Music Therapy Interventions to Support Social Development in Early Childhood Inclusion Classrooms

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During this session, participants will experience ways to design clinical interventions for the early-childhood inclusion classroom to support the development of social skills for all students. Skills include joint attention, turn-taking, greetings and responses. Participants will be introduced to relevant social development theories, research, and resources.


Andrew Knight is assistant professor of music therapy at Colorado State University, a board-certified music therapist since 2005, a Music Together teacher since 2006, and a Music Together Within Therapy® license holder. Dr. Knight holds a bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance, Jazz emphasis from UW-La Crosse, a music therapy equivalency and master's degree from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations and Research from the University of North Dakota. Prior to his appointment at CSU, Dr. Knight taught at UND, where he supervised students at clinical placements in the Grand Forks community, taught undergraduate coursework, advised the student music therapy association, and conducted research. Dr. Knight has presented on early childhood music therapy and music education at numerous national conferences including the American Music Therapy Association, Canadian Association for Music Therapy, and the Association for the Education of Young Children. He has been an active clinician in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, with various music therapy clinical roles at agencies serving adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His current research pursuits include clinical applications of music therapy for toddlers with language impairments, adults with addiction issues, music therapy percussion pedagogy, and technology use in clinical settings.

Learning Objectives

1.  Participants will understand the implications of Ecological Theory of Social Development on social development in young children.  (CBMT II.A.3.d.)

2.  Participants will articulate an understanding of the impact of developmental disabilities/neurological/physical conditions on the development of social skills in young children. (CBMT II.A.2.av.)

3.  Participants will understand the relationship between social skills development, executive function, and related school-readiness skills. (CBMT II.A.2.q.)

4.  Participants will experience approaches to songs and chants that promote social development in preschool and early elementary inclusion education settings. (CBMT II.A. 4.d.)