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      Conservatory education of a musical savant with autism: a case study in Turkey

      ,

      Advances in Autism

      Emerald Publishing

      Musical savant with autism, Absolute pitch, Conservatory education

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          Savant syndrome, a very rare condition in the world, refers to individuals who have extraordinary talents but might have disabilities that prevent them from maintaining their life. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the views of conservatory instructors about the education of Buğra Çankır (BC), a musical savant with autism.

          Design/methodology/approach

          As it was difficult to communicate with BC and elicit his views, interviews were conducted with his teachers, who had similar experiences in his music education process. The participants were six instructors who worked as full-time instructors in the conservatory. The participants were administered a semi-structured focus group interview form that described the difficulties, experiences, perceptions and feelings they had in their interactions with BC. Data obtained from the study were subjected to content analysis methods performed by the researchers; analysis involved identification of the codes and themes and formation of sub-themes and codes in line with these themes.

          Findings

          Results showed that the participants had difficulties in teaching BC because of having insufficient knowledge about his features. In addition, while planning the conservatory education processes, the participants were found to redesign the teaching content considering the features of the student.

          Research limitations/implications

          The present case study is important in terms of revealing the problems experienced in the education processes of these individuals. More detailed qualitative studies or action research could be utilised in studies to be conducted in the future.

          Originality/value

          BC’s educational experience is the first case for educational institutions and instructors in Turkey.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 24

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          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          The savant syndrome: an extraordinary condition. A synopsis: past, present, future.

          Savant syndrome is a rare, but extraordinary, condition in which persons with serious mental disabilities, including autistic disorder, have some 'island of genius' which stands in marked, incongruous contrast to overall handicap. As many as one in 10 persons with autistic disorder have such remarkable abilities in varying degrees, although savant syndrome occurs in other developmental disabilities or in other types of central nervous system injury or disease as well. Whatever the particular savant skill, it is always linked to massive memory. This paper presents a brief review of the phenomenology of savant skills, the history of the concept and implications for education and future research.
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            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Familial aggregation of absolute pitch.

            Absolute pitch (AP) is a behavioral trait that is defined as the ability to identify the pitch of tones in the absence of a reference pitch. AP is an ideal phenotype for investigation of gene and environment interactions in the development of complex human behaviors. Individuals who score exceptionally well on formalized auditory tests of pitch perception are designated as "AP-1." As described in this report, auditory testing of siblings of AP-1 probands and of a control sample indicates that AP-1 aggregates in families. The implications of this finding for the mapping of loci for AP-1 predisposition are discussed.
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              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: found
              Is Open Access

              Auditory Processing in High-Functioning Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

              Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder including abnormalities in perceptual processing. We measure perception in a battery of tests across speech (filtering, phoneme categorization, multisensory integration) and music (pitch memory, meter categorization, harmonic priming). We found that compared to controls, the ASD group showed poorer filtering, less audio-visual integration, less specialization for native phonemic and metrical categories, and a higher instance of absolute pitch. No group differences were found in harmonic priming. Our results are discussed in a developmental framework where culture-specific knowledge acquired early compared to late in development is most impaired, perhaps because of early-accelerated brain growth in ASD. These results suggest that early auditory remediation is needed for good communication and social functioning.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                AIA
                10.1108/AIA
                Advances in Autism
                AIA
                Emerald Publishing
                2056-3868
                26 September 2019
                : 5
                : 4
                : 282-292
                Affiliations
                Department of Primary Education, Cukurova Universitesi , Adana, Turkey
                Department of Turkish Language and Literature, Hatay Mustafa Kemal University , Antakya, Turkey
                Author notes
                Gonul Reyhanoglu can be contacted at: gonulgokdemir@gmail.com
                Article
                630742 AIA-11-2018-0046.pdf AIA-11-2018-0046
                10.1108/AIA-11-2018-0046
                © Emerald Publishing Limited
                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 51, Pages: 11, Words: 6959
                Product
                Categories
                case-report, Case study
                cat-HSC, Health & social care
                cat-LID, Learning & intellectual disabilities
                Custom metadata
                yes
                yes
                JOURNAL
                included

                Health & Social care

                Absolute pitch, Conservatory education, Musical savant with autism

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