With emphasis on inclusive education, many music teachers interact with children on the autism spectrum within regular classroom settings. Many of these teachers rely on rote learning to teach a variety of musical skills. This creates difficulties for children on the autism spectrum who respond differently to imitation than their typically developing peers. By understanding this phenomenon, music teachers are better prepared to interact with children on the autism spectrum. To this end, learning through imitation as a foundational strategy for teachers in primary music education is summarized here. This is followed by a review of research findings to build a profile for how children on the autism spectrum respond to imitation. Implications for music teaching explains how strategies currently used by music teachers support interventions suggested in psychological literature and how these strategies may be adapted to better meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum.
Scott, Sheila (2016) The Challenges of Imitation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders with Implications for General Music Education. In: Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 13-20. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/581568/.