Document Type


Session Format

Graduate Research Poster (no oral presentation)


Magnolia Ballroom

Publication Date


Faculty Advisor

Dr. Tina Holmes-Davis

Start Date

27-3-2024 10:00 AM

End Date

27-3-2024 10:50 AM


It is the music teacher’s duty to provide their students with opportunities to express themselves through the creation of music. This literature review explores the current research about teaching musical composition to students with intellectual disabilities. Each article selected for review was published in 2015 or later in a music education journal sharing peer-reviewed scholarly articles about current trends and issues in music education. Though only Clipper & Lee’s study (2021) relates exclusively to teaching composition, many of the best practices for teaching general music to students with intellectual disabilities can be directly applied to teaching composition. This review analyzes the instructional strategies found in the Universal Learning Design (E. Draper, 2020), the Beleven in Muziek (BiM) method (Bremmer, Hermans, & Lamers, 2021), in Marina W. Wong’s research about gamification in the music classroom (2021), in the music program at Tower Elementary School (A. Draper, 2022), and Kimberly VanWeelden & Julia Heath-Reynolds’ approaches for designing assessments for students with disabilities (2017). This review will address the three recurring themes which emerge from recent literature about composition in the special education classroom: the duty of the music teacher when teaching students with disabilities, the inclusion of students with disabilities in the music classroom, and instructional approaches that best promote student creativity.


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