Melbourne Conservatorium of Music - Research Publications

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    Online music learning: informal, formal and STEAM contexts
    Johnson, C ; Hawley, SH (Begell House, 2017)
    The increased development and learning benefits of online learning technologies have prompted music educators to rethink the possibilities of learning music online (Crawford, 2013). Found throughout the Internet on sites such as Online Academy of Irish Music Online, BanjoHangout.com and MusicTheory.net, online music learning has firmly established a base of informal learning. The informal online music learning context has been built through specific affinity groupings ‑ online communities and websites that promote learning music through identity, community or curriculum skill sets. The innovation of formal online music learning (i.e. post‑secondary credited courses) utilizes the academic learner′s affinity for music. According to preliminary data as identified in this paper, formal online music learning is currently increasing at an exponential rate of inclusion. While formal online music learning is not a fix‑all for niche faculty programs like music, it can present opportunities for offering students flexibility in time and location, community of collaboration, and assistive learning modalities for broader ranges of students (Crawford, 2013; Johnson, 2016). Dove‑tailing on the innovations available in online music learning, we conclude by highlighting the field of audio engineering ‑ a discipline that requires both music and mathematical skills. As a connector to STEAM education, online learning becomes an important learning support for audio engineering students taking physics as they can better experience audio, visual and practical aspects of music and physical mathematics.
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    Phenomenology, Technology and Arts Education: Exploring the Pedagogical Possibilities of Two Multimedia Arts Inquiry Projects
    Schyff, DVD (Inference, 2016)
    The relevance of phenomenology for arts education is explored through two multimedia arts inquiry projects. I begin by offering a brief outline of what arts inquiry and phenomenology entail. Following this, I consider a phenomenological study relevant to creative multimedia studies, and develop the relationship between phenomenology, critical pedagogy, and creative praxis in the arts. Drawing on these ideas, I then discuss the processes involved in creating the multimedia projects and consider possibilities for similar projects in educational contexts. Most importantly, I attempt to show how such projects might open arts educators and students to more reflective, imaginative and participatory ways of being-in-the-world, while simultaneously developing deeper historical, cultural, technical, and aesthetic understandings of the art forms they are engaged with.
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    Older adults' music listening preferences to support physical activity following cardiac rehabilitation
    Clark, IN ; Baker, FA ; Taylor, NF ( 2016-01-01)
    Background: Music listening during exercise is thought to increase physiological arousal and enhance subjective experience, and may support physical activity participation among older adults with cardiac disease. However, little is known about how music preferences, or perceptions of music during exercise, inform clinical practice with this population. Objective: Identify predominant musical characteristics of preferred music selected by older adults, and explore participants' music listening experiences during walking-based exercise following cardiac rehabilitation. Methods: Twenty-seven participants aged 60 years and older (21 men, 6 women; mean age = 67.3 years) selected music to support walking over a 6-month intervention period, and participated in post-intervention interviews. In this two-phase study, we first identified predominant characteristics of participant-selected music using the Structural Model of Music Analysis. Second, we used inductive thematic analysis to explore participant experiences. Results: Predominant characteristics of participant-selected music included duple meter, consistent rhythm, major key, rounded melodic shape, legato articulation, predictable harmonies, variable volume, and episodes of tension with delayed resolution. There was no predominant tempo, with music selections ranging from slow through to medium and fast. Four themes emerged from thematic analysis of participant interviews: psycho-emotional responses, physical responses, influence on exercise behavior, and negative experiences. Conclusions: Findings are consistent with theory and research explaining influences from music listening on physiological arousal and subjective experience during exercise. Additionally, for older adults with cardiac disease, a holistic approach to music selection considering general well-being and adjustment issues, rather than just exercise performance, may improve long-term lifestyle changes and compliance with physical activity guidelines.
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    Older Adults' Music Listening Preferences to Support Physical Activity Following Cardiac Rehabilitation
    Clark, IN ; Baker, FA ; Taylor, NF (OXFORD UNIV PRESS INC, 2016)
    BACKGROUND: Music listening during exercise is thought to increase physiological arousal and enhance subjective experience, and may support physical activity participation among older adults with cardiac disease. However, little is known about how music preferences, or perceptions of music during exercise, inform clinical practice with this population. OBJECTIVE: Identify predominant musical characteristics of preferred music selected by older adults, and explore participants' music listening experiences during walking-based exercise following cardiac rehabilitation. METHODS: Twenty-seven participants aged 60 years and older (21 men, 6 women; mean age = 67.3 years) selected music to support walking over a 6-month intervention period, and participated in post-intervention interviews. In this two-phase study, we first identified predominant characteristics of participant-selected music using the Structural Model of Music Analysis. Second, we used inductive thematic analysis to explore participant experiences. RESULTS: Predominant characteristics of participant-selected music included duple meter, consistent rhythm, major key, rounded melodic shape, legato articulation, predictable harmonies, variable volume, and episodes of tension with delayed resolution. There was no predominant tempo, with music selections ranging from slow through to medium and fast. Four themes emerged from thematic analysis of participant interviews: psycho-emotional responses, physical responses, influence on exercise behavior, and negative experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Findings are consistent with theory and research explaining influences from music listening on physiological arousal and subjective experience during exercise. Additionally, for older adults with cardiac disease, a holistic approach to music selection considering general well-being and adjustment issues, rather than just exercise performance, may improve long-term lifestyle changes and compliance with physical activity guidelines.
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    Participant-selected music and physical activity in older adults following cardiac rehabilitation: a randomized controlled trial
    Clark, IN ; Baker, FA ; Peiris, CL ; Shoebridge, G ; Taylor, NF (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2017-03)
    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate effects of participant-selected music on older adults' achievement of activity levels recommended in the physical activity guidelines following cardiac rehabilitation. DESIGN: A parallel group randomized controlled trial with measurements at Weeks 0, 6 and 26. SETTING: A multisite outpatient rehabilitation programme of a publicly funded metropolitan health service. SUBJECTS: Adults aged 60 years and older who had completed a cardiac rehabilitation programme. INTERVENTIONS: Experimental participants selected music to support walking with guidance from a music therapist. Control participants received usual care only. MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcome was the proportion of participants achieving activity levels recommended in physical activity guidelines. Secondary outcomes compared amounts of physical activity, exercise capacity, cardiac risk factors, and exercise self-efficacy. RESULTS: A total of 56 participants, mean age 68.2 years (SD = 6.5), were randomized to the experimental ( n = 28) and control groups ( n = 28). There were no differences between groups in proportions of participants achieving activity recommended in physical activity guidelines at Week 6 or 26. Secondary outcomes demonstrated between-group differences in male waist circumference at both measurements (Week 6 difference -2.0 cm, 95% CI -4.0 to 0; Week 26 difference -2.8 cm, 95% CI -5.4 to -0.1), and observed effect sizes favoured the experimental group for amounts of physical activity (d = 0.30), exercise capacity (d = 0.48), and blood pressure (d = -0.32). CONCLUSIONS: Participant-selected music did not increase the proportion of participants achieving recommended amounts of physical activity, but may have contributed to exercise-related benefits.
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    Exploring the Self through Songwriting: An Analysis of Songs Composed by People with Acquired Neurodisability in an Inpatient Rehabilitation Program
    Baker, FA ; Tamplin, J ; MacDonald, RAR ; Ponsford, J ; Roddy, C ; Lee, C ; Rickard, N (Oxford University Press, 2017-03-01)
    Background: Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people’s pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective: This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted songwriting program. The aim of this study was to understand which of the subdomains of the self-concept were the most frequently expressed in songs. Methods: An independent, deductive content analysis of 36 songs composed by 12 adults with spinal cord injury or brain injury (11 males, mean age 41 years +/– 13) were undertaken by authors 1 and 2. Results: Deductive analysis indicated that when writing about the past self, people created songs that reflected a strong focus on family and descriptions of their personality. In contrast, there is a clear preoccupation with the physical self, on the personal self, and a tendency for spiritual and moral reflections to emerge during the active phase of rehabilitation (song about the present self). Statistical analyses confirmed a significant self-concept subdomain by song interaction, F(10, 110) = 5.98, p < .001, ηp2 = .35), which was primarily due to an increased focus on physical self-concept and a reduced focus on family self-concept in the present song, more than in either past or future songs. Conclusions: The analysis process confirmed that songwriting is a vehicle that allows for exploration of self-concept in individuals with neurological impairments. Songwriting may serve as a therapeutic tool to target the most prevalent areas of self-concept challenges for clients undergoing inpatient neurological rehabilitation programs.
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    A theoretical framework and therapeutic songwriting protocol to promote integration of self-concept in people with acquired neurological injuries
    Tamplin, J ; Baker, FA ; Macdonald, RAR ; Roddy, C ; Rickard, NS (The Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre, 2016)
    A positive self-concept after neurological injury is associated with enhanced quality of life and good mental health. Therefore, effective reconstruction of identity is heralded as an important goal of rehabilitation. We have developed and tested a songwriting protocol for people with acquired brain injury and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) that focuses on six domains of self-concept (physical, personal, social, family, academic/work, and moral). Over 12 music therapy sessions, people create three songs that reflect their perception of their past, present, and future selves. The therapeutic process of creating these songs aims to integrate residual components of the past self with that of the present injured self. This article outlines the theoretical foundations for the use of songwriting as a medium for change and describes the protocol in detail. We then present a case study of a man with SCI to illustrate the application of the protocol and the ensuing changes in self-concept.
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    Exploring the feasibility of a music-assisted relaxation intervention to assist with the initiation of non-invasive ventilation in people with Motor Neuron Disease
    Tamplin, J ; Baker, FA ; Davies, R ; Bajo, E ; Bolger, K ; Sheers, N ; Berlowitz, D (International Association for Music & Medicine, 2017)
    Background: Transitioning to non-invasive ventilation (NIV) can cause anxiety in people with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), which may reduce adherence rates. Music therapy has demonstrated positive effects with mechanical (invasive) ventilation. Method: This feasibility study examined the effects of music-assisted relaxation (MAR) on NIV adherence, anxiety, and quality of life for people with MND. Data were collected at baseline, 7-days post, and 3-months post NIV implementation. Results: Of 18 consenting participants, 15 chose the MAR condition. Results suggested that supporting NIV transition within the first 7 days may be advantageous for long-term adherence. No effects were found for anxiety or quality of life. Limitations included small sample size, lack of an adequate control, and possible ceiling effects on the instruments used. Qualitative data indicated most participants considered the relaxing and distracting effects of MAR were useful. Conclusions: In this small sample, we found some demand for and acceptability of a music-based intervention in this setting. Participants reported differing experiences of using MAR, and there were technical and logistical issues regarding timely and accessible provision of a MAR intervention within the treatment trajectory of NIV implementation. Conflicting quantitative and qualitative data support the need for mixed method research in this area.
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    Music interventions for acquired brain injury
    CLARK, I ; Magee, W ; Tamplin, J ; Bradt, J ; Magee, W ; Clark, I ; Tamplin, J ; Bradt, J (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2017)
    Background: Acquired brain injury (ABI) can result in impairments in motor function, language, cognition, and sensory processing, and in emotional disturbances, which can severely reduce a survivor's quality of life. Music interventions have been used in rehabilitation to stimulate brain functions involved in movement, cognition, speech, emotions, and sensory perceptions. An update of the systematic review published in 2010 was needed to gauge the efficacy of music interventions in rehabilitation for people with ABI. Objectives: To assess the effects of music interventions for functional outcomes in people with ABI. We expanded the criteria of our existing review to: 1) examine the efficacy of music interventions in addressing recovery in people with ABI including gait, upper extremity function, communication, mood and emotions, cognitive functioning, social skills, pain, behavioural outcomes, activities of daily living, and adverse events; 2) compare the efficacy of music interventions and standard care with a) standard care alone, b) standard care and placebo treatments, or c) standard care and other therapies; 3) compare the efficacy of different types of music interventions (music therapy delivered by trained music therapists versus music interventions delivered by other professionals). Selection criteria: We included all randomised controlled trials and controlled clinical trials that compared music interventions and standard care with standard care alone or combined with other therapies. We examined studies that included people older than 16 years of age who had ABI of a non‐degenerative nature and were participating in treatment programmes offered in hospital, outpatient, or community settings. We included studies in any language, published and unpublished. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias of the included studies. We contacted trial researchers to obtain missing data or for additional information when necessary. Where possible, we presented results for continuous outcomes in meta‐analyses using mean differences (MDs) and standardised mean differences (SMDs). We used post‐test scores. In cases of significant baseline difference, we used change scores. We conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess the impact of the randomisation method. Main results: We identified 22 new studies for this update. The evidence for this update is based on 29 trials involving 775 participants. A music intervention known as rhythmic auditory stimulation may be beneficial for improving the following gait parameters after stroke. We found a reported increase in gait velocity of 11.34 metres per minute (95% confidence interval (CI) 8.40 to 14.28; 9 trials; 268 participants; P < 0.00001; moderate‐quality evidence). Stride length of the affected side may also benefit, with a reported average of 0.12 metres more (95% CI 0.04 to 0.20; 5 trials; 129 participants; P = 0.003; moderate‐quality evidence). We found a reported average improvement for general gait of 7.67 units on the Dynamic Gait Index (95% CI 5.67 to 9.67; 2 trials; 48 participants; P < 0.00001). There may also be an improvement in gait cadence, with a reported average increase of 10.77 steps per minute (95% CI 4.36 to 17.18; 7 trials; 223 participants; P = 0.001; low‐quality evidence). Music interventions may be beneficial for communication outcomes in people with aphasia following stroke. Overall, communication improved by 0.75 standard deviations in the intervention group, a moderate effect (95% CI 0.11 to 1.39; 3 trials; 67 participants; P = 0.02; very low‐quality evidence). Naming was reported as improving by 9.79 units on the Aachen Aphasia Test (95% CI 1.37 to 18.21; 2 trials; 35 participants; P = 0.02). Music interventions may have a beneficial effect on speech repetition, reported as an average increase of 8.90 score on the Aachen Aphasia Test (95% CI 3.25 to 14.55; 2 trials; 35 participants; P = 0.002). There may be an improvement in quality of life following stroke using rhythmic auditory stimulation, reported at 0.89 standard deviations improvement on the Stroke Specific Quality of Life Scale, which is considered to be a large effect (95% CI 0.32 to 1.46; 2 trials; 53 participants; P = 0.002; low‐quality evidence). We found no strong evidence for effects on memory and attention. Data were insufficient to examine the effect of music interventions on other outcomes. The majority of studies included in this review update presented a high risk of bias, therefore the quality of the evidence is low. Authors' conclusions: Music interventions may be beneficial for gait, the timing of upper extremity function, communication outcomes, and quality of life after stroke. These results are encouraging, but more high‐quality randomised controlled trials are needed on all outcomes before recommendations can be made for clinical practice.
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    Therapeutic singing protocols for addressing acquired and degenerative speech disorders in adults
    Tamplin, J ; BAKER, F (Oxford University Press, 2017)
    The ability to communicate and make oneself understood is integral to a person’s quality of life. It affects social interaction, educational and vocational opportunities, and ultimately independence and sense of self. Unfortunately, speech production is often impaired as a result of neurological damage (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke) or disorders (e.g., Parkinson’s disease). There are many similarities and shared neural mechanisms between speech and singing. For example, both singing and speech utilize rhythm, pitch variation, tempo, dynamics, articulation, and respiratory support. Music therapists manipulate these elements of music when addressing therapeutic goals for people with neurogenic speech disorders. Many clinical protocols to address speech disorders in adults have now been published to guide clinical practice in music therapy. This paper summarizes existing music therapy and singing-based protocols used to address commonly occurring acquired or degenerative speech disorders, namely dysarthria, dysphonia, dysprosody, and apraxia of speech. We examine individual and group therapy protocols used in medical and community settings for people with neurogenic speech disorders caused by traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, and Parkinson’s disease. We highlight the strengths and limitations of these protocols and make recommendations for clinical practice.