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An empirical investigation into the effects of structured music workshops for individuals with intellectual disabilities

MacDonald, R.A.R., O'Donnell, P.J., and Davies, J.B. (1999) An empirical investigation into the effects of structured music workshops for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 12 (3). pp. 225-240.

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Abstract

The utility of music as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with intellectual disabilities has been widely discussed (Aldridge, 1993; Schalkwijk, 1995; Wigram, 1995). However, although an extensive literature exists which advocates music as a therapeutic intervention for a wide variety of populations, there is a need for empirical evaluation (Maranto, 1991; Radhakishnan, 1991; Purdie, 1997). This paper presents a study investigating the effects of structured music workshops for individuals with intellectual disabilities. A random sample of 60 individuals voluntarily participated in this research. All participants were assessed using a variety of previously validated techniques and techniques designed and validated for use in this study. An experimental group (N = 19) participated in a ten-week music programme. In comparison with a non-intervention control group (N = 16) and an intervention control group (N = 24), results indicated significant improvements in musical ability, communication and self-perception of musical ability for participants in the experimental group. A longitudinal investigation (N = 12) indicated that the developments made by the experimental group remained six months following the intervention. It is suggested that musical activities may provide an environment that facilitates skill development for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Directions for future research and limitations of the study are also considered.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):O'Donnell, Prof Patrick
Authors: MacDonald, R.A.R., O'Donnell, P.J., and Davies, J.B.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

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