Special ed- inclusion in middle school music
October 27, 2012 at 10:39 pm #14624
In my grade 6, 7, and 8 general music classes there are approximately 5 students in each class from a self contained special ed class. Most students have cognitive impairments and function between the level of a toddler to a 4 year old. What type of modifications are appropriate in this case? Thank you.October 28, 2012 at 10:15 am #14626
It depends… What kinds of activities do you usually do with the rest of the class? Do the students have aides/paras that come with them?October 28, 2012 at 10:23 pm #14634
The general music class is currently playing guitars. There are 5-6 special ed students with cognitive impairments in each class for grade 6, 7, and 8. Activities later this year will include percussion, music analysis, and listening. I am specifically looking for suggestions with the guitar unit as students in the special ed class generally lack the fine motor control to hold the instrument. There is an aide who accompanies the students.November 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm #14701
Could the aide finger the guitar while the students strum (I guess they would have to take turns), or maybe have another responsible student buddy up with these students and do the fingerings while the special needs students strummed? Or maybe you could tune their guitars to an open chord and just work on rhythm with strumming. Or if possible (this would require an extra expense) maybe use autoharps; that way they could put the instrument on a table or on their lap to strum, and the aide or another student could press the chord buttons (or if they can handle doing 2 things at once maybe they can hold the buttons down for the chord themselves while strumming).November 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm #14702
Also, just from doing a Google for adaptive guitar, I came up with a few other interesting links:
A special splint that can be attached to the student’s hand to make it easier to hold a pick, if their hand is disabled or they dont’ have the fine motor skills to be able to hold a pick — http://www.chasa.org/kids-with-hemiplegia-can-play-the-guitar/
An example of how to use an open tuning for music therapy activities – http://timeformusic.org/2010/08/06/inside-music-therapy-open-tuning-the-guitar/
Another website about adaptive tuning — http://www.wellsphere.com/physical-mental-disabilities-article/sunday-spotlight-time-for-music-s-adaptive-guitar-tuning/1014121February 1, 2013 at 6:13 pm #19773
You could always do a one chord song and simply re-tune the guitar so they simply play open strings. It’s no fun to watch your para do all the work and have all the fun. For a G chord, simply tune 1-6: D, B same, G same, D same, B, D. If you do a two chord song, say G and D chords, the student could play all the G chords with open tuning and then show them a stop sign while the other students play the D chords.
Also, use an ukelel. Or remove on a guitar the bottom two strings.
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