Music Therapy & Down Syndrome Abstracts

Unpublished Master's Thesis (2003)

The Effect of Interactive Music Activity on Children with Down's Syndrome on Linguistic Learning Ability Improvement

Kim, Ji-Yeon
Graduate School of Music Therapy, Sookmyung Women's University, Korea

A study testing the positive effects of interactive music activity was conducted on children with Down's Syndrome. Two children 5 years of age were chosen from a full inclusion kindergarten school J in a district located in Incheon. The experiment was performed from October 13th through November 14th in 20 trials (4 times a week for 40 minutes each) of music therapy sessions utilizing the method of Multiple Baseline Across Behaviors for the five week duration. Linguistic abilities were determined through receptive language, expressive language, and associative language by employing the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities. During the music therapy sessions the language therapist was present to record linguistic ability scores for each experimental trial, and afterward a video clip of the experimental session was viewed with the music therapist. The music therapist assigned scores for each trial, and any discrepancies in the scores between the language and music therapists were eliminated. The results from these experimental sessions were used to determine the effect of interactive music activity on children diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.
The results from the study indicated that during the time of the interactive music activity intervention, there was a steady improvement in the linguistic abilities of receptive language, expressive language, and associative language in both children A and B. In the areas of verbal expression, manual expression, auditory association, and visual association, there were small differences in the childrens' scores but this may be explained by individual differences in intelligence or social maturity.
These results show that interactive music activity is effective in improving the linguistic learning abilities of children with Down's Syndrome, and that this method may also be used for children with other types of disabilities.
Down Syndrome News and Update 1 (3): 133-135 (1999)

Singing and music as aids to language development and its relevance for children with Down syndrome

Barker, Judy

Singing and making music are among the most enjoyable learning activities for children. Because they have both elements - enjoyment and learning - I consider them to be essential methods of reinforcing basic skills in numeracy and literacy. While this reinforcement is useful to all children, regardless of their academic abilities, my own experiences in the classroom and as the mother of a child with Down syndrome tell me that it is vital to children with learning difficulties.
Canadian Journal of Music Therapy III (1): 35-51 (1995)

Music Therapy for Adults with Down's syndrome and Dementia of the Alzheimer-type: A Study of Active and Passive Task Sequencing

Belleth, J.
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada

This research study proposed to establish an optimum sequence of active and/or passive tasks to encourage desirable behavior in individuals with Down's Syndrome (DS) and dementia of the Alzheimer-type (DAT). In this study, four individuals with DS and DAT, were presented five conditions of varying active and passive sequences. Results indicated a high and sustained level of desirable behaviours during alternating active and passive tasks. When developing and implementing new programs, caregivers and, in particular, music therapists must structure their programs to achieve the highest level of desirable behaviours for the duration of the session.
Br J Med Psychol 66 (1): 33-41 (1993 Mar)

The music therapy of an anorectic mentally handicapped adult

Heal M, O'Hara J
Learning Disabilities Care Group, Forest Healthcare Trust, Leytonstone, London, UK

Where words fail, music may be a medium through which to explore one's inner world and experiences. Psychodynamic approaches have helped us to understand what it means to be handicapped (e.g. Sinason, 1992). The subtleties of diagnosing anorexia nervosa have recently been recognized in this group (e.g. Cottrell & Crisp, 1984). Music therapy has been used with clients of normal intelligence who have eating disorders (Nolan, 1989; Sloboda, 1993; Smeijsters & van den Hurk 1993). This article illustrates the music therapy of a woman with Down's syndrome (IQ = 50) and anorexia nervosa. It describes her management and progress in music therapy in relation to her external world and anorectic behaviours.
Music Therapy Perspectives 9 (Appendix): 82-6 (1991)

Beginning experience in piano performance for a girl with Down syndrome: A case study

Velázquez, V.
University of Kansas, KS, USA

An experimental method for teaching piano is described through a case study of an eighteen-year-old girl with Down syndrome. The method, lasting twelve weeks with one to two sessions per week, utilized a modified reversal design and introduced four types of interventions to aid the subject in improving performance of finger exercises at the piano. The baseline condition consisted of a verbal cue to precede segments of an exercise and the treatment conditions were: (a) verbal cue with tactile cue condition, (b) verbal cue with visual/aural model condition, (c) sung cue condition, and (d) iconic/symbolic representation condition. The results indicated that the iconic/symbolic representation condition yielded the best performance. The success of the experiment encouraged the subject to continue private lessons further developing independence at musical performance.
Music Therapy Perspectives 9: 52-55 (1991)

The relationship of a choral music curriculum to the development of singing ability in secondary students with Down syndrome

Edenfield TN; Hughes JE
Leon County School System, Everhart School for Exceptional Students, Tallahassee, FL

The purpose of this study was to investigate the singing ability of secondary students with Down syndrome. An author constructed evaluation instrument was developed to assess signing ability in five categories: articulation, melodic rhythm, melodic contour, steady beat, and pitch. A total of 22 students chosen from two center schools for students with exceptionality were tested individually and audiotaped for subsequent assessment. Students in Group One (n=13) were enrolled in a school that contained an established choral music education curriculum. Group Two students (n=9) were enrolled in a school where no such curriculum existed. Composite group scores, as well as component scores on the Singing Assessment, were compared. Analysis of group mean scores revealed consistently higher scores for Group One students; however, the differences between Group One and Group Two scores were not found to be statistically significant. When IQ was correlated with component scores of the Singing Assessment, negatively low correlations were found. Implications for music therapists and educators interested in music achievement and aptitude of secondary students with Down syndrome and moderate mental retardation are discussed.
Journal of Mental Deficiency Research 33 (1): 13-24 (1989)

Response to Music and Movement in the Development of Children with Down's Syndrome

Stratford, B; Ching, EY
School of Education, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England and Townsville University, Queensland, Australia

Physical responses to rhythmic stimuli and music, of different degrees of complexity were registered from 25 children with Down's syndrome and 25 other mentally handicapped children. Required performances were taught and then recorded on video-tape, after which they were assessed by experienced teacher/judges. Whilst there were no overall significant differences between the groups, important differences were detected between the children in different schools with attendant implications for differential treatment. Apart from an overall and general assessment of performance, analysis was made of demographic variables, for example, sex, intelligence, age and social development. It is concluded that specific teaching approaches can significantly effect the development of children with Down's syndrome in such creative aspects of curriculum as music, movement and dance.
Journal of Music Therapy 21 (3): 146-154 (1984)

Musical Sound Perception in Normal Children and Children with Down's Syndrome

Flowers, Sister Evelyn
Cleveland Music School Settlement, Music Therapy Department, Cleveland, OH

This study sought to determine whether significant differences in musical perception exist between normal and Down's syndrome children, as indicated by their preferences for variables of pitch register (high, low), dynamic level (loud, soft), and rhythmic variety (rhythmic, nonrhythmic). A group of 10 normal children and 10 Down's syndrome children and 10 Down's syndrome children participated in the study. Each group was evenly divided according to sex, and the median age of each was identical. An attempt was also made to pair subjects according to similarity in age, economic background, and family size. Results indicated no significant difference between boys and girls within the same group or between girls in the two groups. With range held constant, however, the normal children preferred music at the forte level, while the Down's syndrome children preferred music at the piano level, with a significant difference (t = 2.47, p < .05) between groups. A significant difference (t = 2.58, p < .05) was also found in normal boys' preference for a dynamic level of forte while range was held constant.
Journal of Mental Deficiency Research 27 (1): 23-28 (1983)

Rhythm and Time in the Perception of Down's Syndrome Children

Stratford, B; Ching, EY
School of Education, University of Nottingham

This investigation attempts to examine a sense of rhythm in relation of response to rhythmic stimuli in normal children and mentally handicapped children, particularly children with Down's syndrome. Ten Down's syndrome (average CA: 158 months, average MA: 43 months), ten other mentally handicapped children (average CA: 147 months, average MA: 44 months), and ten normal children (average CA: 50 months, average MA: 46 months) were required to listen to a rhythm and to shadow certain rhythms by tapping them out simultaneously with the stimuli. Three different rhythms of increasing complexity were used. After a practice session, responses were collected from subjects using a tapping device; these were recorded on a computer. Results obtained in all aspects of the tests were very similar in both normal and Down's syndrome groups. The other mentally handicapped children were considerably weaker than the other two groups. It is suggested that at this level there is no difference between Down's syndrome and normal children of the same mental age in rhythmic discrimenation. Differences lie between Down's syndrome and other mentally handicapped children and this comparison could account for the attribution to Down's syndrome children of a higher than normal level of musical skills.
Padiatr Padol Suppl 4: 59-69 (1975)

Social behavior, musicality and visual perception in monogloid children

Rabensteiner, B

Forty-nine mongoloid and 48 non-mongol test persons of equivalent age and intelligence were selected and studied with respect to social behavior, speech disorders (observation of behavior), musicality and visual perception. There were significant differences in favor of the mongols with respect to social adaption. Speech disorders of all kinds occurred significantly more frequently in mongol children; stuttering was significantly more frequent in the boys. The mongol group did significantly better in the musicality test; the difference in the rhythmical part was highly significant. The average differences in the capacity for visual discrimination of colors, geometrical forms and the spatial relationship of geometrical forms were not significant.