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Publication Detail
Using singing to nurture children’s hearing? A pilot study
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Welch GF, Saunders J, Edwards S, Palmer Z, Himonides E, Knight J, Mahon M, Griffin S, Vickers DA
  • Publication date:
    01/01/2015
  • Pagination:
    S63, S70
  • Journal:
    Cochlear Implants International
  • Volume:
    16
  • Issue:
    S3
  • Status:
    Published
  • Print ISSN:
    1467-0100
Abstract
© W. S. Maney & Son Ltd 2015. This article reports a pilot study of the potential benefits of a sustained programme of singing activities on the musical behaviours and hearing acuity of young children with hearing impairment (HI). Twenty-nine children (n=12 HI and n=17 NH) aged between 5 and 7 years from an inner-city primary school in London participated, following appropriate ethical approval. The predominantly classroom-based programme was designed by colleagues from the UCL Institute of Education and UCL Ear Institute in collaboration with a multi-arts charity Creative Futures and delivered by an experienced early years music specialist weekly across two school terms. There was a particular emphasis on building a repertoire of simple songs with actions and allied vocal exploration. Musical learning was also supported by activities that drew on visual imagery for sound and that included simple notation and physical gesture. An overall impact assessment of the pilot programme embraced pre- and post-intervention measures of pitch discrimination, speech perception in noise and singing competency. Subsequent statistical data analyses suggest that the programme had a positive impact on participant children’s singing range, particularly (but not only) for HI children with hearing aids, and also in their singing skills. HI children’s pitch perception also improved measurably over time. Findings imply that all children, including those with HI, can benefit from regular and sustained access to age-appropriate musical activities.
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