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Also, keep in mind that CI users have greater difficulty hearing and understanding speech or musical sounds against background noise. Therefore, make an effort to facilitate music in a non-reverberant and relatively ‘clean’ acoustic environment. Choosing and facilitating songs In general, the music therapist, teacher, or parent can draw from the same rich repertoire of children’s songs used in most any preschool. However, because of possible speech and language delays, some songs with more sophisticated grammar, vocabulary, or concepts may require more pedagogical support such as breaking down the song, using visual aids, or demonstrating concepts with actions. A slower rate of singing and repetition can help children to understand and learn the lyrics.


Many beloved songs in early childhood repertoire (e.g., “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “The Wheels on the Bus,” “Five Little Ducks”) present numerous opportunities to listen to and produce speech sounds and demonstrate concepts such as spatial (up and down, in and out) and temporal (1st, 2nd, last, etc.) relationships. A conversation with a child’s teacher or speech-language therapist can help with the selection of songs that reinforce important and developmentally appropriate concepts and speech sounds. Encouraging participation in music Therapists and teachers should select developmentally appropriate musical experiences and facilitate them to engage children of various capabilities. Concepts introduced in the classroom can be further consolidated if parents are provided with songs or activities to use as part of play in the home environment. As noted previously, the children most likely to enjoy music in daily life are those encouraged by their parents.


In conclusion, even though CIs do not convey musical sounds as does typical hearing, thoughtful accommodations that take into account the technical features of the CI as well as the auditory development of the children can support satisfactory participation in early childhood music. Perhaps the most important advice is

imagine 7(1), 2016

to keep things playful. Early childhood music that focuses on playful exploration of musical sounds can bring youngsters who use CIs into the wonderful world of music. References Campbell, P. S., & Scott-Kassner, C. (1995). Music in childhood. NY: Schirmer Books. Driscoll, V., Gfeller, K., Tan, X., See, R., Cheng, H., & Kanemitsu, M. (2015). Family involvement in music impacts participation of children with cochlear implants in music education and music activities. Cochlear Implants International, 16(3), 137-146. Gfeller, K., Driscoll, V., Kennworthy, M., & Van Voorst, T. (2011). Music therapy for preschool cochlear implant recipients. Music Therapy Perspectives, 29(1), 39-49. Hsiao, F-L., & Gfeller, K. E. (2012). Music perception of cochlear implant recipients with implications for music instruction: A review of literature. UPDATE, 30(2), 5-10. Looi, V., Gfeller, K., & Driscoll, V. (2012). Music appreciation and training for cochlear implant recipients: A review. Seminars in Hearing, 33(4), 307-334. Note: This study was supported by grant 2 P50 DC00242, RO1 DC012082-10, and 2 RO1 DC003698-06 from the NIDCD, NIH; grant RR00059 from the General Clinical Research Centers Program, NCRR, NIH; and the Iowa Lions Foundation. About the Author Kate Gfeller, Ph.D., is Russell and Florence Day Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and holds appointments in the School of Music, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Iowa Cochlear Implant Clinical Research Center in Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa. Her research on music perception, enjoyment, and rehabilitation has been supported by the National Institutes of Health since 1990. Contact:


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imagine 2016  

In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....

imagine 2016  

In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....