Research Proposal The Availability and Effectiveness of Music Therapy for Children with Special Educational Needs in North Wales
Research Topic Area Subject Area: Effectiveness of a music therapy strategy used with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) Rationale – I have chosen this topic as a teacher at my setting has qualified as a music therapist and I am interested to find out if it is readily available and whether it is effective in the education of all children with SEN. I also feel much current research focuses on specific learning disabilities and not SEN in general, so wish to investigate this
Research Topic Area • ‘As a music teacher in a special school I could see the potential of music as a means of healing relationships’. (Hasler, 2008; 166) • ‘In special education, children present with a variety of learning difficulties, behavioural problems, social problems and psychological disabilities. The music therapist takes these problems as the primary focus for intervention and the function of the music is to act as a medium for meeting the needs of the client.’(Wigramet al, 2002; 34) • Bruscia (1989; 47) defined music therapy as: ‘A systematic process of intervention wherein the therapist helps the client to achieve health, using musical experiences and the relationships that develop through them as dynamic forces of change.’
Research Question What is the availability and effectiveness of music therapy for children with Special Educational Needs in North Wales?
Aims The aim of this research is to identify the availability of music therapy to children with SEN in North Wales Additionally, it will consider the effectiveness of this therapy for all forms of SEN
Objectives By the end of this research project, I will have: • Identified the availability of music therapy in North Wales • Considered its accessible for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) • Examined whether music therapy is available free of charge • Researched its effectiveness with regards to children with a range of SEN
Literature Review • Abou-Setta et al (2008) – Auditory Integration Training (AIT); a specialised form of music therapy is effective in aiding the rehabilitation of children with special needs including Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sensitivity to sound • Aldridge et al (1995) – Music therapy not only shows an improvement in speech, hearing and hand-eye co-ordination but also in personal and social interaction • Carroll (1996) – Music therapy is an effective method of stimulating verbal speech in children with Down’s Syndrome by utilizing the melodic characteristics of speech
Literature Review • Kim (2006) – Music therapy demonstrates a greater improvement in joint attention behaviours in children on the autistic spectrum than free play, promotes emotional communication and social interaction • Pellitteri (2000) – Music therapy can be effective in facilitating development in various areas of children’s functioning; enhancing other services in special education. Music therapists should be utilized in a consultation role • Van Colle (2003) – Children with severe and multiple disabilities responded to music therapy; using their understanding of music to connect with the therapist
Methods I will be using a quantitative research design because I feel it is appropriate to answer my research question as I will be looking at larger numbers (Gilbert, 2001;34) • As I wish to find out the availability of music therapy for children with SEN in North Wales, using a quantitative method will allow me to discover this by finding the number of children it is available to in comparison with the number of children assessed with SEN • A quantitative research method will also enable me to assess the effectiveness of music therapy by questioning both special school staff and parents of the children attending
Methods To enable me to carry out this research I will: • Send questionnaires to Local Education Authorities in North Wales to determine the availability of music therapy in special schools in the area & number of children with Special Educational Needs • Give questionnaires to teaching and support staff • Send out questionnaires to parents
Methods • For the questionnaires, I will use a Likert scale for levels of agreement or disagreement with statements Three Sections 1. Awareness and understanding of music therapy 2. Ease of access to music therapy 3. Views on effectiveness of music therapy
Methods When drawing up the questionnaires for my research I will make the following considerations: • According to Robson (2002; 383): ‘Some methods and techniques necessarily involve piloting in their use (e.g. in the development of a structured questionnaire or a direct observation instrument.’ • Therefore, I will pilot the questionnaire by allowing colleagues to view it and give feedback. • The questionnaire will be accompanied by an information sheet to explain how the information will be used and how to complete it
Description of Sample • All Local Education Authorities in North Wales • All teachers and support staff in a selected special school setting in North Wales – 60 • Parents of all pupils aged 3 to 19 attending a selected special school setting in North Wales; excluding any for which English is a second language - 125
Reliability & Validity According to Bell (2005; 117): ‘Whatever procedure for collecting data is selected, it should always be examined critically to assess to what extent it is likely to be reliable and valid’ To ensure the reliability and validity of my data I will: • Word questions in a way that is clear and unambiguous rather than open to interpretation to ensure they are likely to obtain the same result if used again
Reliability & Validity • By using reliable methodology the research should be valid and therefore result in conclusions which give credible answers to the research question • I will ensure that questions in my questionnaire link directly to my research question • This should ensure that it measures what it is supposed to measure • The use of piloting as described previously will assist in ensuring this
Ethical Considerations • Carrying out research ethically is of upmost importance so as not to cause harm or distress to anyone involved • According to Robson (2007; 64): ‘Even with entirely benign intentions, actual consequences can be negative, and possibly harmful, for those taking part in the research, or for those whose lives are affected by the results of the research.’ • According to Gilbert (2001; 49): ‘A linchpin of ethical behaviour in research, is the doctrine of informed consent.... having been given the fullest information concerning the nature and purpose of the research, including any risks to which they personally would be exposed, the arrangements for maintaining the confidentiality of data, and so on.’
Ethical Considerations To ensure my research is ethical I will: • Keep all research information confidential – locking away hard copies and pin protecting digital copies on a dedicated memory stick • Consider the Data Protection Act 1998 & 2003 particularly the sections ‘relating to individuals’ right to privacy with respect to the processing of personal data’ (Bell, 2005;50) • Gain approval from the ethics committee • To ensure anonymity I will number all questionnaires; no names will be used • Ensure I have informed consent and participants are aware they have the right to withdraw at any time by use of their individual number • Destroy questionnaires & interviews at end of the study
Statement of Hypothesis I am expecting to find that access to music therapy for children with special educational needs in the North Wales area is limited However, I am expecting to find that for those who are able to access music therapy it is effective and beneficial for the majority; whilst needing differentiation for certain disabilities e.g. Hyperacusis or Misophonia
References • Abou-Setta, A., Sadek, A., Shalaby, A. and Hazzaa, N. (2008) Auditory Integration Therapy (AIT) for Autistic Children: A Clinical Study, http://www.aitinstitute.org/ ait_autism_study.htm, accessed 18 November 2010. • Aldridge, D., Gustoff, G. and Neugebauer (1995) ‘A Pilot Study of Music Therapy in the Treatment of Children with Developmental Delay’ Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 3, 197-205. • Bell, J (2005) Doing your Research Project a Guide for First-time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Care, 4thedn, Maidenhead: Open University Press • Bruscia, K. (1989). Defining music therapy. Spring Lake, PA: Spring House Books.
References • Carroll, D (1996) A Study of the Effectiveness of an Adaptation of Melodic Intonation Therapy in Increasing the Communicative Speech of Young Children with Down Syndrome, http://www.wfmt.info/Musictherapyworld/modules/archive/dissertations/pdfs/MA_DC.pdf, accessed 13 November 2010. • Gilbert, N. ed (2001) Researching Social Life, 2ndedn, London: Sage Publications Ltd. • Hasler, J. (2008) ‘A Piece of the Puzzle: Music Therapy with Looked-after Teenagers and their carers’, in Oldfield, A. and Flower, C. (eds) Music Therapy with Children and their Families, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
References • Kim, J. (2006) The Effects of Improvisational Music Therapy on Joint Attention Behaviours in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, http://old.musikterap.aau. dk/forskerkolen_2006/dissertations/jinah-kim.pdf, accessed 13 November 2010/. • Pellitteri, (2000) ‘Music Therapy in the Special Education Session’, Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11 (3&4), 379-391. • Robson, C. (2007) How to do a Research Project A Guide for Undergraduate Students, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
References • Wigram, T., Nygaard Pedersen, I. and Ole Blonde, L. (2002) A comprehensive guide to music therapy: theory, clinical practice, research, and training, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.