Family involvement in music impacts participation of children with cochlear implants in music education and music activities

Cochlear Implants Int. 2015 May;16(3):137-46. doi: 10.1179/1754762814Y.0000000103. Epub 2014 Nov 28.


Objective Children with cochlear implants (CIs) participate in musical activities in school and daily lives. Considerable variability exists regarding the amount of music involvement and enjoyment. Using the Music Engagement Questionnaire-Preschool/Elementary (MEQ-P/E), we wanted to determine patterns of musical participation and the impact of familial factors on engagement. Methods Parents of 32 children with CIs (16 preschool and 16 elementary) completed a questionnaire regarding the musical involvement of their child with an implant and a normal-hearing (NH) sibling (if one existed). We compared CI children's involvement to that of their NH siblings as well as across groups of children with and without CIs. Correlations between parent ratings of music importance, demographic factors, and involvement of CI and NH children were conducted within and across groups. Results No significant differences were found between children with CIs and NH siblings, meaning children from the same family showed similar levels of musical involvement. When compared at the same developmental stage, no significant differences were found between preschool children with and without CIs. Parents who rated the importance of music as 'low' or 'middle' had children (NH and CI) who were less involved in music activities. Children whose parents rated music importance as 'high' were involved in monthly to weekly music activities with 81.25% reporting daily music listening. Conclusion Despite a less-than-ideal auditory signal for music, preschool and school-aged CI children enjoy and are involved in musical experiences. Families who enjoy and spend a greater amount of time involved in music tend to have children who also engage more actively in music.

Keywords: Children; Cochlear implants; Music.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cochlear Implants / psychology*
  • Deafness / psychology*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music / psychology*
  • Social Participation / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires