The book explores how music-making can support speech skills

BGU Lecturer Tracy Jeffery has published her first book - Developing Early Verbal Skills Through Music: Using rhythm, movement and song with children and young people with additional or complex needs.

Tracy began working on the book three years ago, after she gave a presentation at the Down Syndrome Research forum about music and language. According to Tracy, the talk sparked a lot of interest from parents, and she was keen to share everything she had learned from working in schools and colleges as well as her PhD and later research.

'Developing Early Verbal Skills Through Music' explains the connections between music and language learning, especially in the very early stages (up to about 3-4 years). In the book, Tracy explains the science behind this, the evidence that shows how and why music-making can support speech skills; and why these same skills can develop differently in children and adults with learning or developmental differences and disabilities, including autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, hypermobility disorders. The book offers guidance about how to support learners with different diagnoses of SEND to develop musical skills in listening, rhythm, and singing so that practitioners can make adaptations.

Dr Tracy Jeffery teaches on the BA in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion (SENDI) programme, MA in SEND and leads the Distance Learning Top Up in SEND. She joined Bishop Grosseteste University as a Visiting Tutor in 2010, teaching on Education Studies, SENI and Psychology programmes, and joined as a full time lecturer in 2016.

Tracy said: "I am delighted to have published my first book through Jessica Kingsley Publishers, who are well known for providing affordable and accessible books, especially in arts, therapies and SEND.

"I wrote it for parents, firstly - I really wanted to share with them the amazing benefits that making music with children and adults can have for listening, attention, wellbeing, and most of all, for speech perception, speech production and voice.

"There is so much research that shows how music-making can support skills as diverse as reading, second language learning, and speech fluency; but there are certain conditions that need to be in place when learning.

"I have explained why some children and learners can have difficulty with speech and language, as well as music; and explained some of the ways parents, teachers, and practitioners can support children when making music so that they are also using the language-based skills."

You can order from most bookstores, including e-books from Amazon; or can buy direct from Jessica Kingsley Publishers and get a 20% discount using the code JEFFERY20.

Dr Tracy Jeffery with her new book
Dr Tracy Jeffery with her new book

2nd June 2023

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