The power of music and its positive influence on development of children have been illustrated in many works of specialists in fields of Psychology and Education. Particularly, music lessons improve communicative skills (Gourgey, 1998), reading skills (Cuttietta, 1995, 1996; Mclullich, 1981; Wisbey, 1981) and cognitive development (Radocy & Boyle, 2003). Music has a positive impact on training memory, pronunciation, phonology (Frances, 1984, 1985) and metacognitive skills (Lafortune, Jacob, & Hébert, 2000). In addition, in other papers researchers investigated that music training supports academic achievement (Southgate, Roscigno, 2009). Besides, music can be used as a treatment in special education, especially for children with autism spectrum disorder. Edgerton discovered a positive rise in social skills among the children with ASD from 6 to 9 years old (Edgerton, 1994). Braithwaite and Sigafoos (1998) emphasize that during their research, children with developmental disabilities showed more active participation and engagement in communicative interactions during the music session. In contrast, these children were considered to be very passive in real life.
The number of children with autism spectrum disorder is increasing in Kazakhstan. Moreover, many parents continue hiding their children with this syndrome that is why the real number of children who need an additional support is much bigger. Resources, materials and programs for developing children with autism spectrum disorder are limited. Furthermore, better children with ASD are prepared; there are more chances for them to go to mainstream school. From my personal experience, children with ASD struggle with the behavior and concentration in many cases (it also depends on the level of severity). In case music therapy has the same effect in Kazakhstan as it does in other countries, there are chances to improve social skills of every child with disability in Kazakhstan depending on their level of disability.
The aim of my thesis is to find out the role of music therapy with autistic children in Kazakhstan and its impact on social skills. Comparing the international practice, it is necessary to find out how music is used with autistic children in Kazakhstan and if it impacts on social skills of children with ASD.
Gourgey, C. (1998). Music therapy in the treatment of social isolation in visually impaired children. RE: view, 29(4), 157.
Lafortune, L., Jacob, S., & Hébert, D. (2000). Pour guider la métacognition (Vol. 1). PUQ.
Merrell, A., (2004). The benefit of incorporating music in the classroom. Available from: http://audreymerrell.net/INTASC/INTASC
Mills, J., (1993) Music in primary school(2nd ed). Cambride, Cambridge university press
Nordoff, P., & Robbins, C. (2006). Music therapy in special education. Barcelona Publi