Music Psychology Research in Angeles City: A Pilot Project that should be established

The aim of the researchers was to determine if there are alternative methods in treating children with autism. Children diagnosed with autism are currently under special schools with a different type of curriculum. Many methods have been used by psychologists and psychiatrists to treat children diagnosed with autism. Children with mental or physical disabilities have been isolated in the common educational environment. The focus of this study was to try to help and enhance methods that may, in return, aide in the rehabilitation and treatment of children with mental and physical disabilities, specifically children with autism.

The study utilized case studies and testimonies, and even articles about Music Therapy with autistic children. Music therapy in the Philippines is still relatively growing in number. One of the pioneers of Music Therapy in the Philippines is one of the co-authors of this research study Ms. Celeste S. Sanchez, the first didactic Licensed Music Therapist in the Philippines. Prof. Pelayo is now undergoing workshops under the Divine Mercy Mobile Center of Music and Arts Therapy for Special Children, Adults and Seniors.

Music Therapy is a dynamic combination of many disciplines. It revolves around two main areas: Music and Therapy. Music is the universal phenomenon people of all cultures listen to, performs, creates and enjoys. Music is an experience common to everyone.

Celeste S. Sanchez: It all began in the early years of my music teaching career when I was giving piano lessons to three children from a prominent family in Manila. Everytime I was there. I noticed this little boy who was always trying to get a pick at what his sisters and I were doing. He was very curious, and all throughout the lessons, I would catch him there, looking at us. Whatever his parents or his sisters would notice him, though, he would be shooed away, and I wondered why they didn’t allow the little boy to participate in what we are doing. It was very clear that he wanted to get involved, play the piano and sing. He was a mentally-challenged boy. It was then that I realized that music therapy can do a lot of good for these special children. That through Music, they may be able to overcome their disabilities and express themselves more.


A. Participants 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).

B. Sampling 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.

C. Analysis The case studies will be analyzed qualitatively to determine common effects or developments with the use of Music Therapy. It will only describe and not evaluate or assess the case studies. Thematic coding will also be used in order to draw out the results and conclusions.

“Instinctively, I knew Joseph was in trouble when he first showed up at the Center with his parents. He had that distant look, or one of detachment. He avoided eye contact at every possibly turn. And while I was talking to his father, he was quietly sealed on the chair nearby looking at everything, even the empty ceiling. Yet i knew he was listening intently to our conversation.


“I approached Joseph 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 Marchin 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.”


“From paying musical instruments, I then asked him to render me a song. I was much surprised when he sang a beatiful 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.”

“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.”


“After a few more numbers, I knew he could follow rhythm and the flow of the melody. Shifting from one musical piece to the other no longer bothered him.”
“Music was the major factor in soothing his nerves in all our sessions. And also was the instrument in giving him the opportunity to be able to interact with other people- old and young alike.”

Based on the results of the case studies these are the following recommendations:
1. Establish a Music Therapy Training Center and Certifying Board for aspiring Music Therapist that
would issue licensure to graduates of the school in Angeles City.
2. Music Therapy for autistic children should be applied with other contemporary
Psychological and Psychiatrical methods of treatment in Angeles City.
3. More research should be conducted on Music Therapy and autistic children by establishing a Music Research Center in Angeles City.

Sanchez, Celeste (20014) “What Music Therapy did to George”
Pelayo, Jose Maria III (2010) “The effects of the Mozart Phenomenon on the Social Learning Behavior”

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