The IMCAP® is a population based, music-centered assessment profiling system targeting specific  areas of musical responsiveness as they pertain to musical interactions. The IMCAP’s goal is to create a Musical-Emotional Profile for each child being assessed. In essence, the IMCAP is basically painting a musical portrait of the child.

Although the IMCAP® is a music-centered based assessment, each of the seven levels of musical responsiveness are based on social-emotional development and are consistent with the DIR®/Floortime™ Model, Jean Piaget and Margaret Mahler.

Each level of musical responsiveness are being assessed within the context of interactive musical play between the therapist/s and the child, while observing the child through various modes of musical interaction (instruments, voice, movement, & gestures). Each level is evaluated based on the duration and quality of the child’s musical responsiveness within the context of music play, and, the type of the support (i.e. visual cues, verbal, gestural cues, high affect, etc.) that the therapist utilizies to assist the child in a particular musical area.

Seven levels of Musical Responsiveness:

  1. Musical awareness: the awareness that the child displays of the music and any of its facets (elements); how and if the child processes, on any level observable, the music as a whole and/or specific elements.
  2. Musical (self) regulation: the child’s ability to remain calm, interested and available during musical interactions over a wide range of affects and emotions; how the child self soothes and takes in the sights and sounds in the musical environment; the ability to use sensory modulation during musical play
  3. Musical mutuality/engagement & forming relationships: the child’s ability to relate (the quality of the relatedness) to the music and therapist through a range of emotion based on a variety of musical elements (i.e. dynamics, tempo, etc.) through various modes of interacting (instruments, voice, movement and gesture)
  4. Musical communicativeness and purposeful interactions: the child’s ability to initiate musical ideas, open and close circles of musical interaction, responding to musical cues (call and response, give and take interplay, etc.)
  5. Intentional interactions and musical problem-solving: the child’s ability to problem solve musically, in the context of the musical interaction, such as imitating dynamic and tempo changes, melodic ideas, and adapting playing to meter changes.
  6. Musical interrelatedness: the child’s ability to connect musical ideas with thetherapist in the context of the musical interaction through various and preferred mode/s (instrumental, vocal, movement and/or gestures).
  7. Range of musical expressiveness and creative thinking: the child’s ability to initiate musical changes in the context of the musical interaction, such as initiating changes in tempo, dynamics, etc. in addition, with children who are verbal, initiating musical ideas can also be displayed in lyrical content.