Professional Notes: Reaching All Students via Technology
Music Educators Journal Volume 100, Number 1, ISSN 0027-4321
Music teachers are often the Pied Pipers of their schools, attracting the interest of students by the nature of the subject they teach. Their students who excel are often the best and brightest, since music reading and music production demand higher-level thinking skills, motor ability, and in the case of ensemble performance, social skills. As more and more students with severe disabilities are included in general education music classes and become part of school budgets, curricula, and assessments where all student growth is measured, music teachers need to be able to offer meaningful participation for all students in music. Deborah Nelson writes in this article that even with a degree in music, a master's degree in special education, and two endorsements, one for gifted students and one for students with severe disabilities, her teacher preparation classes did not address the needs of students with the most severe disabilities. She says that what she has learned in the area has come through the privilege of working with master teachers, attending in-service classes for teachers, enrolling in college classes, reading, and doing action research. However, even with all that under her belt, it has still been her students who have taught her the most by leading her to what they need. While wrestling with the challenge of writing lesson plans that ask students to sing, perform on instruments, read music, dance, and otherwise use higher level thinking skills, Nelson describes ways in which she has become more and more creative and familiar with technology that provides access to learning through virtual music experiences.
Nelson, D. (2013). Professional Notes: Reaching All Students via Technology. Music Educators Journal, 100(1), 26-29.