Volume 47, Issue 4 p. 489-509
Original Article

Using Musical Play with children with profound and multiple learning disabilities at school

Rosie Rushton

Corresponding Author

Rosie Rushton

Address for correspondence:

Rosie Rushton


School of Education

University of Birmingham

Birmingham B15 2TT


Email: [email protected]

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Lila Kossyvaki
First published: 06 October 2020
Citations: 3


We all ‘play’ music! Play experiences for children with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) are often compromised, lost in complex care routines, increasingly stretched timetables and a lack of suitable play interventions. This study investigates combining music with play, using a set of guidelines and principles developed by the researcher and staff participants: Musical Play. It evaluates the impact of Musical Play on the play experiences of both the learners and staff. This study included five primary-aged children and four teaching staff, during a five-week implementation period in a UK special school. The study collected multiple data sources to evaluate the impact of the intervention. Results reveal that Musical Play elicited engaged, playful and creative responses, encouraging peer-awareness and interactions. The intervention allowed staff a sense of freedom from target-driven work, providing a unique opportunity to immerse themselves fully in the play experience.