Writing last week’s blog about my special needs pupil felt really quite special for me. It was lovely to find that are quite a few of us who have been inspired by similar situations in our teaching.
This week we are continuing our Special Needs theme by highlighting some of the great resources that are available these days.
Did you know that next Tuesday, March 21st 2018 is World Down Syndrome Day? FIND OUT MORE
One piano teacher who has experienced the joys of teaching children with Down Syndrome is Birmingham-based Rosie Cross. In a great article CLICK HERE she explains that she had no previous experience but urges others to also give it a go. As she says: ‘Tom and I have learned together’. If you want to find out more investigate melodymusic.org.uk
Dyslexia is probably the special needs that we are most familiar with in the piano studio. Nevertheless it can present itself in such a variety of ways that it can be tricky to fully comprehend. Luckily the British Dyslexia Association have a great website, one section of which is devoted to Dyslexia and Music. It really is an incredibly useful resource. THE BRITISH DYSLEXIA ASSOCIATION
As well as looking at what can be done to help dyslexic individuals it also considers dyspraxia. Another website that is rich in practical information is the 2E Music Studio. This was established by Australian Melissa Gindy and provides useful scenarios and strategies. THE 2E MUSIC STUDIO
AUTISM AND COMPLEX NEEDS
Individuals who are on the autistic spectrum have their own specific and particular set of needs. This can range from being highly articulate to completely non-verbal. Professor Adam Ockelford, one the world’s leading authorities on autism, has given an inspiring TedTalk along with pianist Derek Paravicini, who was born blind and with severe autism.
You might also be interested in looking at the Sounds of Intent framework. The aim of it is to investigate and promote the musical development of children and young people with learning difficulties. THE SOUNDS OF INTENT FRAMEWORK
MUSIC FOR BLIND CHILDREN
The Amber Trust (UK) was founded in 1995 to help blind and partially sighted children, including those with additional disabilities, to access and enjoy music. VISIT THE WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE
Percussionist, Dame Evelyn Glennie says ‘I’m not a deaf musician, I am a musician who happens to be deaf’. She is truly inspirational in this TedTalk, How to truly listen.
Also, read this fascinating insight into how a teacher can help pianists with hearing loss adjust by Nancy M.Williams. CLICK HERE
BE INSPIRED – BE THE INSPIRATION!
Finally, there are many, many special needs children and individuals in our society who would benefit hugely from piano lessons. They just need to be given the opportunity and that’s down to us. Who knows, you might just find the next Derek Paravicini!
This blog post was written by Dr. Sally Cathcart, Co-Founder and Director of The Curious Piano Teachers.