Is there potential for learning in amusia? A study of the effect of singing intervention in congenital amusia

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  • Susan Anderson, Denmark
  • Evangelos Himonides, Denmark
  • Karen Wise, Denmark
  • Graham Welch, Denmark
  • Lauren Stewart

Congenital amusia is a neurodevelopmental disorder of musical perception and production. Much research has focused on characterizing the deficits within this special population; however, it is also important from both a psychological and educational perspective to determine which aspects of the disorder may be subject to change because this will also constrain theorizing about the nature of the disorder, as well as facilitating possible future remediation programs. In this small-scale study, a professional singing teacher used a broad-brush intervention approach with five individuals diagnosed with congenital amusia. The compensatory elements were designed to enhance vocal efficiency and health, singing technique, musical understanding, pitch perception, and production. Improvements were observed in most individuals in perception, indexed via the Montreal Battery for the Evaluation of Amusia scale subtest and in the vocal performance of familiar songs. The workshop setting gave a unique opportunity for observation and discussion to inform further investigations of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1252
Pages (from-to)345-53
Number of pages9
ISSN0077-8923
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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