Re: Re: Students with special needs

unknown-user on #88286

Calista, thank you for your thoughtful post. I wished we lived nearby
to share notes. 🙂 I had a very interesting lesson with a student with
mental retardation. The caregiver attended and observed. The caregiver
is an educator with a
deep understanding of this student. She advised me to work directly
with the sound with this student. Rather than attaching symbols and
labels to musical ideas, to just simply improvise with her and let her
respond to the patterns I create – and I respond to hers. This is a very interesting approach.
The student can give her very best attention to the sounds when we play
together. She creates music that contains some patterns and some
randomness. She creates rhythmic/melodic motives, but begins the piece
at a different spot on the keyboard each time. I play along on the harp
imitating her motives. We also tell stories with music exploring the
opposites of high/low, loud/soft, fast/slow, since that is the first
step in musical development in children. It will be interesting to see how this approach evolves over time.