Pilot Testing a Music Appreciation Training Program for Cochlear Implant Recipients and Users of Hearing Aids
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
A clinically-focused music appreciation training program (MATP) was developed for use by recipients of cochlear implants (CI) and wearers of hearing aids (HA). It aimed to enhance listeners’ music appreciation abilities, with a specific focus on timbre and musical style. The MATP was pilot-tested on 17 adult postlingually deafened CI recipients (8 female, 9 male, mean age = 60.2 years) and 13 adult HA users (7 female, 4 male, mean age = 63.9 years), with each device group divided into a control and a training group. The training groups were asked to use the MATP for 30 minutes per day four times a week for 10 weeks. The control groups were asked to continue with their normal listening habits for the same time period. Both the training and control groups were assessed on tests of instrument, ensemble and style identification as well as pleasantness ratings of musical excerpts, before and after the 10-week period. Participants in the training groups also completed a program evaluation questionnaire at the end of the training period. The results showed that the training program significantly improved the quality ratings of CI recipients for ensemble stimuli (p = .034). There were, however, no significant improvements for CI users on the timbre discrimination tasks or quality ratings for single instruments, nor were there any significant improvements for the HA users on any of the discrimination tasks or in their quality ratings. The findings suggest that CI recipients’ quality appraisal can be improved through training, independent of perceptual accuracy. On evaluating the program, the majority of CI and HA trainees reported that the MATP was enjoyable and beneficial in terms of music appreciation. Future directions for continued development of the MATP and testing of its efficacy are discussed.