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Teaching Music Students with Dyslexia

Created by Lucinda Pope a1608917

Education, Culture and Diversity

We would like to Acknowledge that the land we meet on
today is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and that
we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We
also acknowledge the Kaurna people as the traditional
custodians of the Adelaide region and that their cultural
and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna
people today.


Learning Outcomes
At the end of this workshop, you will be able to
Understand what dyslexia is and looks like.
Assist music students on their musicianship and
performance skills
Have a variety of resourses to assist your teaching skills for
dyslexic students
Have a repertoire of activities to make sure all students of
different levels are engaged in their music class.

Program First Hour

Icebreaker 10mins
Discussion What do we know about Dyslexia? 10mins
What is Dyslexia? Facts and Symptoms 5mins
Break 5mins
Video 10mins
Activity 5mins
Plenary 10mins
Break 5 mins

Icebreaker How much do you

Sit in a circle
You will pass around a roll of toilet paper and take as
much as you need to get the job done.
For every piece of toilet paper you have ripped off, you
must tell the group one thing about yourself.

Students with Dyslexia - Discussion

What do we already know about students with dyslexia?
Turn to the people around you and spend a few minutes
talking to each other about what you already know about

What did we learn and what do we know? open

discussion gathering information.

What is Dyslexia? - Facts

An estimated 15% of the population have significant
dyslexic difficulties
Dyslexics do not see words backwards. The b-d letter
reversal for example is mainly caused by deficits in
interpreting left and right.
1 in 5 people suffer from dyslexia.
People with dyslexia are usually more creative and have
a higher level of intelligence.

What is Dyslexia?
Difficulty Conditions:
Difficulty in reading, writing, spelling, sequencing, auditory
processing, motor skills, short-term memory, and numbers.
Struggling Symptoms:
Low self-esteem, erratic behaviour, frustration, fear of failure,
exhaustion and anxiety.
Musical Symptoms:
Music notation, melodic and rhythmic dictation/repetition,
sight reading and maintaining a steady pulse.

5 Min Break Hour Update

Icebreaker 10mins
Discussion What do we know about Dyslexia? 10mins
What is Dyslexia? Facts and Symptoms 5mins
Break 5mins
Video 10mins
Activity 5mins
Plenary 10mins
Break 5 mins

Video - Secondary Special Needs

A Dyslexia Friendly Classroom.
This program looks at increasing the understanding of what
it is to be dyslexic at school and offers innovative classroom
strategies to help dyslexic pupils to achieve. The program
focuses on a dyslexia awareness course with SEN staff from
Sackville School in East Grinstead as they learn how to make
their classrooms dyslexia friendly. Specialist trainers from the
Medway Dyslexia Association put the SEN staff through their
paces with various activities designed to put them in the
shoes of a dyslexic student.

Activity #1 Word Finding

You have 30 seconds to tell the person next to you your
However you must do this without saying the letter e
Once your 30 seconds is up, let the other person have a
How did you go?
What did we discover from this?

We now know
Adolescent pupils struggle to find words on the spot or
under pressure.
Retract from participating in activities because of these
The main symptoms and conditions of dyslexia.

5 Minute Break

Program Second Hour

Activity 10mins
Discussion 5 mins
Dyslexia in Music Students 10 mins
Break 10mins
Activity 10mins
Plenary 5mins
Break 5mins

Activity Copying and Notating

You have 5 minutes to write the following greek written paragraph down.

: , ,
, , ,

, , ,


Activity Copying and Notating

On the next slide there will be an excerpt from a
particular song. You now have 2 minutes to copy and
notate the following tune.

Activity Copying and Notating

Activity Discussion
How did you go?
How do you think a dyslexic student with little musical
knowledge would go?
What did you struggle with?
Did you complete the task?
Does this help you understand how students now feel?

Dyslexia in Music Students

Dyslexia in Music Students

Students are easily overwhelmed.
Tasks need to be made manageable and achievable.
Major skills such as notation, instrument fingering
techniques, articulation and rhythm are extremely hard
to correct if learnt wrong.
Step by step approach is best at assisting them.

Rhythm and Timing

Rhythmic and Timing activities assist the brain in
developing weak processing skills.
Activities including clapping, percussion and juggling
where strong hand and eye coordination are used are
Rhythmic activities where singing is involved works well

Notation and Timing

Requires eye-ear-hand coordination
Students are slow at processing the task
Annotate music in coloured groups with highlighter and
Use flash cards to learn notes and groupings.

10min Break Hour Update

Activity 5mins
Discussion 5 mins
Dyslexia in Music Students 10 mins
Break 10mins
Activity 10mins
Plenary 5mins
Break 5mins

Activity - Juggling
We are going to watch this short video on juggling for
beginners in preparation before trying this ourselves.

Activity Juggling
1. Hold a scarf in each hand
2. Toss one up in the air, not too high, slightly crossing the
body, with your palm facing out.
3. When it reaches its height, toss the second scarf, slightly
across the body.
4. Catch each scarf in the opposite hand, with your palm
facing out.
5. Focus on tossing, not catching.

What did we learn from juggling?
What were the positives and negatives you found?
Why is juggling good for us?

5 Minute Break

Program Third Hour

Intro into class activities 5 mins
Activities 20 mins
Break 5 mins
Resources 10mins
Plenary Brainstorm 10 mins
Questions 5 mins
Conclusion 5 mins

Why music games?

Beneficial because they are strong brain games
Use of coordination, hand movements and speech
Enthusiasm is emphasisesd over time in performance
Students gain confidence in group activities

The Name Game

Choose a leader
The leader claps a rhythmic pattern that the group copy back.
It should be a steady beat with a couple of actions like clap, clap, knee slap,
Students are to take turns around the circle and say their name in the rest position.

Rhythm Balloons
Different coloured balloons mean different note values.

I would now love you to spend the next 20 minutes in small
groups, testing out and practicing some of the activities we
have gone through today.
Each take turns in running the exercise as though you were
teaching it and explaining it to a class.
You could:
Play the Name Game, Balloon Rhythms, Rock Patterns
Practice your juggling skills

Program Checklist
Intro into class activities 5 mins
Activities 20 mins
Break 5 mins
Resources 15mins
Questions 5 mins
Conclusion 5 mins

Music and Dyslexia A Positive Approach
Great for classroom activity ideas
An insight into how dyslexia students
struggle with music subjects
How to assist music students in class




Do you have any questions you would like to ask on

todays session?

What we covered:
Intro to Dyslexia
Intro to Music Students with Dyslexia
Musical games and activities
Things weve learned
Games and activities that assist students with some of the problem
areas from dyslexia.
Teaching strategies to further extend learning outside of the

Conclusion Cont.
Why its important
There are so many variations of dyslexia and it is more common than we think. Not
only are these difficulties for dyslexic students, some of these skills we all struggle
with at times.
Things to take away
Different ways to approaching the learning support needed by students with
Different ways to approach your teaching for all students
Awareness of the strategies and the difference that your teaching can make to a
childs development.
A broader understanding of what dyslexia is and looks like.

Miles, T. R, John Westcombe, and Diana Ditchfield. Music
And Dyslexia. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley &
Sons, 2008. Print.
"Specific Learning Difficulties Association Of SA / SPELD SA". N.p., 2016. Web. 18 Aug. 2016.
Juggling Tutorial - How To Juggle Scarves". YouTube. N.p.,
2016. Web. 20 Aug. 2016.
"Teachers TV: Dyslexia Friendly Classroom". YouTube. N.p.,
2016. Web. 19 Aug. 2016.
"Teachers' TV Australia". N.p., 2016. Web.
19 Aug. 2016.

Thank You
Thank you for coming today and participating in this
I hope that you can take away plenty of new knowledge!

L.Pope Aug 2016