DR. FRED KERSTEN
ACCOMMODATING VISUALLY IMPAIRED STUDENTS IN MUSIC CLASSES FOR THE SIGHTED
Objectives: To collect and summarize information needed by music instructors in accommodating visually impaired students in music classes for the sighted. To determine if technology has had any impact on providing means for accommodating visually impaired at all sighted levels at all levels from Kindergarten through College.
Significance: Through understanding of available technology, materials, instructional techniques and musical considerations, better leadership for inclusion, and accommodation of Visually Impaired students in the sighted music classroom can be provided resulting in a better learning environment.
Research Procedures: Collection, analysis, and synthesis of 100 documents. Consultation with authorities in the field, and visitation to music schools for the blind to observe teaching practices.
Results: Using a topical heading list to categorize and organize data, the information was summarized and is presented within the parameters of this heading structure.
Conclusions: A. Technology and teaching aids have been developed that are very helpful in allowing VI students to be accommodated in music classes for the sighted. B. Classroom management techniques are variable and dependent on teacher creativity and needs of each student involved. C. Accommodation may be successfully implemented, provided planning, and provision are done far in advance so that materials may be obtained and facilities structured.
Directions for Further Research: A. Conduct a survey of music teachers to discover methods and materials they are using to accommodate visually impaired students in their music classes. B. Disseminate this information through articles, workshops, and professional organizations so others involved with accommodation may benefit.
- In an ensemble place VI musician near a competent person on the same part.
- VI players do not realize an increase in musical aptitude as a result of sight loss.
- Entrances by non sighted players are usually anticipated by listening for intake of breath by sighted peers. The timing between breath intake and group sound production serves as a cue for the VI musician to begin.
- It is not necessary for instructors to learn Braille notation, however a general familiarity with it can be helpful if a student with Braille-literacy is in class.
- Valved brass players, and vocalists, can read Braille and perform at the same time.
- Melodic and rhythmic dictation can be notated in Braille by VI theory students. Or, students can listed to a recorded example on one tape recorder, verbally analyze what is heard, and simultaneously record both example and verbal analysis a second machine.
- Orient students to the classroom and make sure that any changes in furniture arrangement are made known immediately.Obstacles such as open doors or drinking fountains should be identified.
- If the person has a guide dog, seating should be developed with this in mind
- If you have to lead a visually impaired student, have the person place one hand on your arm and follow beside and slightly behind you.
- Identify texts and music in advance and consult the National Library Service to see if large print, audio, or Braille copies are in existence. If not, transcriptions will have to be obtained.
- Assign a sighted student to be responsible for leading the visually impaired student from the building if a situation for emergency egress should arise.
- Don't feel sorry for your blind students, and don't try to be overly helpful. If a blind person is to function and to live his own life to the fullest, he must learn to get by on his own and not become overly dependent on others.
COMPUTER AIDED INSTRUCTION
- If the person cannot take notes on a Braille slate, record
information on a cassette.
identify yourself when you enter the music room and tell the person when you leave.
- Allow visually impaired students to participate musically whenever possible. If movement activities are part of a general music class, provide a sighted partner and an unobstructed space.
- Expect reasonable standards of musical performance and academic achievement from VI students. Realize that Braille rate and audio reading aids are much slower, and assignments should be made well in advance of class.
- Watch for physical mannerisms (poor posture, improper holding of instrument). Tell students and make corrections--your assistance will be welcomed!!
- VI students can conduct and should be encouraged to do so. Sighted students may demonstrate by guiding VI hands and arms and raised line drawings will illustrate each pattern.
MECHANICAL INSTRUCTION AIDS
- Microbrailler 2400 -Braille Processor with 12-cell display utilizing small wheels and disk drive.
- Braille Music Translator Project--University of Arizona(1997). Blind Musician can input by keyboard, typewriter, or voice, and printout in both Braille, and regular music notation.
- Voice Synthesis--Kurzweil programs for voice communication using the computer:
1. Voice For Windows:
2. Reading Machine-Literary to Speech:
A. Music History Texts.
B. Theory Texts.
C. Braille n'Speak (Keyboard initiated Braille to Speech)--Pattee Library.
ELECTRONIC VISUAL READING AIDS
- Beetz Notation Graph--A three-foot square "staff" made of wire on which metal notes and music symbols may be placed--allowing students to "see" staff with their fingers.
- Varga Violin Guide--Two metal rails are curved to fit over strings, parallel to bridge, confining bow to a specified area.
- Adjustable Piano Rack--adjustable for both height and distance from the player. A person reading large print music can move the rack to a comfortable reading position.
- Trombone Position Guide--A thin plastic bar with position markings mounted parallel to the slide. The guide allows beginning students to locate positions aiding in learning and intonation.
PROCURING MUSICAL MATERIALS
- VCR Piano Monitor--Recorded large print piano music images are received on a television monitor placed on the piano music rack. A floor switch allows the images to be read at the speed rate desired.
- Imager Model 100--Easel-type closed circuit camera for reading materials in large print format.
- Imager Model 200--Self-contained unit allowing large print reading of print materials.
- Dual Image II--allows reading of text on one easel and writing on a second.
- CRT Readout System--allows viewing of both computer screen and regular documents on the same large-print viewing monitor.
- The OPTACON (OPtical - to -TActile - CONverter). A camera-device converting any size print to tactile cells.
Braille, Large Print, and recorded musical materials may be obtained either in standard format or custom- produced through the following organizations:
ADAPTIVE EQUIPMENT AT PSU/UP CAMPUS
- Music Section, National Library Service (NLS) for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
- Johanna Bureau for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, Inc.
- American Printing House for the Blind
- Braille Book Bank
- Volunteer Services for the Blind
- National Braille Association
- Recording for the Blind
- National Braille Press, Inc.
All computers have access to the Internet as well as CAC's public microcomputer lab software. All
of CAC's public microcomputer labs are handicap accessible. For additional information on
adaptive equipment, please call the Office for Disability Services at (863-1807). * indicates
non-computer equipment, Mac is a Macintosh computer, and IBM is an IBM Personal Computer.
Technology for Individuals with Visual Impairments
- Screen Magnification
- CloseView (Mac) C102 Pattee, 217 Boucke, all CAC Mac labs
- InLarge (Mac) - C102 Pattee, 217 Boucke
- ZoomTextPlus for Windows (IBM) - C102 Pattee, 217 Boucke, all CAC IBM labs
- 19" color monitor (Mac/IBM) - C102 Pattee, 217 Boucke, 112 Redifer, 15 Sparks,
108 Warnock, 6 Findlay (IBM only)
- CCTV (large scale magnification system)
- *Visualtek (14" black and white) - C102 Pattee
- *Aladdin (14" black and white) - 217 Boucke
- *Chroma Plus (20" color) - C102 Pattee
- *Meva II (5" black and white portable) - C102 Pattee
- Screen Reader/Scanner with Voice Synthesizer
- Artic Transport screen reader (IBM) - C102 Pattee
- HP Color Scanner with auto document feeder and Arkenstone OpenBook Unbound
(IBM) - C102 Pattee
- *Kurzweil personal reader - C102 Pattee
- Letter quality and large fonts (Mac/IBM) - C102 Pattee
- Braille printer with MegaDots (IBM) - C102 Pattee
- Document holder (Mac/IBM) - C102 Pattee, 217 Boucke
- *Flexible Disc Player - C102 Pattee
- *Audio tape player/recorder - C102 Pattee
- *Talking calculator
- *Braille writer
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