Visually Impaired Children And Music Education Education Essay

The term 'visual impairment' identifies people with irretrievable sight damage (Open School, 2006). However, this category of folks who require special needs also contains people whose impairment can be retrieved after medical help. Generally, one is not considered visually impaired when vision is possible by using contacts or glasses.

Visual impairment can be caused after genetic malfunction and visual harm to the eye before delivery, after beginning and during life span. (Miller and Ockelford, 2005).

There are 1. 5 million children worldwide that suffer from visual impairment. There are many attention conditions that can cause visible impairment in children. Amongs them are Albinism, Cataracts, Coloboma, Cortical aesthetic impairment (CVI), Glaucoma, Nystagmus, Optic nerve disorders, Retinopathy of prematurity and Retinitis pigmentosa. ()

There are some factors that can affect the visually impaired's ability to handle their condition and function better. The specialist therapist's support can be considered a major impact, and the family's attitude has a significant part as well. On top of that, social and psychological safety has shown to be very important.

Music and children with special needs

Music can be beneficial to every kind of special need without even the appropriate understanding of the music educators. Since the head should be extremely alert all the time, causes tension. Relaxing music can lower tensions levels. (Kersten, 1981). Research workers in the region of music found that music can produce listening as well as vibration. Elizabeth May (1961) has found that deaf children can feel music through vibrations, and perform in a unique way.

According to Zimmerman, music can enchant self-confidence, develop ambition and satisfaction, in specific and group work within the school environment. Music lessons in the curriculum is very important because it helps to promote self efficiency in children. It facilitates leisure and fun in comparison to the solutions and other lessons that the children are taught. Furthermore, children with special needs might compare themselves with the other children in the class room. However, during the music lessons they are given the opportunity to relax and participate equally. Moreover, music can enchants creativeness for the children with special needs.

Kersten (1981) has suggested that, "Music has an important cosmetic contribution to the lives of sighted individuals"; therefore, VI students can reach creative levels through musical activities. Regarding non-sighted children, music toys and games can be quite helpful since sighted children have vision as the first sensory to be able to realise objects and especially gadgets.

Furthermore, these students can play a rhythmic instrument and produce constant rhythms, and take part in music compositions. Generally, a non-sighted person is able to expand life encounters through other senses.

It is an acknowledged fact that visually impaired people use sound in an effort to compensate their loss of vision. Attending concerts is actually pleasurable because they can fully participate like every person else in the audience. It's very significant how this form of equality can influence their feelings of self-esteem. A lot of the aesthetically impaired are listeners, yet a few of them are more associated with music by accomplishing or even composing.

The Music teacher, the Music therapist and the Therapist

There are extensive differences between the music educator and the music therapist. "Music remedy and music education are distinctive disciplines and have separate level requirements" (Patterson, 2003). Patterson points out that the therapist and the educator are two different parallels. The educator is the person responsible to instruct music; on the other palm the therapist addresses social and communicative skills through music. Quite simply, the aim of the music professor is to create music, the purpose of the music therapist is to offer an improvement in mental and physical health through music. Both of these roles shouldn't be confused. However, there are some frequent misunderstandings that music professors and therapists are undertaking the same training, and they're providing the same services.

What is the role of the music instructor? VI children frequently visit the therapist or a music therapist; therefore, music tutor is not responsible t o treat the child but to instruct music as for the other children. The music lesson should provide enjoyment to the children and if they're treated differently, that might cause negative feelings and stress. Children with sensual or physical impairments have the ability to become very accomplished music artists, and the tutor should keep that in mind and treat them evenly.

According to Patterson, music educators can cooperate with music therapists, through consultations or in-service training. This accommodates the ability for music instructors to learn new techniques and strategies. They can be informed and modified concerning the possible problems that a SEN (find it) child will face in a mainstream institution.

Non-specialist music professors and the SEN children

Non-specialist music professors have a great responsibility when educating children with special needs. Although, they aren't trained to learn a way to react in the occurrence of any issue, or, how to instruct a tune to each different case of special need, the music educator is important to be prepared and take the correct training involving how to teach the child. Being conscious of the essential symptoms the children display is one way to teach them.

Children with visible impairment in mainstream schools

In the mainstream college, a great deal of issues might be an obstacle for a VI child. First of all, the kid may have a problem reading records from the plank because of "distortion of depth notion, colour perception, what's being seen and recognized" (Arter et. al, 1999). Furthermore, the child may not be able to focus to near and far distances, and this could cause visual tiredness to the child. These problems can be resolved by providing additional time to process the visible information.

There are numerous opinions concerning the college environment's role. Some people support the theory that the institution should offer security for impaired people. However, others disagree with this, bearing that only few steps should be studied in order to aid them. The institution environment though, should provide safety for students with visual impairments.

According to Patterson, many educators have stated that they don't feel ready to package with children with learning difficulties. A review of modern-day mainstreaming practices in the southern USA support this (Music Teachers Journal 58, Apr 1972). Furthermore Jaquiss (2005) has accumulated some assertions by music educators that show the unpreparedness of the music professors

"I need much more the perfect time to plan if pupils with SEN will be approaching to my lessons"


"I've enough to do without worrying about kinds who can't read or write".

According to the, some professors would feel more confident if indeed they could have more training on how to teach music to students with special needs.

Witchell states that educators' objectives should be sensible, and a secured method of learning is necessary for SEN children. Furthermore, the Philipott and Plumeridge (2001) suggest that engaging a holistic methodology that combines carrying out, composing and hearing escalates the natural advancement of musical development.

Extracurricular work in and out of school

A university is a location that works as a small community where someone can make friends and participate in groups and in several occasions. The aesthetically impaired and almost every other special need children have a very difficult daily program as a result of teacher's requirements, and the treatments they are executing every day. In cases like this, it is rather impossible to demand from these children to participate in any extracurricular activity after college. Pressuring the child to become listed on any music group, demands more effort from the teacher and the child.

Nevertheless, there are many musical ensemble activities that children can take part, which do not require notation. Some examples are: the Caribbean steel pan, the fine art and craft of the metallic strap, gamelan orchestras and various styles, which require improvisation by the music artists. In this case aesthetically impaired children can fully participate at the same level with their classmates, and feel a sense of equality and same capabilities.

Visually impaired in the early years

Zimmerman (1997) illustrated that children who can see are more desirable because they work together more. Alternatively, newborns who are non-sighted might not interact as much, and may not get the same response as the sighted infants. During the early years children favor toys from wood or material than plastic material ones because the sound they produce is more thrilling. Visually impaired newborns are able to control audiovisual materials.

In the mainstream nursery institution, the sighted child is participating in performing nursery rhymes and musical video games. Perspective is the sense that allows children to web page link superfluous sounds using what they see. Zimmerman advises musical cues to be able to help the visually impaired children. For example, with any instrument, melodic or percussion, the sighted child is able to know how the sound is stated in evaluation with the non-sighted child. The non-sighted will need period to touch the device, produce a audio by mistake and begin exploring the instrument. One nice coaching method is to give instruments as an incentive to the well behaved children with visible impairment.

Visually impaired in the main element stage 1

The national curriculum in Great britain and Wales in this stage is accessible to non-sighted students as well since it involves performing and playing an instrument, composing and being truly a part of an ensemble. Zimmerman (1997) areas that aesthetically impaired students are able to even play xylophones, when the tutor will take off the note parts that aren't supposed to be played. Moreover, the writer suggests that because the visually impaired scholar cannot count on or copy other students, a solution is to hold hands and take turns.

Visually impaired at key level 2

In this stage, children are able to sing and understand basic harmony in relation to the tune. The music educator by using the sense of touch as a cue can suggest to the blind and aesthetically impaired students the right time to go into the song. The planning for the performance (rehearsals and level planning) can become more difficult than the performance afterwards. The usage of Braille, written words for the blind, is vital for the kids in music lessons for children with visual impairments in order to understand the pitch and the space of notes.

Visually impaired at key level 3

In key level 3, music specialist teachers can be found in schools and they are accountable for the music lesson in special designed music rooms. It is rather difficult for the blind and VI children expressing their talent because a whole course is working at the same time with the instructor having cosmetic expressions. The noise level in the school room might influence significantly the non-sighted child's potential to understand and follow the lesson. Zimmerman noticed that less sighted students like to truly have a leading role or be simply a unaggressive member than have the same role as nearly all other students. With this get older the non-sighted children are able to use the Braille rhythm notation. More lighted, dazzling colors and enlarged photocopies in a music stand can help students to work faster.

Visually impaired at key stage 4

At this stage, the General License of Secondary Education exam is taking place as well as the typical Grade. Aesthetically impaired children have the ability to take these examinations by using Braille, term processors and by writing the answers by hand.

Performance, listening and composition

In general children who are visually impaired use hearing in order to converse and get involved as well in the classroom. A silent environment helps the kids to differentiate the sounds. Concerning performing, matching to Philippot, the music instructor is suggested to know all the students musical level, concerning also understanding in order to help students participate in their one level around they can. One example that can provide help to the less sighted learner is to copy, do it again and develop from the tutor with short questions and answers phrases. Furthermore, as Witchell areas, rhythmic ostinati as well as the utilization of the pentatonic level help the college student to have greater results. In order to do well the performance sometimes is effective to make pairs of 1 visual impaired pupil and one more able scholar in music. Pairs could practice in a practice room for better results. It really is normal that VI students maybe find it difficult to concentrate in their activity with other students playing music in the same room. The use of Otherwise Clearvision music catalogs (which includes also the Braille system), provides identical opportunities for all the children to work together without the differentiation.

Moreover, the utilization of the tape can help the VI scholar to memorize a musical part easier.

"The sky is the limit, since when given the chance to choose, able pupils often choose difficult and challenging routes, and revel in taking risks" (Witchell, 23905)

On the other hand, being attentive activities, as Witchell states can encourage students to "apply their aural acuity in response to what they hear". Furthermore, in the mainstream class room, students can create their own understanding. Easy solved questions are advised in order to help all students to get involved without burning off their self-confidence. Witchell ranking the pupils' progress in three basic levels. With the first level, students have the ability to differentiate sound characteristics and instruments. For example, devices and voices. At the second level, the university student is able to recognize expressive features. Finally, at the third level, the pupil can classify the framework of a bit.

"Composing in the class room is an part of music that has transformed our perspectives of teaching and learning". (Witchell, 5443) The instructor becomes facilitator regarding the composing part of the lessons. However, sometimes the teachers forget they have also the director duties and they have problems with teaching in the classroom. In general composing can give decently feelings of capacity to the less sighted students because they manage their learning when they create. However, children with special needs is highly recommended more in cases like this. There are plenty of ways to help the children that are visually impaired.

First of all, the instructor should move detail by detail to make visually impaired students more capable of composing. For instance, teaching the precise genre the kids will work on, or by learning the size they will create. According to making use of the words to the music maybe it might be easier according to Witchell, if the professor teach the students ideas of the tune varieties or melodic patterns.

Secondly, it is important to know how to group the sighted and the blind children, either in pairs either in bigger groups. Working with pairs can be very effective when having in pairs less able with more able students.

Moreover, because the composing part is within a small timeframe the kids should be prepared to accomplish the composition task in time. Ten to fifteen minutes are enough for the students in groups to create.

"Music teaching must donate to the humanity of most children so that its impact is sustained throughout their lives. It should also be our bottom line in making certain music in academic institutions meets the average person needs of all pupils. " (Witchell, 25462)

Visually impaired children have the ability to fully take part in all musical activities in a mainstream college. However there are some factors that could help these children involving performing, tuning in and composing in the class room.

First of all, the educator should enable to the VI students to choose the instruments they want. Moreover, it might be helpful if the kids use a personal tape recorder or a mini-disk player. Moreover, it is vital to help make the students alert to what instruments are available in the classroom, marking them with a highlighter marker. On the other hand the teacher shouldn't take the tool from a student without letting them know. Moreover, abrupt and loud noises can be quite annoying for the VI children. In addition to that, poor quality and unturned musical instruments would postpone the children's improvement.

Concerning specific activities, the music tutor should clarify the duties to the VI children in the same level with all the children in the school room. Furthermore, as stated above, the educator should find a practice room for the VI children. Conversing will children are creating can cause problems in their results.

In standard, the music educator in a mainstream university, as Jaquiss areas, should make the VI university student feel as more capable as possible. On the other hand the professor should help the students find the necessary equipment or equipment. The teacher should never "assume that they can need help in recording or that they will have a perfect musical memory"

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