My name is Denise Coovert and this is my research project entitled “The current state and perception of music therapy in special education by public school administrators in Iowa.”
This presentation will look at past and current research regarding music therapy in special education, why I choose this topic, how this research project was constructed, the results following the survey and further discussion for future research.
First, we will look at some background information and current research in this area.
So, first some background. What is music therapy? According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.” This means, I as a music therapist, have graduated from an approved institution completing each requirement, pass a exam giving the credential: MT-BC (music therapist, board certified) and then use these skills to maintain or improve goals in the domains of physical, communication, cognition, social and emotion with people using the element of music. I am focusing on today clients who are currently part of public school special education.
All special education services in the United States follow the protocols set forth by The IDEA or “Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act. This law governs who, what, when, where and why of students requiring special education. One section under the IDEA is known as “related services.” Related services are any additional accommodations that may be required to assist the student in their education. Related services may included, but are not limited to: transportation assistance, additional counseling, adjunct therapies, nursing, a classroom aid, etc. In my research, I found sound numbers measuring how many students receive special education, but it was difficult to impossible to find how many students received related services as part of their special education. In 2001, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services reported that 8.9% of students were receiving special education services. This is also an increase from the last time they reported in 1992. But, it was difficult to determine the relationship between students receiving special education services and related services. No specific data was found to show what related services these students were receiving as part of their special education services.
Now we must examine the current practice of music therapy in special education. Elkins did a study that showed 350 music therapists stated they were working with school age children in 2010. This is compared to 244 back in 1999. This study did not investigate into what capacity the music therapists worked with the students. It could be in their schools, homes or as part of therapy program. The study also showed each music therapist work with on average, 75 students per week. My research focuses on music therapy as part of their special education services. There are two avenues of delivering music therapy as part of a special education program. The first is the direct service model. The music therapist is part of the school team and delivers music therapy directly and regularly to the student. In the consultative model, the music therapists gives advice, oversees and consults with those who work directly with the student. This may be appropriate in a less extreme case or a student who only has limited needs. My study did not distinguish between these two models. Finally I examined a recent survey, which I modeled my survey after, given by a music therapist in Illinois. Ropp polled 76 special education administrators in the state of Illinois about their perceptions of music therapy in special education. Ropp concluded that the administrators’ perception of music therapy influenced their respect for its effectiveness and therefore could play a significant factor on whether they would distribute funding to music therapy if given the opportunity.
So based on this information I began my research: The purpose of this study was to examine the current state of music therapy in public schools in the Iowa. This state was chosen because it is the author’s current state of residence. This study looked to explore the following questions: What is the current practice of music therapy in public schools in the state of Iowa? What is the perception of music therapy by school administrators related to special education students? What factors and additional information would encourage school administrators to considering providing music therapy in their districts?
This section will examine the specifics of my study including the potential participants, the survey construction and distribution and analysis that was used.
Possible participants were gathered from the 2011-2012 Iowa Public School District Directory found on the Iowa Department of Education website (Iowa Department of Education). Out of 375 on the list, Every 3rd person on the list, until 100 were identified were sent a survey. Two weeks later, I determined more responses were needed, so another 50 (again selected by randomly choosing every third person) surveys were sent. A total of 17 responses were gathered. The first four questions gathered demographic data regarding the participants and their districts . Questions five through seven focused on current music therapy services in their district. Question eight asked participants to state what other information they would need to consider music therapy services in their district. The final question was a series or statements and asked participants to use a five point likert scale (i.e. 1= strongly disagree, 2= disagree, 3= neither agree nor disagree, 4= agree, 5=strongly agree) to examine perception of music therapy.
The surveys were distributed online through the administrator’s emails. Once they received the survey, they were given two weeks to complete it and reminded with 3 days remaining if that had not completed the survey. All survey data was collected anonymously. Analyzing the basic demographic data included examining the mean number of students receiving special education services and that percentage compared to the overall district population. Variance and standard deviation was determined for the likert items asking participants to state their agreement level to the several statements regarding music therapy.
So, here are the results from my survey. I’m going to go over each question very briefly and then in the discussion, point out a few key findings.
Question one asked:What is your job title? Superintendent88.20% stated they were superintendent of their districtQuestion two asked:2. Are you directly or indirectly involved in supervising special education services for your district?yes88.20%Question 3 :3. How many students attend school in your district- all students kindergarten through twelfth grade?Almost 2/3 of participants stated there are 1500 or fewer students in their district.4. How many students in your district currently receive special education services?Over 80% of the districts reported 300 or fewer students in their district receive special education services. Remember, questions 5-7 looked at music therapy in school districts.Are you aware of music therapy as a related service for students in special education?These responses were almost evenly split each way.6. How many music therapists does your district currently employ or contract with?Only one district currently employs 1 part time music therapist and one district employs one full time music therapist.Have you or your district been contacted by a music therapist about providing music therapy services in the past five years?The majority of participants stated they had not been or were not aware of a music therapist contacting them within the past five years.
This graph shows the responses to question 8: The largest percentage (71.4%) sought additional access to conclusive music therapy research.
These are first four statements. Each participants was asked to select their level of agreement with each statement. The largest variance was found in the first statement. Participants’ responses ranged from strongly disagree to agree. This shows a wide range of understanding of the basics of music therapy. Statements 2-4 showed a smaller range and variance.
The largest range from this state of statements came from “Music therapy can benefit students with social or behavioral needs.” The average ‘agreement level’ (on a scale of 1-5) was 3.6
One statement of note is found on the last four statements: “Music therapy focuses on musical goals.” The average agreement level was 3.13 indicating a middle agreement level.
Now that we have looked at each question’s response, I would like to point out how and why the data reveals certain information and finally my recommendations for future research in this data.
This question gives us the first glimpse of the school administrator’s knowledge of music therapy. My production was that the majority would either not have heard of music therapy or would require more information. The responses showed, however an almost 3 way split between responses. A further study could go into greater detail asking those participants who said they were well informed of music therapy questions like “where did you learn about music therapy?” “describe what you know about music therapy. Etc.”
When we looked at this graph previously, I stated that over 70% of participants wanted additional knowledge of music therapy research to help inform their decisions about music therapy for their districts. Of course, with tight budgets, reimbursement sources of music therapy services also ranked high priority. One surprise I found from this information was the lack of interest in learning more about the music therapy credential. Many music therapists put extra emphasis on their education and training as one reason potential clients should hire them as opposed to another option. Perhaps this information shows what potential clients or school administrators most value for their students.
I want to point out participant’s responses to the statement: “Music therapy focuses on music goals.” One of the main pillars of music therapy is that a music therapist uses the elements of music to target NONmusical goals. In an early question, 2/3 of participants stated they had at least heard of music therapy if not understood the basics of it. 14/16 answers on this statement said the neither disagreed nor agreed all the way up to strongly agreed with this statement. This is alarming to me because I would want all participants to state “strongly disagree” to show their understanding of music therapy. This statement shows music therapists need to make a strongly point of explaining music therapy to school administrators.
So, I would finally like share my suggestions for future research and where I see my study going. First, my study could be made into a larger scale study. The most ideal form of this would be to revamb the survey and send it to a large, reprehensive sample through the state or country. This way, the data collected would be much more reliable and useable in real life. Along with this, future research could include in depth interviews or more open ended survey questions. While my study asked for the participant’s opinions it could not ask follow up questions or for them to explain their reasoning. Also, I would like to talk to school districts who currently work with music therapists to discuss how and why they have incorporated music therapy into their special education programs. This would give great insight for other districts and music therapists who would like to choose this same option. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want to tell other music therapists about my study. I think music therapists would find this information interesting and perhaps useful in the areas where they work. Thank you so much for your time. The final slide include the resources I used for this study. Thank you.
The basics of music therapy The basics of special education Status of music therapy and special education
Music therapy is: “the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program” (American Music Therapy Association, 2011). Music therapists work with a variety of populations and age ranges. For the purpose of this study, children in public school special education were the focus. Music therapists can also work with: newborns, adults with developmental disabilities, hospice patients, patientsrecovering from a stoke or traumaticbrain injury, people with cerebral palsy, down syndrome, post traumatic stress disorder, people in prison, etc.
The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 is an amended law directed at “ensuring equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities” (A.c.1). Related Services: additional amenities that may be required to assist the student in their education. Transportation Counseling Therapies: speech, occupational, (music) Nursing 1:1 classroom aid In 2001, 8.9 % of students ages six through twenty-one were receiving special education services (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 2003). No specific data was found to show what related services these students were receiving as part of their special education services.
In 2010, over 350 music therapists were working with school age children- only 244 music therapists 1999 (Elkins, 2010). Music therapy delivery in special education (Wilson 2002): Direct service model Consultative service model Ropp (2006) study of 76 special education administrators. Administrator’s perception of music therapy influenced their respect for its effectiveness May influence whether they would fund music therapy as part of their program.
Purpose of study: examine the current state of music therapy in public schools in Iowa and school administrator’s perception of music therapy. Research questions: What is the current practice of music therapy in public schools in Iowa? What is the perception of music therapy by school administrators? What factors and additional information would encourage providing music therapy?
2011-2012 Iowa Short, online survey Public School District was constructed. Directory found on the Q 1-4: demographic Iowa Department of data Education website Q 5-7: music therapy (Iowa Department of in their district Education). Q 8: more info on 100 surveys sent music therapy initially, another 50 sent two weeks later Q 9: 13 statements on perceptions of music 17 total responses therapy
Distributed via given Basic percentages email address Variance Given 2 weeks to Standard deviation complete, with a reminder. All data collected anonymously
1. What is your job title? 550-599 Superintendent 600-649 Principal 650-699 Assistant Principal 700+ Vice Principal 5. Are you aware of music therapy as a related service for Other (sped ed director, student services director) students in special education?2. Are you directly or indirectly involved in supervising Yes, I am well informed of music therapy.special education services for your district? Yes, I have heard of music therapy but require Yes more information no No3. How many students attend school in your district- all 6. How many music therapists does your district currentlystudents kindergarten through twelfth grade? employ or contract with? 0-499 None 500-999 None, but previously 1000-1499 1- part time 1500-1999 more than one part time 2000-2499 1- full time 2500-2999 more than one full time 3000-3499 7. Have you or your district been contacted by a music 3500-3999 therapist about providing music therapy services in the past five years? 4000+ Yes4. How many students in your district currently receive Nospecial education services? 0-99 Not that I am aware of 100-199 200-299 300-399 400-499 500-549
Number of Range of Standard participants Mean Variance Scores Deviation I understand the basics of music Strongly Disagree 4 2.8 3 1.74 1.32 therapy. Disagree 2 Neither disagree nor 2 agree Agree 7 Strongly Agree 0 SD 0 Music therapy is D 8beneficial to students N 8 3.5 1 .26 .516 with special needs. A 0 SA 0 SD 0 Music therapy is an D 3essential component N 11 2.87 2 .26 .516of a special education A 1 program. SA 0 SD 0 Music therapy can D 0benefit students with N 7 3.5 1 .269 .519 physical or motor A 7 disabilities. SA 0
SD 0 Music therapy can D 6benefit students with N 8 3.67 2 .380 .617 emotional needs. A 1 SA 0 SD 0 Music therapy can D 7benefit students with N 7 3.6 3 .401 .633social or behavioral A 1 needs. SA 1 SD 0 Music therapy can D 0benefit students with N 7 3.5 1 .269 .519cognitive or learning A 7 needs. SA 0 SD 0 Music therapy can D 7benefit students with N 7 3.6 2 .4 .632 communication A 1 needs. SA 0 SD 0 Music therapy most D 2benefits students who N 8 3.2 2 .439 .663 have natural music A 5 ability. SA 0
SD 0Music therapy must be D 1 facilitated by a credential music N 9 3.5 3 .8 .894 therapist. A 3 SA 3 SD 0 D 2Music therapy focuses on musical goals. N 11 3.13 3 .516 .719 A 2 SA 1 SD 0 D 0Music therapy focuseson non musical goals. N 12 3.27 2 .352 .593 A 2 SA 1 SD 0 Music therapy is an D 1 expensive service to N 11 3.19 2 .296 .543 offer. A 4 SA 0
Are you aware of music therapy as a related service for students in special education? No 35% Yes, I am well informed of music therapy. 35% Yes, I haveheard of music therapy but require more information. 30%
Large scale study Interviews/Open ended survey questions Interviews school districts who employ or contract with music therapists Educate music therapists of findings
American Music Therapy Association (2011). What is music therapy?. American Music Therapy Association. Retrieved February 15, 2012, from http://www.musictherapy.org/about/musictherapy/ Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. (4th ed.). Lincoln, Nebraska: Pearson. Elkins, A. K. (Ed.). (2010). A descriptive statistical profile of the 2010 AMTA membership. In 2010 AMTA Member Sourcebook. (pp. 205-226). Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association. Herring, W. L., McGrath, D. J., & Buckley, J. A. (2007). Issue Brief: Demographic and school characteristics of students receiving special education in the elementary grades (NCES 2007-005). Washington D. C. Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, STAT. 2647, 108th Cong., 1st Sess. (2004). Iowa Department of Education (2011). Iowa School District Directories. Iowa Department of Education. Retrieved March 1, 2012, from http://http://www.educateiowa.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=692&Itemid=1506 Nelson, C. L. (2010). Meeting the needs of urban students: Creative arts therapy in Jersey City public schools. Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 27(2), 62-68. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (2003).Twenty-fifth annual report to congress on the implementation of the individuals with disabilities education act. U.S Department of Education. Washington, DC Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2003/index.html Ropp, C. R., et al. (2006). Special education administrators perceptions of music therapy in special education programs. Music Therapy Perspectives, 24(2), 87-93. Smith, D. S., & Hairston, M. J. (1999). Music therapy in schools settings: Current practice. Journal of Music Therapy, 36(4), 274-292. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2011-015), Table 5. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/tables/dt10_005.asp Wilson, B. L. (2002). Models of Music Therapy Interventions in School Settings. Silver Spring, MD: American Music Therapy Association.