Skip to main content
Utah's Foremost Platform for Undergraduate Research Presentation
2015 Abstracts

Music Pedagogy and Teaching Strategies for Students on the Autism Spectrum

Tessa Reber, Dixie State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Music education can be used to help students with autism control emotion and build cognitive, behavioral, social and communicative developmental skills. By achieving musical ambitions, autistic students develop self-efficacy that leads to confidence which reflects in their lifestyle and attitude. This paper draws upon primary and secondary research for evidence of conducted cases with autism spectrum disorder students and the implications of music involvement. Methodology focuses on providing the student with a safe environment for learning in the following ways: (1) Teaching the basics of musical grammar aides in cognizance of areas such as math and reading; (2) The embodied affective symbolism that music possesses provides an opportunity for the student to indicate internal emotion; (3) Sharing and performing of music builds self-efficacy and suitable behavior of physical boundaries; (4) Social and communicative effects of music provide the student with the ability to build relationships of similar interests. This includes an increase of appropriate verbal interactions and coping with frustration or anxiety. The summative effects of these combined efforts allow individuals of all ages and abilities on the Autism Spectrum discover the inspirational power of music and the influence it has in their lives.