Music Therapy Research

Listed below is research relevant to the practice of music therapy and the design of music therapy interventions, focusing on children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities.

For further review of the profession of music therapy, please refer to the websites for the Canadian Music Therapy Association (www.musictherapy.ca).

Research related to the practice of music therapy (i.e. techniques, interventions):

Attention
Thaut, M.H. (1987). Visual versus auditory (musical) stimulus preferences in autisticchildren: A pilot study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 17, 425-432.

Joint Attention
Kim, J., Wigram, T. & Gold, C. (2008). The effects of improvisational music therapy onjoint attention behaviors in autistic children: a randomized controlled study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 38:1758-1766

Speech
Lai, G., Pantazatos, S., Schneider, H. & Hirsch, J. (2012). Neural systems for speech and song in autism. Brain, 135(3), 961-975.

Geiser, E., Zaehle, T., Jancke, L. & Meyer, M. (2008). The neural correlate of speech rhythm as evidenced by metrical speech processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(3), 541-552.

Sensorimotor
Berel, M., Diller, L., & Orgel, M. (1971). Music as a facilitator for visual motor sequencing tasks in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 13, 335-342.

Hickok, G. et.al. (2003). Auditory-motor interaction revealed by fMRI: Speech, music and working memory in area spt. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 673-682.

Thaut, M.H., Kenyon, G.P., Schauer, M.L. & McIntosh, G.C. (1999). The connection between rhythmicity and brain function. Engineering in Medicine and Biology, 18, 101-108.

Efficacy
Wimpory, D., Chadwick, P., & Nash, S. (1995). Brief report: Musical interaction therapy for children with autism: An evaluative case study with two-year follow-up. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 25 (3), 231-248.

Research which informs the design and implementation of individualized interventions in music therapy treatment:

Language
Fedorenko, E., Patel, A., Casasanto, D., Winawer, J., & Gibson, E. (2009). Structural integration in language and music: evidence for a shared system. Memory & Cognition, 37(1), 1-9.

Affect Identification
Heaton, P., Hermelin, B. & Pring, L. (1999). Can children with autistic spectrum disorders perceive affect in music? An experimental investigation. Psychological Medicine, 29, 1405-1410.

Emotion
Peretz, I. (2010). Towards a neurobiology of musical emotions. Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, research, applications. Eds. P. Juslin & J. Sloboda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Quintin, E., Bhatara, A., Poissant, H., Fombonne, E. & Levitin, D. (2011). Emotion perception in music in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(9), 1240-1255.

Sensory Processing
Mottron, L., Peretz, I., & Menard, E. (2000). Local and global processing of music in high-functioning persons with autism: Beyond central coherence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41 (8), 1057-1065.

Petacchi, A., Laird, A.R., Fox, P.T. & Bower, J.M. (2005). Cerebellum and auditory function: An ALE meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies. Human Brain Mapping, 25:118-128.

Thaut, M.H. 1988. Measuring musical responsiveness in autistic children: A comparative analysis of improvised musical tone sequences of autistic, normal, and mentally retarded individuals. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 18, 561-571.

Verbal Learning
Peterson, D.A. & Thaut, M.H. (2007). Music increases frontal EEG coherence during verbal learning. Neuroscience Letters, 412, 217-221.

Reasoning
Sarnthein, J., von Stein, A., Rappelsberger, P., Petsche, H., Rauscher, F.H., & Shaw, G.L. (1997). Persistent patterns of brain activity: An EEG coherence study of the positive effect of music on spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurology Research, 19, 107-116.

Research which informs the design and implementation of individualized interventions in music therapy treatment:

Language
Fedorenko, E., Patel, A., Casasanto, D., Winawer, J., & Gibson, E. (2009). Structural integration in language and music: evidence for a shared system. Memory & Cognition, 37(1), 1-9.

Affect Identification
Heaton, P., Hermelin, B. & Pring, L. (1999). Can children with autistic spectrum disorders perceive affect in music? An experimental investigation. Psychological Medicine, 29, 1405-1410.

Emotion
Peretz, I. (2010). Towards a neurobiology of musical emotions. Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, research, applications. Eds. P. Juslin & J. Sloboda. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Quintin, E., Bhatara, A., Poissant, H., Fombonne, E. & Levitin, D. (2011). Emotion perception in music in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 41(9), 1240-1255.

Sensory Processing
Mottron, L., Peretz, I., & Menard, E. (2000). Local and global processing of music in high-functioning persons with autism: Beyond central coherence. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41 (8), 1057-1065.

Petacchi, A., Laird, A.R., Fox, P.T. & Bower, J.M. (2005). Cerebellum and auditory function: An ALE meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies. Human Brain Mapping, 25:118-128.

Thaut, M.H. 1988. Measuring musical responsiveness in autistic children: A comparative analysis of improvised musical tone sequences of autistic, normal, and mentally retarded individuals. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 18, 561-571.

Verbal Learning
Peterson, D.A. & Thaut, M.H. (2007). Music increases frontal EEG coherence during verbal learning. Neuroscience Letters, 412, 217-221.

Reasoning
Sarnthein, J., von Stein, A., Rappelsberger, P., Petsche, H., Rauscher, F.H., & Shaw, G.L. (1997). Persistent patterns of brain activity: An EEG coherence study of the positive effect of music on spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurology Research, 19, 107-116.

Selected research from the Journal of Music Therapy:

Autism - Goals & Outcomes
Kaplan, R.S. & Steele, A.L. (2005). An analysis of music therapy program goals and outcomes for clients with diagnoses on the autism spectrum. Journal of Music Therapy, 42(1), 2-19.

Musical Preference
Davis, W.B. & Thaut, M.H. (1989). The influence of preferred relaxing music on measures of state anxiety, relaxation, and psychological responses. Journal of Music Therapy, 26(4), 168-187.

Social Skills
Brownell, M. (2002). Musically adapted social stories to modify behaviors in students with autism: Four case studies. Journal of Music Therapy, 39(2), 117-144.

Gooding, L.F. (2011). The effect of a music therapy social skills training program on improving social competence in children and adolescents with social skills deficits. Journal of Music Therapy, 48(4), 440-462.

Learning
Gfeller, K.E. (1983). Musical mnemonics as an aid to retention with normal and learning disabled students. Journal of Music Therapy, 20(4), 179-189.

Communication
Edgerton, C. (1994). The effect of improvisational music therapy on the communicative behavior of autistic children. Journal of Music Therapy, 31(1), 31-62.

Lim, H.A. (2010). Effect of “Developmental Speech and Language Training Through Music” on speech production in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Music Therapy, 47(1), 2-26.

Attention
Wolfe, D.E. & Noguchi, L.K. (2009). The use of music with young children to improve sustained attention during a vigilance task in the presence of auditory distractions. Journal of Music Therapy, 46(1), 69-83.

Emotions
Katagiri, J. (2009). The effect of background music and song texts on the emotional understanding of children with autism. Journal of Music Therapy, 46(1), 15-31.