Music Therapy Research

Music Therapy as a discipline is becoming more and more established, validated by broader and increasingly recognized research.   The indisputable and compelling positive results we have seen for many years as music therapists are progressively substantiated by advances in science.   Offered on the web, there is a plethora of research on music therapy and it’s powerful positive impact in many walks of life.  From hospice patients, to very ill children in hospitals, to typically developed refugees, music seems to help almost anybody in a difficult or trying situation!!  Our focus however, at Jammin’ Jenn Music Therapy is on individuals with special needs.  In other words, our specialty is in working with people with disabilities in communication, cognition, or socialization.   Along the lines of this focus in our practice, the goal of this page of our site is to offer you research and papers on music therapy and it’s positive effects specifically on those with special needs.   Please see the below links and get informed!  If you come across research that you think would be good addition, please contact us.   There is new and different research all of the time and we would love to know about it.  Thanks!

Why Music Makes Our Brains Sing – A fascinating New York Times article describing music’s unique effects on humans and the neuroscience behind it.  The implications for lower functioning individuals are very interesting.

Special Education: Music Therapy Research and Evidence Based Practice Support – A compelling and comprehensive collection of research papers on music therapy utilized in the special education setting to promote learning and skill acquisition.

Music Therapy in the Special Education Setting – A fantastic, thorough study outlining a great description of music therapy, it’s underlying processes, and it’s broad and compelling application in all areas of the special education setting.

Autism Spectrum Disorders:  Music Therapy Research and Evidence Based Practice Support – This collection of research organized by the American Music Therapy Association offers research substantiating the positive impact music therapy has on those on the spectrum.

Music Therapy in the assessment and treatment of autistic spectrum disorder: clinical application and research evidence – This abstract points out that music therapy as a treatment for children and adolescents with significant limitations in conventional communication respond positively to music therapy.   Further documentation emphasizes that music therapy can play a role in assessment and diagnosis in limitations/weaknesses as well as strengths/potentials.

Effects of Music Therapy on Children With Disabilities – This paper is a study highlighting literature concerning the effects of music therapy on children with disabilities building on previous efforts in research in this area.  It includes practical, evidence – based strategies that can be used to help those with various disabilities through music.

Music Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease – This paper from the American Music Therapy Association serves well as an introduction to music therapy and it’s positive effects on those with Alzheimer’s.

Music as a Tool to Improve Communication in Alzheimer’s Patients – This article highlights why music therapy works and research validating the positive impact of music therapy on people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Alzheimer’s Disease: The role of music therapy in symptom palliation – This article points to research that shows in that patients with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, music therapy is a promising way to improve language and behavior.  The piece also points out that music therapy might even serve as a means to slow the decline of physical, psychological, and cognitive processes.

The Impact of Music Therapy on Language Functioning in Dementia – This research shows statistically significant improvements in speech content and fluency after music therapy combined with conversation.