One of the hardest jobs we face as teachers is adapting to teach those with special learning difficulties, as you have to completely rethink your strategies. I am a high functioning dyslexic and as a result I am very interested in the best and most effective ways to teach those who learn differently. But what really is a normal way of learning? Over the past few years I have researched and tested a few ideas and I have collated some of them here.
The best methods that I’ve found are those that are multi-sensory. Multi-sensory techniques are those that use more than one type of stimuli. These techniques are not just effective for those with dyslexia but for early years learning too. Below are a few techniques, games and sets of equipment that I use…
Beatblox are a great tool to use with children and those who benefit from learning via a hands on approach. I’ve only recently started using Beatblox but I’ve found that they’re useful for teaching both a practical and theoretical approach to rhythm. Beatblox allows students to have a fun experience using standard musical notation which will help to eliminate the ‘struggle’ of learning how to read music. The set removes the extra distractions of pitch/dynamics/articulation and provides a self-explanatory exercise using blocks of different sizes representing the length of note or rest.
Having a visual stimuli such as beatblox gives a solid base to further the musical education for learners of all styles and I fully recommend Beatblox to those looking to add more visual and kinetic learning to their lessons.
For those interested in Beatblox then have a look here.
Music Theory Resources for Children
My First Theory Book and Theory Made Easy for Little Children by Lina Ng are great books to use when teaching theory to young children. They are very friendly, approachable and have stickers which is appealing for almost every child! It can be hard to get young children interested in music theory but these books are certainly a step in the right direction for your lesson plans.
Key Signature Dice
Key signature dice are a great teaching tool that are designed to help students gain an understanding of key signatures, the order of sharps and flats within a key signature, and the circle of 5th’s. By having a physical object associated with this subject it will enhance the students interest in the topic and by using a kinetic learning tool it will help the student pick up the information in a faster and more concise way. Key signature dice can by used in almost any setting and there are a plethora of ways in which you can incorporate this teaching tool into your lessons.
Take a look at some key signature dice here.