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Music Therapy Lab Report

By: Ciara Samuel, Lauren Whyte, And Olivia Gonzalez

Starting Date: March 21, 2018

Ending Date: TBD

In our experiment, we tried to discover the correct ergonomics of our project. The
experiment worked pretty well with what materials we had to use available. We
calculated the most ergonomically correct angle to hold an arm when using our device,
and found that using the range of motion from the elbow instead of the entire arm or
wrist was most comfortable and showed the best results. The results had a 6% error,
which was much lower than we expected. This may be attributed to the materials that
we were able to use for the experiment or bias within our experiment. To account for
this error, future work would be to determine if the materials we needed would be
provided in class or if we had to purchase them ourselves, which we somewhat
neglected. We could also prevent error by conducting a survey with less bias, such as
using a simple random sample of the entire population.
Table of Contents

1 Title Page

2 Abstract

3 Table of Contents

4-5 Introduction

6 Methods

7-8 Results

9 Discussion

10 References

11 Appendices

A fundamental concept in music therapy is making sure that the patient is able to grow
in both cognitive and motor skills, which states that this type of science/ therapy is very
important in the development in the patient’s life skills. This has many applications in
other forms of engineering such as: physical therapy, therapy for people with mental
challenges, and other types of therapy even with those without challenges. It is used to
understand the function of the brain, human development, and motor skill development.
A general environment in a music therapy setting is shown below.

This image demonstrates the environment of current music therapy sessions, and what
is done currently. Our goal is to create a product that is efficient in both assisting the
development of the patient’s motor and cognitive skills.
In this experiment, we will be building a product that resembles a portable foot drum,
with an electric sensor on the inside that will trigger a light along the edges of the drum.
We will also be creating some exercises that will help the patient develop both their
motor and cognitive skills. We will be testing it for effectiveness, and if it functions
properly. As we create our music therapy device, we want our patient to be able to
make progress on this medical journey using our device. Our discovery question is,
“What is the most comfortable and ergonomically correct position to use our project?”

To conduct this experiment, we asked 5 of our classmates to use our device and give
us feedback on the comfortability of it. We used customer feedback and a protractor​ to
measure the angles that were most comfortable to the people we surveyed.

The experimental apparatus includes a wooden pedal, a protractor, and a human arm.

The importance of the wooden pedal is to hit the xray paper, creating the drum sounds.
It is held together by several wooden dowels and large wood pieces screwed together
so it doesn’t move around unless moved by the human arm.

The importance of the protractor is to measure the angle the arm is most comfortable
resting at. We asked 5 classmates to tell us when they were most comfortable and then
we measured the arm angle when they were still.

The importance of the human arm was to get real human feedback on our project. We
wanted to use real humans instead of just calculations and predictions, because our
project is going to be sold to real people, not math problems.

We conducted this experiment by asking 5 of our classmates to use our device and give
us feedback on the comfortability of it. We used customer feedback and a protractor​ to
measure the angles that were most comfortable to the people we surveyed.

We tested the correct ergonomics of our project to make it more comfortable for the

We tested the comfortability of our pedal by using an arm, a wooden pedal, and a
protractor. First, we asked one subject at a time to approach our project and asked
them to place their hand on the pedal, as if they were to push it down. As they push the
pedal, we had them use different ranges of motion on their wrists, fingers, elbows, and
shoulders and had them rate the comfort level on a scale from 1-5.

Below is our table of results:

Using only Using only Using only Using full arm

fingers wrists elbow

Participant #1 2 4 4 2

Participant #2 3 3 4 1

Participant #3 2 4 4 2

Participant #4 1 2 5 2

Participant #5 3 1 3 3

After finding that the most comfortable position seemed using only the elbow, we then
measured the angle that was most comfortable to hold the pedal at. Below were our

Participant #1 30 degrees

Participant #2 50 degrees

Participant #3 45 degrees

Participant #4 55 degrees

Participant #5 35 degrees
This gives us and everage angle measure of about 45 degrees, which was about what
was expected.

We are a little uncertain if this test is completely accurate, but we tested using the
materials we are going to be using and with what we could find in the classroom. We
are uncertain because the materials given to us were not of the highest quality, and we
did not have the most high-tech measuring devices at our disposal. If we were to
conduct this experiment again, we would have done more trials for more accurate
results and have used better measuring materials that we could have ordered ahead of
time. Also, we would have conducted a survey that wasn’t as biased by taking a simple
random sample and not just using STEM students, but also customers of our final
product to get more accurate feedback.

After doing multiple trials, we discovered the most ergonomically correct way to utilize
our product is using only the elbow at a 45 degree angle.

• DQ:“What is the most comfortable and ergonomically correct position to use our
Answer: Throughout the experiment we were keeping our discovery question at the
forefront. The simple answer is using wrist at a 45 degree angle, but as stated before
we could be a couple degrees off because of the materials used and maybe there could
have been a better way to conduct this experiment.

• Explanation of
Anomalies / Error
Throughout this experiment, we faced many challenges dealing with the materials
available. One of these anomalies was not having the correct measuring devices. If we
were to do this experiment again, we would make sure to have all the correct materials
and not use the bare minimum, such as a plastic protractor. We could also do tests next
time using actual customers, instead of using STEM students who will likely not be
purchasing our product. Now that we have a clear idea of how to conduct our
experiment, next time we do the same experiment it will hopefully go smoother and we
will have clearer results.

• Conclusion / Summary
In conclusion, we were able to figure out what the most comfortable position to use our
project was. For our experiment we used a arm, wooden pedal, and protractor. We
calculated the most comfortable angle was 45 degrees, but through our experiment
there was definitely room for error with our result. One thing that went really well though,
was our work ethic. Our group works really well together and each assigned ourselves a
job and carried it out to the best of our abilities.

• Future Work
In the future, we plan to finish our product by May 22. We also plan on showcasing our
design during our presentation to a panel of judges who will be grading our work. We
also plan on conducting further research and experiments, to make our project as
productive and efficient as possible.

“American Music Therapy Association.” ​FAQ's | Frequently Asked Questions | American Music
Therapy Association (AMTA)​, ​​.

“Ergonomic Assessments.” ​Ergonomics Plus​,

“I Have A Drum? Now What? Music Therapy In Early Intervention Work.” ​Roman Music
Therapy Services, LLC​, 24 May 2017,

“UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.” ​Occupational Safety and Health

Administration​, ​​.

Example of a bar graph:

How to make an unbiased survey: