We too often take for granted our ability to process sounds efficiently, even in noisy surroundings. For children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), however, accurately sifting sounds from other noises can be an enormous challenge – especially in a classroom. Quaver friend and advisor, Fred Laughlin, is back on the blog sharing how Quaver Music has been supporting a study on the effects of music education on children with APD.

Take it away, Fred!


How Music Education May Help Children with APD


Quaver Music is assisting audiologist, Dr. Susan Fulton Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of South Florida, and her colleague, Dr. Mary Ann Littrell, Au.D, an audiologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine/All Children’s Hospital, in their research on ways to help children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

APD is a neurological defect that affects how one’s brain breaks down auditory information. This makes filtering out background noise, concentrating, following directions, and retaining verbal instructions difficult for children affected by the disorder – especially in the classroom.

Because children with APD can struggle with auditory memory, they have trouble following instructions or forget them altogether. They become lost when classroom assignments are given and may partially complete the work or don’t do it at all. They are frequently labeled as problem students or criticized for not working to their potential. Accurately diagnosing APD typically takes an audiologist, who can carry out a series of specifically designed tests.

Because of Quaver’s ability to engage children with creative, educational, and engaging techniques to communicate music training, Drs. Fulton and Littrell chose to partner with QuaverMusic while studying the effects music training has on the ability of APD children to process auditory information.

Dr. Fulton selected Quaver because of its ability to engage young people with innovative techniques to communicate sound musical training. She remarked that, “Quaver’s approach is thoughtful, substantive, educational, and engaging for the research participants. They connect immediately with the material and identify with the Quaver characters. Parents report that the children look forward to their daily music training. The Quaver characters share basic musical concepts in a way that is easily understood and retained.

Using the Quaver curriculum for grades K-5, the children were taught:

  • pitch training
  • interval identification
  • chord discrimination
  • composition
  • music theory
  • music history

Although the study is ongoing, after an eight-week period of music training, students who are using QuaverMusic.com curriculum have shown promising results and significant improvements in their ability to understand and retain speech. The magic of music is powerful!

We are proud and excited to assist Drs. Fulton and Littrell in their pursuit to standardize the use of music education and music training in APD treatment. At Quaver Music, we look for opportunities to support professional research. If you know of a research project that could benefit from Quaver’s help, we would love to hear from you!


What do you think? Want to learn more about APD and Drs. Fulton and Littrell’s study, click here.

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