Stuttering and music therapy

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Jones, Jones
McGrath, Melissa
Issue Date
Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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A connection between speech and music dates back several hundred years; for many of those years, music has been discovered to be a valuable method for treating various disorders of speech, including stuttering. Stuttering is a disorder of fluency that affects one percent of the world's population. In children, it often develops between the ages of two and five, and it causes one to experience a disrupted flow of speech and difficulty coordinating necessary muscle movements to create normal speech. Specifically, a stutterer often repeats whole words or syllables, prolongs certain speech sounds, and has blocks or pauses in his speech. These struggles can cause a stutterer to experience much anxiety and fear in his everyday life, and he may even avoid speaking in general as much as possible. Stuttering's concrete causes are unknown, although many theories have been researched and discussed; genetics and neurophysiology often affect stuttering's onset. Two types of music therapy, rhythmic speech cueing (RSC) and therapeutic singing (TS) are common methods of incorporating music into the speech therapy setting in order to improve fluency in children and prevent the issue from persisting into adulthood. This paper analyzes the specific brain physiology involved in incorporating music therapy for children with developmental stuttering, why such therapy is so beneficial, and how the two aforementioned types of music therapy specifically work.