Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of the Arts


John J. Cali School of Music

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Brian Abrams

Committee Member

Joanne Loewy

Committee Member

Amy Clarkson


Asthma is one of the most prevalent diseases diagnosed in young children today, and has been the focus of many research studies in the medical field. Despite recent breakthroughs in medical research, children are still suffering from asthma symptoms in their daily routines and lifestyles. Because asthma is directly connected to one’s breath and lung function, focus has shifted in recent years to include alternative medicines such as breathing techniques, yoga, and music. This thesis reviews the sparse literature on music and relaxation techniques - most specifically the use of voice and breath - as it relates to asthma, in order to clarify and define their role in treatment and prevention. Once defined, a Music and Asthma Program was designed with a quasi-experimental, naturalistic framework that tracked the duration of held note, quality of voice, and volume of voice over the course of eleven sessions with six school-aged children diagnosed with asthma. Data was collected and analyzed for the mean and standard deviations of each of the three variables being studied in order to investigate trends for the overall group progress. Calculated linear regressions of the mean produced an overall upward trend for tone quality and volume, suggesting that continued exposure to therapeutic vocal interventions would strengthen lung function and capacity. Implications for future research studies were presented via anecdotes from the case material of the Music and Asthma group. The purpose of this thesis therefore was to investigate the relationship between voice and breath-oriented music therapy group interventions and the symptoms of asthma.

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Music Therapy Commons