Music Therapy and Social Skills

You are invited to be in a research study where we will investigate the effects of a family-centered music therapy social skills curriculum on the social skill development of children on the autism spectrum. You were selected because you were identified as possibly having a child on the autism spectrum who is between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. We ask that you read this form and ask any questions you may have before agreeing to participate in the study.

This study is being conducted by: Professors Edward “Todd” Schwartzberg and Michael J. Silverman. Edward Schwartzberg is a senior teaching specialist and the clinic coordinator for the On-Campus Music Therapy Clinic. Michael Silverman is the director of Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota.

This study includes three phases and as a parent we ask that you and your child participate in all three phases of the study. During phase one, you and your child with take part in a 45-60-minute semi-structured interview. During phase two we ask that you commit to and participate in the weekly, 12-week group music therapy sessions. Other families will join you during these sessions. Phase three will be a semi-structured exit interview that will occur two weeks after the end of the final music therapy session.

If you voluntarily agree to be in this study, we ask you to do the following things:

  • Confirm your child is between the ages of 6 and 12 years old.
  • Confirm your child’s diagnosis by providing the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) score.
  • Participate in two semi-structured interviews. Interviews will be audio or visually recorded (depending upon the participant’s preference.)
  • Read the transcribed interviews – as well as the results after analyses – and answer any potential clarifications or questions (member checking and trustworthiness).
  • Complete four social skill assessments using the Social Responsiveness Scale-2
  • Participate in 12 weekly group music therapy sessions
  • Complete and send to Todd weekly family reflections (may be sent via email, as a voicemail, video, or audio file)

If you are interested in participating, please let us know via email (