For individuals with sensory processing disorders, attending a traditional musical performance can be uncomfortable, inaccessible, and sometimes impossible. From the duration of the performances, the overwhelming variety and volume of sounds, as well as the rigid, unwritten rules that performances in the Western art music tradition demand, typical concert settings present challenges for many of those with sensory processing disorders. These challenges include hypersensitivity to lights and sounds, as well as being asked to remain quiet and seated for long periods of time. This project is a research-based creative endeavor centered upon individuals with sensory processing disorders – specifically, those with autism spectrum disorder. In particular, I researched this population’s interactions with music, as both listeners and creators. In my initial research, it was difficult to identify a comprehensive literature review specific to this area of research. The resources for music performers and educators alike are minimal, and consequently, the resources for students who experience sensory processing disorders are also limited. This project will help bring awareness to a population of people that simply need more attention in the field of music education. Upon deepening my understanding of the various challenges this population faces, I produced a sensory-friendly musicking experience. This experience featured opportunities for our attendees to try various musical instruments as well as enjoy a concert-going experience that is tailored specially with their needs in mind.
Dr. Lisa Martin
First Advisor Department
Dr. Alicia Mrachko
Second Advisor Department
Stumpf, Emma, "A Sensory-Friendly Musicking Experience" (2019). Honors Projects. 450.