Teaching music to a blind student
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Hello! I am in my 4th year of teaching elementary music and have a student in jr. kindergarten this year who is, and always has been, completely blind. Up until now, I’ve been making accommodations just fine regarding using her as a model to show movements to the class and letting her feel instruments. Tomorrow, however, I’m planning on incorporating a visual of quarter notes along with some instrument playing, mostly as exposure. This led me to realize that with this particular student, accommodations are going to get more difficult as she gets older. Do any of you have experiences teaching music to blind students? I’m interested to learn about Braille music and other resources. Thank you!
For now use stick notation, and literally use popsicle sticks as a manipulative to use for the student. I have a friend who is a blind musician and has been all their life. What we do is someone prepays and records the music and they end up memorizing it. You can also use tactile things such as magnetic boards and magnets to feel the staff and move it around to represent the musical staff.
You might also check out this book:
Music in Special Education, Second Edition [Paperback]
Mary S. Adamek (Author), Alice-Ann Darrow (Author)
it has an entire chapter devoted to students with visual impairments. I have had Alice and arrow as a teacher before and she is wonderful with doing these modifications.
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