Citation: Yu, Y., Shadd, W. M., Kleifges, K. A., Myers, L. A., & Pearl, P. L. (2013). Musical Instrument Modifications for Individuals With Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. Music and Medicine, 5(3), 145-149.
Affiliation: Department of Neurology, Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
Abstract: Music therapy is a systematic intervention that can benefit individuals with neurobehavioral disorders. The use of musical
instruments is a central component of many clinical music therapy practices, and recent technological modifications to instruments
have enhanced their accessibility and versatility as a therapeutic medium. A novel case example of a modified piano and
examples from literature are presented to illustrate the potential applications of technological advances in musical instruments.
These advances include the integration of computers, communication technology, and Internet connectivity in the creation of a
more powerful and flexible platform for therapy. Sound amplification and surround sound systems, voice recognition software,
eye-tracking and gesture-tracking command technology, magnifying lens technology, and Braille keyboards can aid individuals with
sensory (eg, hearing or vision) or motor deficits. Such modifications have the potential to transform music therapy and education
for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities including autism.
Keywords: music therapy, musical instrument modifications, autism, neurodevelopmental disabilities