Musical training software for children with cochlear implants

Walter Di Nardo, Gaetano Paludetti, Roberto Anzivino, Eugenio De Corso, L Schinaia, A Ciacciarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Although the voice in a free field has an excellent recruitment by a cochlear implant (CI), the situation is different for music because it is a much more complex process, where perceiving the pitch discrimination becomes important to appreciate it. The aim of this study is to determine the music perception abilities among children with Cis and to verify the benefit of a training period for specific musical frequency discrimination. Our main goals were to prepare a computer tool for pitch discrimination training and to assess musical improvements. Ten children, aged between 5 and 12 years, with optimal phoneme recognition in quiet and with no disabilities associated with deafness, were selected to join the training. Each patient received, before training period, two types of exams: a pitch discrimination test, consisting of discovering if two notes were different or not; and a music test consisting of two identification tasks (melodic and full version) of one music-item among 5 popular childhood songs. After assessment, a music training software was designed and utilised individually at home for a period of six months. The results following complete training showed significantly higher performance in the task of frequency discrimination. After a proper musical training identification, frequency discrimination performance was significantly higher (p < 0.001). The same considerations can be made in the identification of the songs presented in their melodic (p = 0.0151) and full songs version (p = 0.0071). Cases where children did not reach the most difficult level may be due to insufficient time devoted to training (ideal time estimated at 2-3 hours per week). In conclusion, this study shows that is possible to assess musical enhancement and to achieve improvements in frequency discrimination, following pitch discrimination training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-257
Number of pages9
JournalActa Otorhinolaryngologica Italica
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Children
  • Cochlear implants
  • Music Test battery
  • Music perception
  • Speech perception


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