Single Case Example of the Application of the Novel Use of Therapeutic Percussion Lessons



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Music therapists often address the social and physical domains in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). To address social and physical goals in children with ASD, music therapists use musical stimuli as a mechanism to enhance socialization skills and physical traits like gross motor coordination and peer interaction. In addition, the timing and melodic nature of music can facilitate movement patterns and be used within group sessions to structure peer interaction and apply learned concepts outside of therapy. This study describes the implementation of therapeutic percussion lessons to address gross motor coordination and social goals in an adolescent with ASD. A secondary focus was assisting the client in developing a path to social engagement through music, a common way adolescents engage. I analyzed sessions for the effect percussion lessons had on gross motor coordination, social skill improvements, and an efficient way of implementing percussion lesson protocols. The study results found that therapeutic drum set lessons did improve gross motor coordination for this client, increased the prominence of specific self-advocating behaviors, and found an efficient way to deliver the session protocol.



Autism spectrum disorder, Adolescent, Drum set, Music therapy, Scaffolding, Gross motor coordination, Social domain