School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Betty Damon


Autism Spectrum Disorder, Orff Method, Kodály Method, Music Education


Educational Methods | Music


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a known neurological disorder that directly affects an individual's ability to communicate and interact with others; ASD is diagnosed within the first three years of life. One of the most common forms of therapy or interventions used is music. Music incorporation can change in a format such as learning a specific instrument, singing, or simply dancing to promote physical activity to help brain stimulation and process the overall musical experience. Music has been a commonly used therapy or intervention for children diagnosed with ASD dating back to the mid-1940s. Those diagnosed with ASD have difficulty with social interactions, communication, and emotional expression, all of which occur naturally in the music learning and music-making process. One of the more popular music therapy forms is improvisational music therapy, specifically relating to ASD. By allowing those with ASD a more flexible approach to music learning, the students can exercise social, communicative, and problem-solving skills at a pace set by the instructor or therapist for the students' benefit. Utilizing elements of Orff and Kodály methods of music learning will allow students with ASD an opportunity to flourish.