Publication Date: September 23, 2022
Series: Early Childhood Education Series
With close to 1 million children on the autism spectrum enrolled in U.S. schools, educators need effective interventions that promote young learners’ abilities and build cohesiveness in complex classroom groups. Drawing upon video recordings from 16 months in a public preschool classroom, this book depicts the emerging relationships and abilities that develop through musical play with children on the autism spectrum. Barnes explores connections among students, teachers, and a music therapist; broader questions about the needs of young children; and the benefits of incorporating music therapy in early childhood education and school-based autism services. In vivid narratives, readers follow individual preschoolers through their challenges and their steps toward shared attention, interpersonal interaction, and communication during music. This important book raises key issues about autism supports and therapies, and offers encouraging alternatives to prevailing educational and therapeutic methods.
Geoff Barnes is an assistant professor of psychology and applied therapies at Lesley University, and the music therapist at the Campus School at Boston College.
“Geoff Barnes has provided us with a meticulously researched and reported account of the music therapy process across two years of development. The detailed description of actual music therapy sessions brings the reader into the room in a way that is enormously engaging as a narrative, while also allowing a type of naturalistic generalization that facilitates the application of what is learned to one’s own clinical practice.”
—Kenneth S. Aigen, associate professor, New York University; president, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Foundation; author, The Study of Music Therapy: Current Issues and Concepts
“Geoff Barnes demonstrates how music can be an incredibly valuable medium for supporting communication, emotional regulation, and connections with adults and peers. Educators, therapists, and parents will find this book to be an invaluable resource in supporting the development of preschool and young school-age children on the autism spectrum.”
—Barry M. Prizant, visiting scholar, Brown University; author, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism
"This book is truly a work of art: two years of intensive clinical work with a consistent group of children on the autism spectrum; careful, meticulous observation and sensitive analysis; and insight that only comes with time, maturity, and perseverance. Dr. Barnes creates a bridge into the world of autism with support and insight for parents, teachers, and clinicians. This book is a skillful merging of deep thinking, careful analysis, and the literature, offered with a sense of humility.”
—Deforia Lane, retired director of art and music therapy, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center; author, Music as Medicine