These are common and salient themes that were derived from a multiple case study conducted to autistic children undergoing music therapy. The research study identified the following results with the use of thematic coding and content analysis. I would like to acknowledge Ms. Celeste Sanchez – the first didactic music therapist in the Philippines – for being my teacher and mentor in music therapy and for her contribution to this multiple case study.
There were eight (8) participants, seven (7) Male and one (1) Female and were all diagnosed with autism. The average age was 12.75 years old. The youngest is four (4) and oldest is eighteen (18). Purposive Sampling was used in this research study. All of them were case studies and are under the Divine Mercy Mobile Center of Music and Arts Therapy for special Children, Adults and Seniors.
RHYTHM AS AN ESSENTIAL TOOL IN MUSIC THERAPY
“I approached —— and showed my approval by smiling back at him. And after ten minutes of piano playing, I asked him to take the drum set. I sat on the piano stool and started a tune (Oh When the Saints Go Marching In!) Two more numbers followed this. He picked up his rhythm and began thumping away at the drums. His timing was correct. I shifted to waltz and he suddenly paused. But I knew he was just trying to get the ¾ timing. Music was in his veins.”
“—— saw the drum set. He left the ukelele in a hurry, and started pounding noisily on the drums. At this time I was at the piano attending to my other pupils. I asked his father to let his son join the other students for our group activities.”
“I made sure ——- progress was recorded. By that time, he was able to concentrate more on his activities; he could make eye contact with other people learn parts of the face, rhythm and coordination (feet and hands); enunciation and pronunciation of some simple words and vowels and consonants; was able to tone down his tantrums; and, physically, his daily exercises strengthened his once frail body.”
“On his second month, I introduced him to the various musical instruments available at the Center. I started with the tambourine. It was his first encounter with such thing. Ace’s attention span was still shorter. So, after a few clang-cling-clangs on the tambourine, he would go around the Center in his indefatigable way.”
“Immediately, upon seeing the drum set nearby, he began pounding the sticks. I played a tune on the piano and listened to —– natural flair for rhythm.”
DEVELOPMENTS IN COMMUNICATION AND SOCIALIZATION
“From paying musical instruments, I then asked him to render me a song. I was much surprised when he sang a beautiful Tagalog classic (Ang Tangi Kong Pagibig) Of course, there were a few lines missing, some stammering and stuttering, but he kept up the tune until it was over.”
“Autist like —— need constant exposure to the company of other people. And I made certain he joined our activities (Atleast most of them) and he also liked to pray, especially to the Divine Mercy of Jesus.”
“I also taught him more words on how to follow simple directions: such as opening the door this way or that, saying good morning, goodbye, go up or down, in or out, and so on.”
“The program I designed for him enabled him to be more attentive to his surroundings and peers.”
CURIOSITY LEADING TO COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT
“After the interview with his parents, I asked his father to escort his son over to the piano across my table. He instantly hit one of the keys with one of his fingers. He then ran his entire right hand over the stretch of the ebony and ivory colored keyboard.”
“——- took fancy of the ukelele hanging in a nearby wall at the Center. He went to it and tried to reach it but could not. So, I gave it to him and started strumming. This was the start of our first session together.”
“It was at this point that he began to grow curious. At least, this was a stage towards some degree of normalcy.”
Note: Names were not shown.
REFERENCE: “Music Therapy with Autistic Children: A Multiple Case Study” Pelayo III, JMG. Sanchez, Celeste S.
MUSIC THERAPY WITH AUTISTIC CHILDREN: A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY
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