Most recent post:  Farazi et al. (2018)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Date of posting:  October 20, 2020


Akbarpour, S., & Roohani, A. (2015.) The comparative impact of song and nonsong vocabulary instruction. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World, 10 (1), 1-12. NOTE: although the copy of the article I received clearly listed the issue number to be #2; I found the article on the Journal’s webpage to be issue #1. I am using issue #1 in this citation. Went you go to the webpage, select “September 2015 full version” and click on the following pdf: finalversion1011   JOURNAL ADDRESS:   School-aged Iranian English language learners improved vocabulary comprehension over 12 weeks of intervention. Neither Song nor Nonsong instructional methods resulted in better outcomes, although both methods improved post intervention. This suggests that Song is a reasonable but not a superior intervention procedure.

Ballard, K. J., Wambaugh, J.L., Duffy, J. R., Layfield, C., Maas, E., Mauszycki, S., S., & McNeil, M. R. (2015). Treatment for acquired apraxia of speech: A systematic review of intervention research between 2004 and 2012. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 316-337. This Systematic Review (SR) included a broad range of research designs investigating the effectiveness of intervention for acquired apraxia of speech (AOS.) Most of the sources involved nonprosodic outcomes and/or treatment procedures with only 8 sources focusing on prosodic outcomes and/or prosodic treatment procedures. Accordingly, only those 8 sources are summarized and analyzed in this review. Of the 8 sources one involved music. The overall prosodic findings indicated that treating prosody directly and using prosody to treat articulatory and/or naming outcomes can result in improvements.

Baumann, N. A., & Palasik, S. (2017). The effects of music therapy on stuttering. Honors Research Projects- The University of Akron.   This case study explored the effectiveness of music in stuttering therapy. There were several outcomes. Generally in monologues, there was limited improvement in the overall measures of stuttering and variable change in the type of disfluences. For reading aloud, there was limited improvement in the rate of disfluencies and variable changes in the type of disfluency. Measures of Mindfulness also were variable with one measure not showing improvement, two measures yielding overall limited improvement, one measure showing moderate improvement, and one measure showing moderate improvement in one of 5 categories.


 Bearthard, B., & Krout, R. E. (2008). A music therapy clinical case study of a girl with childhood apraxia of speech. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 35, 107-126.    This case study describes music therapy designed for a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Descriptions of the therapy and its results suggest improvement in some aspects of communication, literacy, and music.

Bertirotti, A. (2004.) Theoretical aims on music for prosody in speech therapy setting. Retrieved from This expository paper presents a case for why music should be incorporated into speech-language therapy. The author discusses links between music and language including evolutionary and functional perspectives, neurological representations, and the therapeutic uses of music outside of speech-language therapy. One of the major arguments for the use of music in speech-language therapy is tied to prosody, especially rhythm and pitch. The author provides some treatment recommendations.


Bonakdarpour, B., Eftekjarzadeh, A., & Asgayeru, H. (2003). Melodic intonation therapy in Persian aphasic patients. Aphasiology, 17 (1), 75-95. Good evidence supporting the use of MIT with Persian speakers with aphasia. The investigators also provided generalization and intervention hints.


Brown, J. (1974). The psycho-physical responses to music therapy of some very young retarded children. British Journal of Music Therapy, 3, 57-64. This program description with associated case studies is an example of early work (1974) supporting the view that music can play a role in intervention with children with developmental delays. The author described changes (but not documentary evidence of progress) in the following aspects of communication: imitation, early communication/interaction skills, and pre-speech vocalizations.

Chenausky, K. V., & Schlaug, G.(2018). From intuition to intervention: Developing an intonation-based treatment for autism.Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1-13.  doi: 10.1111/nyas. 13609 (Early Online Version before inclusion in an issue.)Auditory-motor mapping training  (AMMT) was found to have potential for success in improving speech sound production in three studies:  Proof of Concept, Replication, and Comparison.

Cohen, N. S. (1988). The use of superimposed rhythm to decrease the rate of speech in a brain-damaged adolescent. Journal of Music Therapy, 25 (2), 85-93.  This single subject experimental design provides fair evidence to support the use of rhythmic tasks (with and without melody) to decrease speaking rate. The results suggest that the rhythmic only tasks are more effective than the combined rhythmic plus melody (i.e., music). Unfortunately, changes in medications co-occurred with treatment alternations thus obscuring results.


Cohen, N. S. (1995). The effect of vocal instruction and Visi-Pitch™ feedback on the speech of persons with neurogenic communication disorders: Two case studies. Music Therapy Perspectives, 12, 70-74.  The investigator provided evidence from case studies supporting the effectiveness of a treatment approach combining vocal instruction and visual feedback for improving rate (pause time) and loudness in patients diagnosed with aphasia and dysarthria.

Conklyn, E., Novak, E., Boissy, A., Bethoux, F., & Chemali, K. (2012). The effects of Modified Melodic Intonation Therapy on nonfluent aphasia:  A pilot study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 55, 1463-1471.  This investigation provides preliminary support for the effectiveness of Modified Melodic Intonation Therapy (MMIT) over a short course (i.e., 2 sessions) of intervention. The results indicated that MMIT but not the Control group (no treatment) evidenced significant improvements comparing test performance before and after Session 1 for Adjusted Total Score and a Responsive Task. For the comparison of the pretest for Visit 1 to Visit 2, both MMIT and the Control Group improved significantly on the Adjusted Total Score. However, only MMIT improved significantly for the Responsiveness Task and only the Control Group improved for the Repetition Task.


Creel, W., & Boomsliter, P. C, (1975). Rhythm patterns in language: Connecting the links of human thought. Northeast Regional Learning Center, Empire State College, State University of New York: Albany, NY. This review is unique because the book is out of print and I have not been able to locate copies of it in Worldcat or in the Library of Congress. Nevertheless, it has potential and some of the sources may be useful for ideas about teaching speech rhythm.


Crutchfield, R. (2014). Music therapy efficacy on increasing word length in Spanish dominant children with a phonological process disorder. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 4 (5), 21-30. Spanish language dominant Mexican American children improved as the result of the traditional phonological process (PP) therapy as well as music-based phonological process (MT) therapy. There was some evidence suggesting that the children who receive MT therapy progressed more rapidly than the PP therapy.

da Fontoura, D. R., de Carvalho Rodrigues, J., Brandão, L., Monção, A. M., & Fumagalli de Salles, J. (2014.) Efficacy of the Adapted Melodic Intonation Therapy: A case study of a Broca’s Aphasia patient. Distúrbios da Comunicação São Paulo, 26, 641-655.   This single case study investigated the effect of an adapted form of Melodic Intonation Therapy (AMIT) on a patient (P) with Broca’s Aphasia who was a speaker of Brazilian Portuguese. The investigators monitored 73 outcomes before, after, and (in some cases) during intervention. Outcomes that improved were concerned with rate of speech, speech fluency, word finding, speech accuracy, literacy, memory, and imitation. The outcomes that did not improve tended to be concerned with skills not targeted by AMIT such as comprehension of words, directions, or Inferences.


Eier, A. R. (2013). Tune in™ to Reading, an interactive singing program, and children who are deaf or hard of hearing using cochlear implants: Could this program be effective in improving reading fluency. Independent Studies and Capstones. Paper 662. Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO.)  MANUSCRIPT:    This article explored the feasibility of using Tune in™ to Reading (TITR, a music based interactive software program) to treat children with cochlear implants (CI). The author indicated that TITR may be useful in improving the reading fluency of children with CI.

Fairbanks, G. (1960, Ch. 12, Intensity Level) Voice and articulation drillbook.  New York: Harper & Row.  (pp. 137-141). This chapter of Fairbanks (1960) is concerned with the production of Intensity or Loudness. Fairbanks notes that loudness level and loudness variability (loudness range) comprise intensity. This post, however, is only concerned with intensity level. The warm-up activities include singing.

Farazi, M., Amrevani, M., Ilkhani, Z., Amirzargar, N. (2018). Speech rehabilitation in Wilson’s disease: A case study. Case Reports in Clinical Practice, 3 (2), 44-49. ARTICLE:  This case study of an Iranian patient (P) describes the speech characteristics of Wilson’s disease (WD). The investigators also describe a two-year course of treatment that resulted in communication improvement particularly in intelligibility. REVIEW:   


Farnell, T. L. (2015). The inclusion of music therapy in speech-language interventions. Undergraduate honor thesis. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AK. Retrieved from This investigation is not concerned with the effectiveness of prosody interventions. Rather, it is a clinically related survey about the inclusion of music therapy in the practice of speech-language pathology. The results indicate that SLPs use music to treat a variety of outcomes with both children and adults, although music is more likely to be used with children. Music is most likely to be employed for the following purposes calming, focus, vocalization, language, and vocabulary.

Flaugnacco, E., Lopez, L., Terribili, C., Montico, M, Zoia, S., Schön, D. (2015). Music training Increases phonological awareness and reading skills in developmental dyslexia: A randomized control trial. PLoS ONE, 10 (9), e0138715. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0138715   Italian children who had been diagnosed with dyslexia participated in this randomized control trial investigation the effectiveness of 7 months of Music Training on literacy skills. The results revealed significant improvement in text reading, pseudo-word reading, word reading accuracy, phonemic blending, temporal anisochrony, temporal rise time, rhythm reproduction, tapping reproduction, overall cognitive performance, auditory attention, backward digit recall, and self-esteem.

Fromius, J. R. (2018). A survey of perceptions and professional boundaries between music therapy and speech-language pathology. Master’s Thesis. 3422. Western Michigan University.  This investigation explored the views about professional interactions between music therapists (MTs) and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) using survey methodology. It is not a therapy investigation; rather it provides useful information about the application of music to speech-language pathologists, the targeting of speech-language goals in music therapy, and professional interactions between speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and music therapists (MTs). The results suggest that while SLPs are generally open to co-treatment with other disciplines, they have only limited experience co-treating and being consulted by other professions.

Geist, K., McCarthy, J., Rodgers-Smith, A., & Porter, J. (2008). Integrating music therapy services and speech-language therapy services for children with severe communication impairments: A co-treatment model. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 35  ARTICLE:  The authors explained the rationale for co-treatment of communication disorders by music therapists (MT) and speech-language pathologists (SLP) and described the strategy using a single case. The dependent measure was classroom engagement.  REVIEW:


Gilsenan, E. (2011). What are the effects of music therapy on the communication of children diagnosed with autism. University of Western Ontario.   ARTICLE:   This critical review critiques and summarizes nine research articles concerned with the use of music therapy to improve the communication skills of children with autism. It is difficult to generalize the findings because of the diversity of procedures, dosages, and participants. Nevertheless, as the result of music therapy children of varying ages and varying degrees of severity of autism improved on some communication variables including turn taking, joint attention, vocalization, verbal expression, producing phrases, performance on testing instruments, singing songs, initiation, imitation, interacting, pointing, academic achievement, and attention. The author of the critical review provided several recommendations including (1) consider using music therapy to facilitate verbal communication in nonverbal children, (2) low functioning children may benefit from a combination of speech therapy and music therapy, (3) child directed procedures appear to be facilitative, (4) children with echolalia may benefit from music therapy to facilitate communication development. In addition, clinicians should consider pairing tactile (e.g., bells or drums) and visual (i.e., pictures/object representing targeted words) when using music to teach vocabulary.

Goldfarb, R. (2015). Modifying Melodic Intonation Therapy. Journal of Communication Disorders, Deafness & Hearing Aids, 3 (2). ARTICLE:  This article is expert opinion; there was no attempt to provide original data. The author thoughtfully described problems he noted in a previously published case study involving the administration of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) by a spouse and provided potential solutions for the problems.

Groß, W., Linder, U., & Ostermann, T. (2010).   Effects of music therapy in the treatment of children with delayed speech development—Results of a pilot study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 10, 39. Retrieved 11.10 from  This investigation provides limited support for the use of Music Therapy in conjunction with speech-language therapy to improve selected communication and cognitive outcomes.

Habib, M., Lardy, C., Desiles, T., Commeiras, C., Chobert, J., & Besson, M. (2016.) Music and dyslexia: A new musical training method to improve reading and related disorders. Frontiers in Psychology, 7:26, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00026    French children diagnosed with reading impairments responded positively to music based interventions in two experiments. Overall, the results indicated that intensive (Experiment 1) and Traditional (Experiment 2) dosages of Cognitive-Musical Training (CMT) yielded improvements in measures associated with categorical perception, literacy, perception of duration and pitch, auditory attention. The improvements tended to be maintained 6 weeks after the termination of the intervention.


Hallam, S. (2018). Can a rhythmic intervention support reading development in poor readers?  Psychology of Music, 1-14. DOI:  10.1177/0305735618771491   Rhythm for Reading (RFR), a music-based intervention, resulted in improved reading accuracy and comprehension (but not reading rate) in poor readers in London schools who were 11-12 years of age.

Harding, C., & Ballard, K.D. (1982). The effectiveness of music as a stimulus and as a contingent reward in prompting the spontaneous speech of three physically handicapped preschoolers. Journal of Music Therapy, 19, 86-101.  These 3 single subject experimental design investigations provide moderate support for the use of music as a stimulus and as a contingent reward for improving responses to questions, spontaneous verbalizations during story telling, and the number of utterances during a story retelling task.

Helfrich-Miller, K. R. (1984). Melodic Intonation Therapy with developmentally apraxic children. Seminars in Speech and Language, 5, 119-126.  To support this program description of an adaptation of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) to Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) the investigator included 3 brief summaries of previously presented cases. The cases indicate that MIT results in change in articulation measures and one measure of duration and, to a lesser degree, listener perception.

Helfrich-Miller, K. R. (1994). A clinical perspective: Melodic intonation therapy for developmental apraxia. Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4, 175-182.  The investigator provided a clear description of modified melodic intonation therapy (MIT) procedures for the treatment of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). The illustrative case studies provide initial (limited) support for the use of MIT in conjunction with other speech therapies.

Hidalgo, C., Pesnot-Lerousseau, J., Marquis, P., Roman, S., & Schön, D. (2019). Rhythmic training improves temporal anticipation and adaptation abilities in children with hearing loss during verbal interaction. Journal of Speech, Hearing, and Language Research, 62, 3234-3247.  This investigation consists of two experiments:  the exploration of (1) the ability of children with normal hearing (NH) to adapt to temporal changes during a speech interaction task and  (2) the ability of children with hearing loss (HL) to benefit from a brief (30 minute) exposure to rhythmic training. Only the second experiment was reviewed (analyzed and summarized). The findings indicate that a single rhythmic treatment session improves the ability of adapt to and anticipate verbal  turn taking in children with HL.


Holck, U. (2004). Turn-taking in music therapy with children with communication disorders. British Journal of Music Therapy, 2, 45-53.  In this case study, the investigator provides a thoughtful guide for using music to facilitate turn taking with a Danish speaking child who did not show interest in interactions and did not signal communicative intent.

Hoskins, C. (1988). Use of music to increase verbal response and improve expressive language abilities of preschool language delayed children. Journal of Music Therapy, 25 (2), 73-84.  The results of this small group investigation suggest that a music-based intervention to improve expressive language in preschool children was successful in improving receptive vocabulary scores.


Jalled, F., Skik, H., & Mrabet, A. (2000). Arabic melodic and rhythmic therapy: A method of severe aphasia therapy. Neurosciences, 5 (2), 91- 93.  In a Narrative Review, the authors describe a Tunisian Arabic adaptation (AMRT) of Melodic and Rhythmic Therapy (MRT) which is a French adaptation of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT). The authors provided the linguistic basis of the modifications, procedures for the AMRT, and a summary of some research supporting AMRT.


Kerem, D. (2009). The effect of music therapy on spontaneous communicative interactions of young children with cochlear implants (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Aalborg University, Denmark.  DISSERTATION:דוקטורט-של-דקלה-כרם.pdf    Young Hebrew speaking children with cochlear implants (CI) produced significantly more early communicative behaviors (turn taking, imitation, initiation, synchronization) in music therapy as opposed to play sessions.  REVIEW:

Keith, R. L., & Aronson, A. E. (1975). Singing as therapy for apraxia of speech and aphasia: Report of a case. Brain and Language, 2, 483-488. This case study is reviewed to focus attention on the history of music in speech-language pathology. The authors provided some references to the historical use of singing with people with aphasia. They also described a case in which a woman with aphasia and apraxia profited from the addition of singing into her therapy programming when traditional therapy had failed. Evidence of progress took the form of performance on the Profile of Communicative Ability (PICA) and summaries of clinical notes.


 Khetrapal, N. (2009). Why does music therapy help in autism? Empirical Musicology Review, 4 (1), 11-18.   Article:  This expository article logically supports the use of music therapy using a narrative review of the literature. The author presents research indicating that while people with ASD may experience difficulty interpreting emotional prosody, their (musical) tonal pitch tends to be intact and suggests that MT interventions may use this intact skill to improve emotional prosody comprehension. No specific procedures were recommended but the author encouraged additional research.  REVIEW:

Kilcoyne, S.C., Carrington, H., Walker-Smith, K., Morris, H., & Condon, A. (2014). Perspectives on Speech Science and Oral Facial Disorders, 24, 59-66. doi:10.1044/ssod24.2.59 ARTICLE: Downloaded From:  This brief description of preliminary data supports the use of a parent-based intervention that integrates speech and music therapy to improve the speech sound production of Australian children with cleft palate and velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI). The results in this paper report positive parental perceptions about implementation and the resources’ quality.  REVIEW:

Kim, M., & Tomaino, C. M. (2008.) Protocol evaluation for effective therapy for persons with nonfluent aphasia. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 15, 555- 569. Investigators reviewed music therapy (MT) sessions describing the effectiveness of 7 MT techniques for improving articulation, fluency, prosody, and breath support for patients (Ps) with nonfluent aphasia.

Kouri, T. A., & Winn, J. (2006). Lexical learning in sung and spoken story script contexts. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 22, 293-313.  This brief (2 session) investigation provides moderate support for the use of sung scripts for increasing the number of spontaneous verbalizations by preschool children with developmental delay and/or language delay.


Krauss, T., & Galloway, H. (1982). Melodic Intonation Therapy with language delayed apraxic children. Journal of Music Therapy, 19, 102-113.  These 2 case studies provide limited support for using Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) as a warm-up prior to traditional therapy session for children who have been diagnosed with delayed expressive language and childhood apraxia of speech. The nature of the design limits the grade; however, the investigation is clearly presented and the investigators provided helpful insights about MIT with children. One intriguing factor is that the changes in communication skills (with the exceptions of intelligibility issue) of children parallel changes for adults.


Lim, H. A. (2010). Effect of developmental speech and language training through music” on speech production in children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Music Therapy, 47 (1) 2-26.   Although this was a group study there were several design issues which limit claims of effectiveness including a very brief treatment dosage and unequal amount of time devoted to each of the interventions investigated. Nevertheless, there were large treatment effects for both interventions.

Magee, W. L., Brumfitt, S. M., Freeman, M., & Davidson, J. W. (2006). The role of music therapy in an interdisciplinary approach to address functional communication in complex neuro-communication disorders: A case report. Disability and Rehabilitation, 28, 1221-1229.  This case study indicates that music therapy used with an English P with a complex neurological background can improve several aspects of his prosody (pitch level, pitch range/variability, duration) and self-perception of well-being) but not melodic contour (intonation).

Mahoney. K. (2015). A narrative review of the intervention techniques for childhood apraxia of speech. Undergraduate Review, 11, 81-90. From the institutional repository of Bridgewater State University (Bridgewater, MA.) Retrieved from h7p://    Although the investigator reviewed 13 sources, only 5 involved prosody in the treatment protocols. These 5 were the focus of this Secondary Review Critique. The results of the Systematic Review (SR) revealed that 1 of the 2 music based interventions resulted in significant improvement.

Marshall, N., & Holtzapple, P. C. (1978). Melodic Intonation Therapy: Variations on a theme. In R. Brookshire (Ed.), Clinical aphasiology collected proceedings 1972-1976 (pp. 285-308.) Minneapolis: BRK Publications. These illustrative case studies described modifications (M-Modification) of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) that may be used when patients (Ps) do not response to traditional MIT. The P who received traditional MIT did not evidence improvement on Porch Index of Communicative Abilities (PICA) scores from pre to post intervention; however, he did produce noticeable improvement on PICA modality scores and on cell scores as well as improvement on PICA scores 3 and 6 months post intervention. The other 3 Ps, who were administered M-Modification, displayed varying degrees of success.


Martikainen, A-L, & Korpilahti, P. (2011). Intervention for childhood apraxia of speech: A single-case study. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 27 (1), 9- 20. The results of this single case study revealed that a combined intervention in which Melodic Intonation Therapy followed by a course of the Touch-Cue Method resulted in improved speech accuracy in a Finnish-speaking 4-year-old child diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS.)

Matsuda, S., & Yamamoto, J. (2013). Intervention for increasing comprehension of affective prosody in children with autism spectrum disorders. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7, 938-946.  Four single-subject experimental design studies explored the effectiveness of a cross-modal matching to sample intervention designed to improve the comprehension of affective prosody of Japanese children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The children improved their rate of correct responses to an adult’s direction to indicate which picture represented a targeted emotion produced using a single word.

Medina, S. L. (1990). The effects of music on second language acquisition. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (San Francisco, CA, March 1990) ERIC Educational Resources Information Center data base. ERIC Document # ED 352-834 retrieved from  on March 8, 2015.  Second-graders who were speakers of Spanish and learning English as a second language were treated with one of four story-based interventions that compared music versus speech as a presentation strategy and illustrations versus no illustrations as extralinguistic support. The target of the intervention was increased receptive vocabulary. Inferential statistics revealed that there were no significant differences between music versus speech and the illustration versus no illustration contexts. This was interpreted as supporting the use of music as an intervention because it yielded results similar to speech only presentations. Analysis of descriptive statistics suggested that while low proficiency students improved performance at follow-up, high proficiency students’ performance decreased.

Michel, D. E., & May, N. H. (1974). The development of music therapy: Procedures with speech and language disorders. Journal of Music Therapy, 11, 74-80. This Narrative (or Traditional) review of the literature contains reviews of several investigations involving children with a variety of clinical conditions. Overall, the results of these investigations suggest that the inclusion of music/singing in intervention directed toward the development of language, production of speech sounds, intonation, rhythm, attention, discrimination, and/or coordination can be associated with improvement.


Miller, S. B., & Toca, J. M. (1979). Adapted Melodic Intonation Therapy: A case study of an experimental language program for an autistic child. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 40, 201-203.  This case study provides limited support for the use of an adapted form of Melodic Intonation Therapy (including signing) in establishing meaningful speech in a preschooler with autism.

Murray, E., McCabe, P., & Ballard, K. J. (2014). A systematic review of treatment outcomes for children with childhood apraxia of speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23, 486-504. This SR is concerned with a variety of treatment outcomes. Only those outcomes or treatments concerned with prosody will be analyzed and summarized in this review. The SR reviewers recommended two prosody-related interventions.

Norton, A., Zipse, L., Marchina, S., & Schlaug, G. (2009). Melodic Intonation Therapy: Shared insights on how it is done and why it might help. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169, 431-436.  ARTICLE: doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2009.04859.x   The authors describe, but present no supporting evidence for, an alternative version to Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) for patients (Ps) with nonfluent aphasia. SLPs may find the augmentations (Inner Rehearsal and Auditory Motor Feedback Training) to be helpful additions to standard MIT.  REVIEW:


Ouellette, J. (2015.) The effect of a Rhythmic Speech Cuing protocol on speech intelligibility in Parkinson’s disease. Unpublished Theses presented to the University of Miami, Miami (FL.) Open Access Thesis. Paper 585. NOTE: This procedure does not involve music but it does involve rhythm. ABSTRACT OF REVIEW: The results of a single case suggest that Rhythmic Speech Cuing (RSC) can be useful in improving intelligibility in patients with severe dysarthria as the result of Parkinson’s disease.

Rogers, A., & Fleming, P. L. (1981). Rhythm and melody in speech therapy for the neurologically impaired. Music Therapy: The Journal of the American Association for Music Therapy, 1(1), 33-38.  This case illustration provides limited support for the use of an intervention using music (rhythm, melody/pitch) to improve speech in an adult with apraxia and aphasia following a cerebral vascular accident (CVA.)

Rinta, T., & Welch, G. F. (2008). Should singing activities be included in speech and voice therapy for prepubertal children. Journal of Voice, 22, 100- 112. The authors summarized evidence from previous research that supports the use of singing in speech and voice therapy with children. This was not a comprehensive review as the authors only reviewed sources supporting their arguments. However, the authors did make a logical argument that was supported by the evidence.


Saperston, B. (1973). The use of music In establishing communication with an autistic mentally retarded child. Journal of Music Therapy, 10, 184-188.This descriptive case study, with limited data, describes a music therapy approach to initiating communication interactions. The intervention involves the clinician following the child’s lead and making music contingent on the child’s behaviors. The child established a link between the his actions and the music played by the music therapist and eventually established eye contact and beginning forms of interpersonal communication.


Schuster, D. H., & Mouzon, D. (1982). Music and vocabulary learning Journal of the Society for Accelerative Learning and Teaching, 7 (1), 82-108. This investigation was not concerned with intervention. Rather, it explored the relationship between music and vocabulary learning in college students. The investigators were extending research seeking to confirm the contention that baroque music facilitated learning of vocabulary and they did confirm the contention.


Seybold, C. D. (1971). The value and use of music activities in the treatment of speech delayed children. Journal of Music Therapy, 8, 102-110. The investigator provides a clear description of music activities designed to facilitate spontaneous communication in preschoolers diagnosed as speech delayed. However there are some problems with this investigation comparing Music Therapy and Speech Therapy with speech delayed preschoolers.

Slavin, D., & Fabus, R. (2018). A case study using a multimodal approach to melodic intonation therapy. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27, 1352-1362. This is a case study of a patient diagnosed with aphasia and apraxia 10 years prior to the investigation. The results reveal that a modified version of Melodic Intonation Therapy was successful in improving an outcome associated with comprehension as well as several measures of expressive language.

Solberg, S. S. (2019). Neurologic music therapy to improve speaking voice in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Master’s Thesis presented to the Graduate School at Appalachian State University (NC).   This single, small group investigation with pre-and post-intervention testing revealed that some of the targeted outcomes improved significantly following 6 weeks of intervention (1 hour per week) while 19 measures did not improve significantly (10 acoustic measures; 2 of 6 perceptual measures; 7 self rating measures). The only measures that yielded significant differences were perception of breathiness, pitch, loudness, and severity. REVIEW:

Stahl, B., Kotz, S. A., Henseler, I., Turner,R., & Geyer, S. (2011). Rhythm in disguise: Why singing may not hold the key to recovery from aphasia. Brain: A Journal of Music, 134, 3083-3093. doi:10.1093/brain/awr240 This is a comparison study, not an intervention study. It is included to provide evidence supporting the inclusion of music-based intervention in evidence-based practice analyses and summaries of prosodic therapies. The investigators determined that nonfluent German-speaking participants with larger basal ganglia lesions were most likely to benefit from rhythmic interventions.

Staum, M. J. (1987). Music notation to improve the speech prosody of hearing impaired children. Journal of Music Therapy, 24, 146-159. The procedure of pairing music notation with imitation and/or reading of selective linguistic units could have potential for elementary school age children who have limited speech rhythm and intonation. Application is limited by the need for a clearer description of intervention and evaluation procedures.

Stoeckel, R. (2016.)  5 fun ways to mix prosody into CAS therapy.  Retrieved from blog post briefly describes activities that speech language pathologists (SLPs) can use to integrate prosody into interventions for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS.)  Some of the activities include music.

 Tamplin, J. (2008). A pilot study into the effect of vocal exercises and singing on dysarthric speech. NeuroRehabilitation, 23, 207-216. These case studies provide promising information that music therapy with concurrent speech-language therapy can result in limited to moderate improvement in rate, pausing, and naturalness in reading and spontaneous speech as well as strong improvement in intelligibility of spontaneous speech.


Thaut, M. H. (1985). The use of auditory rhythm and rhythmic speech to aid temporal muscular control in children with gross motor dysfunction. Journal of Music Therapy, 22 (3), 108-128. This investigation focuses on clinically relevant issues rather than solely on clinical effectiveness. The investigator found that a short intervention (3 session) of Auditory Rhythm plus Speech Rhythm cues was more successful than Visual Modeling in improving performance of a gross motor sequence.

Thaut, M. H., McIntosh, K. W., McIntosh, G. C., & Hoemberg, V. (2001). Auditory rhythmicity enhances movement and speech motor control in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Functional Neurology, 16(2), 163-172. Both metered and patterned rhythmic speech resulted in improved word accuracy in participants (Ps) with Parkinson’s disease (PD.) Neither form of rhythmic speech cueing was more effective. However, both forms of rhythmic cueing were most effective with Ps who were classified as severely impaired speakers and the optimum rate of speech was the habitual speaking rate or 60% of habitual speaking rate.

Thompson, G. A., & McFerran, K. S. (2015). Music therapy with young people who have profound intellectual and developmental: Four cases exploring communication and engagement with musical interactions. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 40, 1-11.  Behaviors that were observed during music therapy in school-aged Australian children included answering, rejecting/protesting, choice making, and producing social conventions.

Thompson, W. F., Schellenberg, E. G., & Husain, G. (2004). Decoding speech prosody: Do music lessons help? Emotion, 4 (1), 46-64. DOI: 10.1037/1528-3542.4.1.46   The investigation reviewed here was a retrospective experiment which compared 4 groups of typically developing Canadian children who had been divided into 4 groups: keyboard instruction, singing instruction, drama instruction, and no treatment for 1 year. The results indicated that the keyboard and drama groups exhibited superior skills in distinguishing fearful and angry affective prosody.

Tomaino, C. M. (2012). Effective music therapy techniques in the treatment of nonfluent aphasia. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1252, 312-317. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2012.06451. The author summarized two investigations to support the contention that music therapy can be used to treat nonfluent aphasia effectively. The author reported that there are at least 7 music therapy (MT) techniques that are useful and that music therapy and picture-based conversation therapy (CT) result in significant improvement in performance on selected portions of 2 tests frequently used to assessed people with nonfluent aphasia.

Vaiouli, P., & Andreou, G. (2018). Communication and language of young children with autism: A review of the research in music. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 39(2), 323-329.The purpose of this review was to investigate the use of music therapy (MT) for improving communication development of children (ages 0 to 8 years) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The investigators identified 3 uses of music in the improvement of speech, language, and communication targets:  (1) to facilitate preverbal communication by using music to engage the children, (2) to improve receptive language, and (3) to improve expressive language (i.e., the production of speech and language.)

Watson, S. (2016). Melodic Intonation Therapy: The influence of pitch and rhythm on therapy outcomes.   Retrieved from  The investigator identified only 3 sources that met inclusion criterion. Nevertheless, preliminary impressions indicate that both traditional MIT and Rhythmic Therapy resulted in improvement of trained targets immediately following therapy. Both were superior to traditional Speech Therapy. In addition, in one source indicated  traditional MIT was superior to Rhythmic Therapy for the immediate generalization to untrained targets and to long-term retention of progress for trained targets.

 Witt, A. E., & Steele, A. L. (1984). Music therapy for infant and parent: A case example. Music Therapy Perspective, 1(4), 17-19. Although the supporting evidence in this case study is limited, the authors provide objectives and strategies for clinicians wishing to include music in their treatment of children in the early stages of communication development.

van de Sandt-Koenderman, M., van der Meulen, I., Heijenbrok-Kal, M., Visch-Brink, E. G., & M Ribbers, G. (2013). Melodic Intonation Therapy in subacute aphasia. In 43rd Clinical Aphasiology Conference 2013. Tucson, AZ (May 28- June 2, 2013.) On February 20, 2016 retrieved from This investigatiom of the effectiveness of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) with Dutch participants (Ps) with subacute aphasia revealed that MIT was more effective than a control intervention on a language repetition task and that MIT, but not the control intervention, generalized to measures of naming, story retelling, and everyday conversation. REVIEW:

Zumbansen, A., Peretz, I., & Herbert, S. (2014). The combination of rhythm and pitch can account for the beneficial effect of melodic intonation therapy on connected speech improvements in Broca’s aphasia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 592. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00592 These single subject studies explored the relative contribution of rhythm and pitch to the effectiveness of Melodic Intonation Therapy (MIT) for use in Broca’s aphasia. MT yielded significantly better outcomes of discourse informativeness than MIT adaptations using rhythm only (RT) or spoken words only (ST.) All 3 adaptations of MIT (MT, RT, ST) resulted in significant improvements in the imitation of trained words but improvement with untrained words was consistently better with MT than with RT or ST. None of the interventions resulted in improved measures of diadochokinetic rate or of mood.

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