Evaluation of musical skills in children with a diagnosis of an auditory processing disorder

Deborah Olakunbi, Doris-Eva Bamiou, Lauren Stewart, Linda M Luxon

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


UNLABELLED: Impaired musical skills are reported in parental questionnaires to be present in children with an auditory processing disorder (APD).

OBJECTIVES: To formally assess musical skills in children with a diagnosis of APD.

METHODS: We used a validated musical test battery with extensive normative pediatric data, the Gordon's Musical Aptitude Profile and the tests of metre and melody in particular, in order to assess the musical skills of 8 children with a previously given diagnosis of APD (APD group) and 8 normal controls (control group) aged 7-15 years old. The two groups were well matched for age, sex, handedness, socio-economic factors and musical training.

RESULTS: The APD group had significantly lower metre percentile scores than normal children (mean difference 28.9, p=0.003). Melody scores tended to be lower in the APD group than in the controls, but this did not reach significance, possibly due to low power of the study.

CONCLUSION: This is the first study that systematically assesses musical skills in children with a formal diagnosis of APD in the absence of other developmental disorders. The APD group did significantly worse than the control group in judging metre. Musical skills assessment in children with APD may help constrain our understanding of this heterogeneous condition and possibly inform the management plan for these children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Pages (from-to)633-6
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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