As a reward, do musical instruments encourage more interaction skills from a client with communication difficulties than traditional games?
Hodgson, Rebecca Louise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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AIM: To investigate whether using musical instruments as a motivator will elicit more incidences of eye-contact and turn-taking from children who have cerebral palsy, as compared to a more traditional method of motivation. METHOD: 10 children participated in three sessions over three days, and all were seen on a 1:1 basis. Group characteristics included 7 females and 3 males all aged between 9 and 16 years. Children participated in a pre-motivator activity, and then had 5 minutes to play with the designated motivator-the motivators were a marble-run (non-musically related), a keyboard or a drum (musically related). Each session was video-recorded and then viewed so that the amount of eye-contact and turn-taking could be recorded. Data was entered into, and analysed via, SPSS to enable comparisons between the individual sessions. Statistical comparisons consisted of non-parametric Friedmans Tests, continued with a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Post-Hoc Test. RESULTS: The results showed that the motivator had a significant effect on the number of incidences of eye-contact (p=0.005) and turn-taking (p=0.026). In the post-hoc tests, musical vs. musical sessions concluded statistically insignificant, therefore supporting the hypothesis. However, only 1 out of 4 musical vs. non-musical post-hoc tests calculated statistically significant. Results are discussed, as are qualitative observations that offer information of paramount importance. INTERPRETATION: Despite some results concluding statistically insignificant, there is an underlying assumption from this research project that musical activities created a motivating environment whereby higher number of incidences of social skills was elicited. Effects of musical instruments need to be further investigated with a larger sample size and alternating the sessions during the methodology so as to eliminate possible practise effects.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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