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 Hearing Impaired Student
Author: Amy 
Date:   1999-09-12 17:04

I am a high schooler that is starting to teach lessons to beginners (6th and 7th grade). And the mother of one girl kind of surprised me when she told me her daughter was hearing impaired. She told me the girl could not hear a metronome, or if she was playing a wrong note. I haven't had a lesson with her yet, so I don't know how extreme her hearing loss is. But if anyone has had experience with teaching someone with this sort of situation, I'd love to hear some ideas on how to go about teaching. I'm a tad nervous about it. Thanks in advance.

Amy :)

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: Rick2 
Date:   1999-09-13 03:59

I suspect she'll need to use a tuner with a needle because she probably cant hear the beats to tune aurally.

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: ron 
Date:   1999-09-13 04:40

Hi,Amy -
It will depend on how much residual hearing the student has. I have associated for several years with deaf people (yes, my friends, who mostly use sign language to communicate, prefer to be called deaf, rather than hearing impaired (because 'deaf is deaf')- or hard of hearing if that's the situation. I've been told by a couple of my friends of a profoundly deaf girl who was quite succesful learning to play bassoon, but I've not met her nor do I know whether she has been successful also playing in an ensemble. I'll ask around and get back to you if I can find out about that. I wouldn't be overly concerned about it. Like other students, she will either succeed or she won't. You'll determine that soon enough. She deserves the same opportunity to try is as any other student would. This is my opinion.

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: Don Poulsen 
Date:   1999-09-13 15:23

It is also possible to buy an inexpensive (< $20) electronic metronome with a blinking light. This might be easier to see peripherally than a needle.

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: paul 
Date:   1999-09-13 19:39

I agree with Don and Ron, in that order.

There are blinking metronomes available on the cheap from practically any place you look. The bright red lights on some of them should catch someone's eye in peripheral vision fairly well. Not overly distracting if you train your peripheral vision for it.

As for Ron's comment, why not give the student a chance and see how far the student goes. Let me see if I get my music history correct here. Didn't Mozart's hearing degrade to deafness early in his life? Yet, look and listen to what he composed. So, I'd say let the student grow and learn as much as possible. See where it leads.

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: Kevin Bowman 
Date:   1999-09-13 20:44

If the student is hearing impaired and not deaf, she may be able to hear a metronome fitted with and ear-piece. Many of the electronic metronomes have a ear-phone output jack. When I have tried the ear-phone, the volume of the sound is _very_ loud. Plus, having a physical connection with the sound source may be beneficial.

As far as metronomes with lights - it might be beneficial to find one that has an LED that can alternate colors; red for beat one, green for other beats - although a simply blinking light can be used too. I often get tired of "hearing" my metronome and switch it to "light only" mode. Placed on the stand, it's quite visible.

A method I often use to teach rhythms might also be handy - get a drum-stick and tap the beat on the leg of the student's chair (not the student's leg :) The physical connection/feedback is stronger than the aural feedback. For this reason, I always encourage students to tap their feet or even stomp until they have a good "feel" for timing.

Hope this helps ...

Kevin Bowman

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: ron 
Date:   1999-09-16 21:15

Amy -
I contacted the local Center on Deafness about hearing impaired students learning to play a musical instrument. They were not at all helpful. It was suggested that I contact one of the local colleges for interpreter assistance! I know they're very good about providing interpreters for classes but this was far from an answer to the question. I know there is better information out there, special aids, adjustments etc., I just haven't had the time to persue it this past week. If I come up with something more substantial (more than just rumor that someone...), preferably deaf friends with first hand knowledge, I'll get back to the BB with it. Unfortunately, deaf and hard of hearing people run into this all the time.

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 RE: Hearing Impaired Student
Author: Amy 
Date:   1999-09-17 02:25

Thanks to everyone for the advice. I have my first lesson with her on Monday, so I'll get a feel for how it's going to work. I'll try to figure out some ideas to help her feel the rythym and use a lot of visual representations. I'll write back to let everyone know how it goes. Thanks again for the helpful info!
Amy :)

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