Help! Music literacy with blind student

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  • #44095
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Does anyone have experience teaching a student who is blind to read music? So far I have been able to adapt activities for her so that she’s not missing out on our curriculum, but now that we’re getting to reading written notation, I know essentially nothing about what to do. My student’s braille teacher started looking into it and got five binders worth of braille music systems, but it’s all extremely complicated, and I’m not sure if that’s the best route to go right now. I’m looking for a way to effectively teach her to read quarter note, double eighths, and quarter rest patterns to start. We’re not using the staff yet. Anyone have tips or experience with this? Thanks!

    #44568
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    What a wonderful teacher you are to seek out additional help for this student beyond your immediate support. There is a helpful article that was published in the MEJ 1998, “Resources for Helping Blind Students” by Mary A. Smaligo, a music teacher experienced in this area. Just go to the link. I hope this helps. https://nfb.org/images/nfb/publications/fr/fr18/issue1/f180105.htm

    #44571
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Thank you so much!

    #44576
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Does your state have a Commission for the Blind? We recently contacted the commission in Texas on behalf of my father-in-law. The wealth of resources they can help you access is huge! Good luck!

    #47519
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Interestingly I just got finished a conference call with the NAfME Council for General Music and one of the action items we discussed was to produce a multi-part webinar on Music and Special Education. This will address strategies for students with physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. Although, sadly, this isn’t immediately helpful to you it is a resource you can look forward to using in the near future. Your student is lucky to have a dedicated teacher like you!
    Mary Anne Zupan
    Retired K-5 Music Specialist

    #47562
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Thank you! I’ll look for this in the future. So far we’ve created a system to use of foam shapes to represent the notes (triangle, square, circle) with magnetic backings that we arrange on a whiteboard so she can feel them. It’s not perfect, but at least it’s something we can do for now. We’ve discovered that the actual braille system for music is too complex for what we’re doing right now; each rhythm has to be associated with a note name, which we’re not doing yet.

    #50026
    nafmeadmin
    Keymaster

    Hello,
    I have a lot of experience with teaching special needs students in the general music classroom and ensemble classes. I am more than happy to share what I know and share what I do with my students. Is the student legally blind, or completely without vision? Feel free to e-mail me gonzalezv@dadeschools.net

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