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Cochlear Implants Int. 2012 Nov;13(4):237-47. doi: 10.1179/1754762811Y.0000000023. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

Developing a music programme for preschool children with cochlear implants.

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MEDers, Istanbul, Turkey.


Although music perception is especially challenging for cochlear implant (CI) users, young CI users' musical perception abilities are improved by participation in structured musical activities.


To design, implement, evaluate, and publish a music training programme with a monitoring tool for preschool CI users, for use in family-centred habilitation programmes.


We devised a programme of musical activities, Musical EARS®, and a curriculum-related hierarchical Evaluation Form to represent performance. The programme included sections on singing; recognizing songs, tunes, and timbre; and responding appropriately to music and rhythm. It was implemented over 18 months at Ilkses Rehabilitation Centre, with 25 paediatric MED-EL CI users split into three groups of varying age, duration of CI use, and ability.


Mean total scores increased significantly for all groups. Scores increased unevenly across subscales. Participation in and enjoyment of musical activities increased for both children and parents. Significant correlations were found between scores and length of CI use.


The training programme effectively enriches child CI users' musical experience. To varying degrees, children learned to perform the Musical EARS® activities. The study allowed us to validate the lesson content and the hierarchical nature of the Evaluation Form. We conclude that prelingually deafened CI users should be systematically involved in musical activities to help them acquire skills acquired more easily by hearing peers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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