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#1260341 - 09/01/09 01:46 PM Teaching the visually impaired
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12683
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have a sibling that I may start lessons with who is legally blind in one eye and the other is highly impaired to the point where he'd have to hold the page up to his face to read.

I will be interviewing him in a couple of weeks to see if he could read from a proper distance at the keyboard with highly magnified music. Otherwise I'll be recording his lessons to send home and teaching him by ear.

Has anyone had blind students or visually impaired students, and what approaches did you take with them?
_________________________
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#1260366 - 09/01/09 02:20 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Morodiene]
Mrs.A Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 155
I have never had a student with that severe visual impairment but a friend of mine, who is a music therapist, once mentioned she used a color code system when she started an V-impaired student. I think she brightly highlighted the notes. Maybe it is a start?
_________________________
Piano Teacher.
Church Music Director.
Kindermusik Instructor.
Mom to four boys.


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#1260714 - 09/01/09 10:42 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Mrs.A]
Arghhh Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 1235
You might look through pianoperformer's posts, as he is legally blind. He started at least one thread looking for ideas and describing his process of learning music.

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#1260897 - 09/02/09 09:13 AM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Arghhh]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12683
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Mrs A, that's an interesting idea..playing by colors! However, I think that would only last through his elementary levels, but I could be wrong. It's worth a try!

Arghhh, thanks, I'll definitely do a search.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#1261148 - 09/02/09 03:34 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Morodiene]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2650
Hi Morodiene,
Just last week I turned down a request that I teach a blind girl to play piano. The request came from an acquaintance (a special ed teacher who teaches this girl at school)...and she only has a small keyboard. I know they were disappointed, but I wouldn't know how to do a good job.

I thought perhaps someone who teaches by ear might be better suited to teaching her. Or possibly start with Suzuki...using CD's etc. But I don't see how a blind child could progress very far. I'm interested in how it works out...any helpful ideas I could pass on to this special ed teacher.

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#1261159 - 09/02/09 04:02 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Overexposed]
EDWARDIAN Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/16/09
Posts: 89
Loc: New York, USA


I taught a blind student last year. He was a transfer student aged 18 so was fairly accomplished. Didn't know quite how to approach it, but was able to take him through Level 6 NYSSMA with Grieg's March of the Dwarfs.

Does your student know Braille? Mine used it a bit for reference. There are only a few people in the country who read musical Braille. I used my own regular copy, and talked him through the whole piece, playing as well so he could hear pretty much measure by measure. He's now in college as a music major.

I have never taught a blind student from the beginning. I would first acclimate the pupil to the geography of the keyboard. Go from the person's strengths, which in a blind person's case is tactile and auditory. Associate the "feel" of a Middle C with it's sound and work out from there.

It's a daunting, but satisfying task.

Joan
_________________________
Joan Edward

Private piano teacher, 20+ years
EDWARDIAN45@hotmail.com

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#1261231 - 09/02/09 05:43 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: EDWARDIAN]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2650
Joan, Thanks for your post. This is very helpful, especially about talking a student through the whole piece, playing measure by measure. I may accept the blind child if they cannot find someone who teaches playing by ear. Although, perhaps playing measure by measure IS teaching by ear.

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#1262089 - 09/03/09 09:48 PM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Overexposed]
Karisofia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 201
Loc: Wisconsin
If I were in that position, I would contact the Southern California Conservatory of Music. They have a Braille division and seem to specialize in this area. Perhaps they would have advice.
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#1262278 - 09/04/09 10:13 AM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Karisofia]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12683
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I had a blind voice students once, and we discussed the possibility of her learning musical braille, but it seemed to be a lot of work and I didn't think she was interested in learning it. Her mom would type up the words to her music on a braille machine for her, and she would listen to recordings to learn the notes. She had no trouble learning the music this way. I know of course, piano is much more complex note-wise to learn, but it is just a matter of developing his ear training skills.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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#1262282 - 09/04/09 10:15 AM Re: Teaching the visually impaired [Re: Karisofia]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12683
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Karisofia
If I were in that position, I would contact the Southern California Conservatory of Music. They have a Braille division and seem to specialize in this area. Perhaps they would have advice.

I will definitely check this out, thanks! smile
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher FT



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