In the study, Norwegian researchers found that music therapy plus standard care for children with autism spectrum disorder did not improve their symptom severity more than standard care alone.
Led by Christian Gold of the Grieg Academy Music Therapy Research Centre in Bergen, the study looked at 364 children with autism. Half were randomly assigned to enhanced standard care for five months and the remaining 182 to enhanced standard care plus improvisational music therapy for five months. The children ranged in age from 4 to 7 years old, and the study was conducted in nine countries.
This is a study specifically about the field of Music Therapy, which is not the same thing as learning to play an instrument. Many activities can be enjoyable and relaxing without being medically therapeutic.