• Ida Sofie Krogh Mølgaard
4. term, Music Therapy, Master (Master Programme)
This master thesis is based on a qualitative case study that investigates the occurrence of social communication, based on two video clips with a child with autism.
The study has its roots in my 9th semester internship at a school for children with special needs including far-reaching general learning difficulties. During this internship, I conducted individual music therapy sessions with a non-verbal 13-year-old boy with autism, as well as social and communication difficulties. After 24 music therapy sessions with the client, I was given the clear impression that he had improved his social and communicative skills. I experienced an interaction with the client that I had not experienced three months before.

The study is based on the interpretivist research area and uses a bottom up design. The thesis lies within the transcendental phenomenological method, as well as a hermeneutic approach. Furthermore, elements from the objectivist research area are used in the form of a single-case design (an AB design), and so quantitative measurements and results will appear in the thesis.

The method of the analysis is video microanalysis and the use of the annotation programme ELAN 5.8. Video micro-analysis as a method to identify and recognize small signs of communication and social interaction in the music therapy work with clients with severe communication difficulties.

The main result of the analysis is that a development does take place in the client's social communication skills. This development is seen in the comparative analysis of the two video clips. The comparative analysis finds that the client develops his skills in eye contact, turn taking and initiation of engagement. Furthermore, it finds that the client develops his skills of self-regulation of arousal level. From the first to the second clip, the client demonstrates several and long-lasting calm moments while at the same time demonstrating fewer moments with signs of turbulent physical behavior.

Finally, the study finds that the client, together with the music therapist, develops his ability to exchange non-verbal sounds, both through verbal sounds and instrumental sounds. After 20 music therapy sessions, the client is able to use a few single-piece words.

With the underlying theoretical basis, the results of the analysis and the discussion may indicate that social communication can be developed and improved through music therapy sessions with children with autism spectrum disorder.
Publication date2020
Number of pages80
ID: 332215565