A music therapy assessment tool for special education: Incorporating education outcomes

A music therapy assessment tool for special education: Incorporating education outcomes

Abstract

This study introduces a music therapy assessment tool designed for use in a special education context. Working with findings from a survey of music therapists practising in special education, measures were developed which incorporate New South Wales curriculum outcomes from the Music Education Life Skills, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education and Creative Arts (Dance) with music therapy outcomes. The survey included demographic and method questions and explored the extent to which music therapists engaged with music education outcomes. The assessment seeks to validate music therapy in the special education setting by providing a practical tool that is accessible to both educators and therapists. It includes the categories of: communication, initiation, response, movement, social interaction, emotional expression, listening and decision making. A main finding of the survey indicates that 90% of surveyed music therapists apply six or more of the ten Life Skills Music Education Outcomes (Board of Studies, 2003). The survey results were limited by a sample of 40 music therapists and also by self-reporting. Recommendations include further clinical application and refinement of the assessment tool.

 

Keyboard: special education, assessment, survey


Citation

Langan, D. (2009). A music therapy assessment tool for special education: Incorporating education outcomes. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 20, 78-98.


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Date published: July 2009