on the scientific knowledge in music perception and production and the effects thereof on nonmusical brain and behavior function. Coast Music Therapy supports this research-based approach to music therapy and utilizes many NMT techniques within the special education and clinic-based settings.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Connecting ABA Research with Music Therapy
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) as defined by the Association for Behavior Analysis International is the scientific study of behavior. This research-driven and data-based field is widely utilized in the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. Under the direction of Autism and ABA specialist Michelle Lazar, MA, MT-BC, Coast Music Therapy integrates ABA-based approaches into music therapy sessions including the use of music as a reinforcer, prompt-fading procedures to assist in fading of musical cues, the use of music as an intraverbal to teach conversational skills, and the use of music-based scripts and task analyses to help structure the presentation of information.