The positive role music plays in the home lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families was examined in a recent study and found listening to music together helps families feel more connected and strengthened their relationships.
The study published in the British Journal of Learning Disabilities also found that that some children/young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities have musical preferences and these can be communicated to and interpreted by their parents.
The authors said this could create opportunities to facilitate mutual enjoyment and feelings of togetherness through shared musical experiences. This may begin to overcome some of the difficulties that people with profound and multiple learning disabilities have in forming relationships.
Music can shape the mood and behaviours of their child and their relationship
The study explored parental perceptions of the role of music in the home-lives of children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities in the UK. It considered parental views of how listening to and making music can shape the mood and behaviours of their child and their relationship.
The study used a mixed-method explanatory sequential design and cross-sectional survey methodology. Data were collected from an online questionnaire (n = 48) followed by online one-to-one interviews (n = 10).
It found that parents reported that children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities more frequently listen to music than make music within the home.
They also stated that music is used for enjoyment, to support mood-regulation and to add structure to the lives of young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
The authors said: "The most prominent theme that was generated from the data was that of shared connection. The majority of interviewees spoke about the positive influence they felt music had on the relationship they have with their child."