NYU Steinhardt News

Steinhardt’s Nordoff-Robbins Center Collaborating on Grant to Measure Progress in Music Therapy

The Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy, in a collaboration led by Drexel University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies, is participating in a research project supported by a grant from the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association to continue the development of a research instrument to measure client gains in music therapy. The AJ Drexel Autism Institute is also collaborating.

The principle investigator on this grant is Ming Yuan Low, MA, MT-BC, a Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapist from Drexel University’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies who previously completed the Nordoff-Robbins training and served as a research assistant and music therapist at Steinhardt’s Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy. The purpose of the award is to contribute to the evidence base of music therapy services.

This collaborative research project aims to establish inter-rater reliability of a quantitative rating system designed to assess clients’ progress in engagement with the music making process in music therapy. This instrument will enable researchers and clinicians to measure clients’ progress in therapy and connect those gains with improved cognitive and social functioning outside the therapeutic process.

The instrument will be used for measuring gains in therapy for both children on the autism spectrum and for the larger population of people participating in music therapy.

This new collaboration brings together music-centered music therapists with behavioral analysis specialists. The AJ Drexel Autism Institute has expressed interest to use established behavior assessment tools to establish inter-scale reliability, and measure treatment benefits for people living with autism through rigorous quantitative research studies.