This blog post is inspired by a recent presentation in which I provided an overview of the Individual Music-Centered Assessment Profile for Neurodevelopmental Disorders (IMCAP-ND: A Clinical Manual there appeared to be an interest and somewhat a misunderstanding pertaining to the value of the rating scale numbers. It seemed as though some of the participants had difficulty understanding the true purpose of the rating scale numbers. To me it seemed that some folks were “mixing” working paradigms and thus may have been missing how the IMCAP-ND incorporates the value of the ratings. For example, how can you make sense or meaning, in regards to assessment, of relational and emotional experiences in musical-play if you if you are using a cognitive lens. The IMCAP-ND was created as a means of understanding the client from the from the perspective of looking and listening to him/her from “ground-on-up,” within the context of relational musical-play. Hence, it is a developmental relationship-based framework that seeks to understand how the client perceives, understands, and make music with the therapist.
That being said, the frequency scale numbers of the IMCAP-ND are basically anchors that provide the therapist with a “musical” guide pertaining to understanding a particular target response provided by the client within the context of relational musical-play. Thus, it places responsibility onto the therapist in the areas of understanding a) the constructs and operational definitions of each music domain area, b) how to provide musical experiences or opportunities (and, how many) for the client in order to assess specific target response, c) how to observe visually and via listening, d) what is intentional in terms of the client relating and communicating in musical-play (e.g., is the client being intentional within the context of fulfilling a sensory “need” or a musical-social-emotional (relational) “need,” and e) to score and value numbers on what’s occurring within the moment-to-moment musical experience (within the context of RELATIONAL musical-play. In addition, the numbers i.e., frequency and support ratings in regards to Scale I: Musical Emotional Assessment Rating Scale, act as guides or anchors that inform the therapist “how” (i.e. clinical techniques) to play in order to help guide the client move up the musical-social-emotional ladder. The numbers related to Scale II: Musical Cognitive Perception Scale & Scale III: Musical Responsiveness Scale, guide the therapist in terms of “what” to play. In other words, the numbers in scales II and III informs the therapist’s music pertaining to the various musical elements that he/she may incorporate within certain musical structures, frameworks, and contexts. In short, the numbers or “anchors” (i.e., frequency rating rating scale) of Scales II and III help identify the client’s musical-differences in musical-play (e.g., client is increasingly responsive and relational in areas of musical attention and adaption when musical experiences include loud dynamics and slow tempo. The same client, however, withdraws from musical interactions in a hyperactive manner when music includes staccato and fast tempo, etc…). That being said, the scores of scales II and III inform the music that will help guide the client move into more sophisticated and robust musical interactions that are based on Scale I: Musical Emotional Assessment Rating Scale.
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