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Savant syndrome in music at persons with mental disability in Slovenia

Irena Nadler (2017) Savant syndrome in music at persons with mental disability in Slovenia. MSc thesis.

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    Savant syndrome is a congenital or acquired condition that combines certain inabilities of a person; often a person with intellectual disability, or a person with a cognitive or developmental disorder, but also above-average, outstanding or even brilliant abilities in a particular area are demonstrated. There are three levels of savant syndrome: savants with splinter skills, talented savants and prodigious savants. Even in people with intellectual disability, we can find people with average and even above average abilities in the musical field. However, in Slovenia we have not yet identified children with savant syndrome in the musical field. Identification of musical savants is particularly difficult, because special and rehabilitation pedagogy, as well as knowledge of the music is needed, and above all we still do not have an standardized assessing tool for the identification of musical savants. On a sample of 70 children or adolescents with intellectual disability, and a variety of associated disorders who are included in the Slovene educational and social-care institutions, we got an insight into the presence of savant's skills in the musical field. We found the proportion of persons who display savant skills in music, we identified persons who display exceptional musical savant skills and determined the most important criteria for the identification of persons who display musical savant skills. Data were collected with the help of structured Evaluation Scale for the Identification savant skills in the music field. We have found that some slovenian children or adolescent with intellectual disability display some elements of musical savant syndomeare serving above average in the music field, are also present in Slovenia. Approximately half of the sample were identified as children or adolescent who display different levels of musical savant skills, only one was regonized as person who display exceptional musical savant skills. We made the first step towards the detection of music savants with the compiled Evaluation Scale for recognizing savant skills in the music field in Slovenia. To confirm the presence and determine the levels of musical savant syndrome we have to further test children and adolescents with intellectual disability who have reached an above-average score on assesment scale for musical talent or musical savant skills. We discovered that some criteria are more important at recognizing musical savant skills, and we found seven criteria from evaluation Scale which are linked to musical talent and specificity of persons with intellectual disability who display characteristics of musical savant syndrome. It is very important that we recognize and encurage further development of musical savant skills, knowledge and acquisition of necessary experiences through appropriate education and musical preformance in terms of the holistic development of persons with intellectual disability, higher life quality and their possible contribution to the artistic cultural life in narrow and wider enviroment.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: intellectual disability, savant syndrome, music, musical savant, musical talent
    Number of Pages: 88
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. Brina Jež BrezavščekMentor
    doc. dr. Erna ŽgurComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11766089)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4830
    Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2017 13:29
    Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 13:29
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4830

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