Deborah Pullicino

M.A. in Music Psychology (Sheff.), B.Ed. (Hons) (Melit), DipMusLCM, AMusLCM

Division of Human Communication Sciences, Health Sciences School

PhD Research Student


In 2012 I graduated from the University of Malta with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Later that same year, I started my teaching career in Maltese schools. I continued my musical studies, concentrating specifically on classical singing and music theory. 

In 2019 I was awarded an Endeavour Scholarship and I started the MA course in Music Psychology in Education, Performance and Wellbeing at the University of Sheffield on a part-time basis. I completed my MA degree in 2021. In my dissertation, I researched the singing practices favoured by nonverbal or minimally verbal children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and the effect of these singing practices on their expressive and receptive communication skills.

Since 2018, I have been working in a primary special education school. In 2021 I won a Tertiary Education Scholarship Scheme (TESS) Scholarship and I started my doctoral studies at the Department for Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield. 

Research interests
  • Expressive and receptive communication skills in children with nonverbal autism.
  • Common singing practices in the daily life of nonverbal or minimally verbal children with ASD.
  • The teaching of singing to children with ASD, especially to children who are nonverbal.
  • The effect of singing on the speech and communication skills of nonverbal or minimally verbal children with ASD.
Research Project

My doctoral research focuses on strategies that can be used to teach singing to minimally verbal or nonverbal children with ASD. The project examines the singing, speech, and communication improvements that may occur when identified strategies are put into practice. 


Dr Judy Clegg

Professor Stephanie E Pitts