Using Technology in Deaf Music Education Paul Shim, General Music Teacher

Why is Deaf Music Education Important?

This year I've been challenged with the opportunity to provide a musical education to a deaf student in our "mainstream" classroom. This is my second year teaching 6th grade general music and I have never had this challenge before. The first thought some people might have is why is music education important to deaf and hard of hearing student? To that my response is music is such a powerful tool for story telling, to express emotions, and to be creative. As a professional musician I feel that it is my responsibility to help convey the ideas of music different for deaf and hard of hearing people.

How I Use Technology

I use technology in my classroom to provide my student with ways to experience music differently. The first thing I did was look for apps in the iPad that could represent sound visually and I had a lot of success with this. There are apps that can provide information about how intense a sound is, show what frequencies are strongest, and what the sound wave would look like. Some apps that have been helpful are InsTuner, Absorbed, Audiogasm, Sound Meter, Gravitarium, and GarageBand.

Top left to right: Gravitarium, Audiogasm, GarageBand, InsTuner, Absorbed

I also have modified an old speaker so that my student can feel the vibrations of sounds.

With the technology available to us, my student is more engaged and experience music in ways she never has before. She is able to be creative and get clear feedback based off her compositions. The technology provides a great way for my student to experience and have fun creating music!

Deaf Music: Universal Design in the Classroom and Beyond

Recently Dr. Julia Silvestri and Hannah Ehrenberg have been awarded the CCD Diversity and Community Initiatives Grant Award for Spring 2017. This grant has funded a project and event at Teacher's College, Columbia University.

"Deaf Music: Universal Design in the Classroom and Beyond, builds on the goals outlined in a previous Deaf music event at Teachers College by leading educators, musicians into the world of deaf music with the goal of collaborating on a project that underscores the principles of UD to provide accessible musical education and produce accessible musical compositions. With a dual focus on education and production, the collaboration will explore Deaf culture and deaf education through the shared experience of music."

I wil be presenting some of the ways that we use Universal Design to provide new experiences for our student with hard of hearing in a music classroom. More information about this event can be found on the Deaf Education Program at Teachers College, Columbia University Facebook page.

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Shim, Paul SMS Teacher - Music
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