What is it about?

In music therapy improvisation, “Motifs” represent a repeated and meaningful use of freely improvised or structured music. This observational analysis examines the effects of Motifs on the attention of a child with externalising behaviour problems. Results suggest a positive effect of Motifs on enhancing efficiency of joint attention execution over time, indicating the child’s recognition of the Motifs through learning.

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Why is it important?

Although child clients may shift attention more rapidly throughout therapy, our findings show that Motifs seem to increase children's efficiency of attending to the therapist, and this higher efficiency should predict better self-regulation.


It is very exciting to use an innovative method to carry out the observational analysis. The findings may update therapist’s understanding on children’s shift in attention.

King-chi Yau
Anglia Ruskin University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effects of motifs in music therapy on the attention of children with externalizing behavior problems, Psychology of Music, November 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0305735619880292.
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