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Special needs Music

Discussion in 'Music' started by jonowen, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Does anyone teach pupils with special needs? I have one pupil (14 years old but her functioning age is around about 12 months) who adores music but I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep her interest. I have her for 40 mins at a time (4 x 40 min periods a week) and spend that singing/playing the piano for action/nursery songs, she loves Mozart so we move around to some of his music, and listen to other CDs with a view to making up a "My Favourites" CD of her own.
    We are never going to make any further progress and I'm stuck for new ideas. We had a music-therapist visit and she left some ideas, but they were mainly what I'm doing already.
    I'm just looking for a wee bit of support myself here I suppose and any new ideas will be lovely, thanks!
    Joni x
     
  2. Hi Joni,

    My music therapy is rusty and rather ropey to say the least but I noticed that no one else had commented so just some things that occurred to me.

    What about drawing some of the pieces or sections of them on giant pieces of paper?

    Have you explored basic improvisation over a story she likes? Either rhythmically, with percussion or using piano/voice? Would she be able to create 'action' music for a story - with a great deal of your help of course!
     
  3. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Thanks Jenny,I will try the ideas you suggest, especially improvising over a story. It's so odd, she turns 15 this week and while she is behind with so much she is a typical teenage girl, with all the bad-attitude and giggles!
    Last year I bought the book "A Comprehensive Guide to Music Therapy" by Tony Wigram, Inge Nygaard Pedersen and Lars Ole Bonde and started studying/reading it over the weekend. I managed to convince myself I was failing this girl by not doing enough, but now (and calmed down!) I think I gave myself information overload - do you know this book and do you agree that it is too scientific for an ordinary music teacher?
     
  4. Hi Joni, I have been teaching music in special schools for a couple of years now and can sympathise. It sounds like you are doing the right things, for one. If she enjoys it, it is working. To add to Jenny's good suggestions, have you considered working with iPads? There are lots of interactive Music apps that are being used in Music Therapy and can be used for improvisation games, such as Bloom: itunes.apple.com/.../id292792586.

    I have also recently begun working with Skoogs and there is much that can be done with these music boxes: http://www.skoogmusic.com/

    I was going to look at the book you referenced but was put off by your experience. However, an open day at a local Nordoff Robbins centre let me see a range of approaches that convinced me I am in the right ballpark. Is there one near you that might be approachable? www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk
     
  5. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Hi Gordon

    Thanks for your message and kind words! Things have moved on, as well as my lovely pupil, so I only see her once in my week now. She still enjoys music greatly and keeping her busy and focussed is less of a problem. Thanks for the NR link, that is a possibility for the future.

    Joni x
     

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