School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Samantha Miller


Music Education, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Curriculum


Education | Music | Music Education


In the field of music education, Autism Spectrum Disorder has become an area of importance requiring more thought and intentionality from teachers than normal lesson planning expectations. Because music educator programs only offer courses that cover the whole spectrum of special needs and do not focus on autism specifically, music educators are finding themselves unprepared to create music lessons that can accommodate learners with such a unique spectrum of learning abilities. Many college curriculums offer special needs courses that focus on all aspects of special education that can be found in music education but very rarely for autism as a whole. Because the autistic spectrum has a vast array of symptoms, these needs must be met through the use of an individualized education plan also. Music educators need a working knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder and how to create a fun-loving environment for these types of students. The research in this project explored Autism Spectrum Disorder is and provided suggestive strategies for how to develop relationships with students. In particular, the curriculum project was designed with the undergraduate music student in mind and offered music educators the chance to focus on a specific disability that has such a vast spectrum.