Where words and music meet: supporting those with communication difficulties - Collaborative work by Mariko Udo and Miyuki Takano -

HOME > Projects > About Our Project

About Our Project

Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C): 26370484
Research Theme: How the musicality of utterances made in the setting of music-related activities stimulates communication among people with intellectual disabilities.

[Research Aims]
Investigating how people with intellectual disabilities are able to increase their ability to communicate through musical activities can lead the way to discovering how they can further contribute to society. By making inroads into the lives of the intellectually disabled through these interactive musical activities, we can benefit from the increased contributions of the disabled by gaining a wider perspective as a society.

The focus of this empirical study is to study specific practices that can stimulate communication with intellectually disabled people. The musicality of words and body movements (gestures) will be observed and analyzed from the interdisciplinary fields of linguistics, developmental science and education practice, for connections between the musical activities and an acceleration of communication abilities among intellectually disabled people.

It is our intention to provide specific suggestions and practices derived from the study to support not only the community of people with intellectual disabilities, but also as a means for reaching out to those who surround them.

Observations are taking place in the classrooms and during leisure activities of children with intellectual disabilities. Rich, interactive body language describing the relationships between these children and their teachers are being observed. These observations are being analyzed and the evidence is giving us clues towards connecting materials and methods to create an environment that provides support in enhancing communication abilities for people who are intellectually disabled. Our findings, thus far, are suggesting that an interactive musical environment has the potential to improve the quality of life of intellectually disabled people by providing the means for growth in their ability to communicate. We hope that you will be able to contribute to our efforts in creating a community that supports communicating with intellectually disabled people.

[Currently in Progress}
  • observation and analysis of music activities and music therapy sessions
  • preparing the report for previous Grant-in-Aid project “Brush Your Teeth Song” and supporting materials and follow-up survey
  • project report for support materials
  • planning the implementation of workshops for activities that connect words and music

[Fiscal Year 2014 Research Results]
  • Japan Society of Developmental Psychology 26th Annual Meeting Roundtable Presentation
  • “Fusion of Words and Music: seeds and sprouts of dialogue discovered in musical activities of intellectually disabled people
    related links
    Abstracts of papers (PDF)