Accepted paper:

Online Singing Training for Persons with Autism and their Caregivers


Arun Mehta

Paper short abstract:

Internet telephony lets music instructors offer their services internationally. This is particularly useful for persons with autism, who find it difficult to travel and take time getting accustomed to new locations. This paper discusses the benefits of this approach for them.

Paper long abstract:

Internet telephony, in the form of services such as Skype, have dramatically reduced the costs of international voice communication, while also enabling video. This has made it possible for music instructors to teach students anywhere in the world. Particularly in the less popular forms of music, this has provided a great boost to those seeking to become practitioners, and thus help cultures flourish and spread. Persons with autism have difficulty in coordinated activity by different parts of the brain, for instance in speaking. Hence, they are often non-verbal. Singing does not use as many muscles, and comes far more naturally to such persons. It helps them reduce stress levels, and provides many health benefits. It brings them social recognition, and offers the possibility of an occupation and employment. Online instruction saves persons with autism the immense trouble they face in traveling, and lets them learn in an environment they are used to, and hence less distracted by. Even in the absence of a human instructor, there are many useful software tools that can lead singing exercises and provide feedback on the quality of singing. This paper discusses the efficacy of learning singing thus, and describes an experiment underway to apply this to the needs of children with autism and their caregivers.

panel P51
Art workshops for children with autism