Music for Non-Academic Students

Teaching music to non-academic students with visual impairments.

Written by Wayne Siligo
CSB Music Teacher

Other than a leisure skill, how can music be a positive force for disabled students?

I believe, nearly every disabled child can be taught to enjoy and participate in music in a variety of ways. Music can be of immeasurable value to children with involvements concerning hearing, vision loss, movement, and challenges in both receptive and expressive skills.

The right instrument can possess qualities of sound and tone irresistible enough to reach a child in a direct, uncomplicated manner. Children who have difficulty adapting to their environment and forming relationships with other children and adults, can often, over time, achieve security, self-esteem, and experience the daily pleasure of making their own creative instrumental and vocal music. With some observation, evaluation and patience, we can introduce them to music, and can assist these students to a higher quality of life in many ways.

For decades, educators have been convinced that music introduces non-musical attributes having far-reaching and positive benefits for students who have special needs.

Music activities contribute to:

  • Reasoning ability, primary reading skills, enhanced feelings and response to external stimuli, personal fulfillment, as well as language and beginning math development.
  • The promotion of communication, motor control and physical well-being. This is accompanied with accelerated Development of positive attitudes to school activities, including socializing and pleasurable experiences in a group setting.
  • Often as educator's and care-givers, all that is required of us to reach some of these special students is a period of evaluation, and shelving a few pre-conceived opinions as to how and in what venue "Music" should be presented.