Students with down syndrome

Rebeca Padilla said: Mar 9, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
11 posts

Hello there again, I’m really excited because one of my students from early music stimulation is moving up to piano lessons. He has down syndrome, he is so good at copying sounds and rythms, obviously his learning process is different, but I am really excited about the challenge it represents for me as a teacher. I don’t have any experience with this though, and I don’t know anyone near by who does, his mother gave me his therapist cell number so I can talk if I have any doubts, yet I would like to hear from any of you who knows anything about it. Thanks so much.

Colleen Lively said: Mar 12, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
11 posts

I currently teach violin to a 16 year old girl with Down Syndrome. This is my 3rd student with Downs (forgive me if I don’t label it correctly) in my 30+ teaching career. Each child has been totally different, depending on their level of learning. I have adjusted my teaching style each time. Having also worked for a few years in a public school pre-school classroom with children with learning disabilities, I have acquired some additional teaching helps.
For example, I frequently stand behind this student, “H”, and do “hand-over-hand” with her bowing. I am not as strict with her bow hold, nor other techniques. The mom was very beneficial during the first month of lessons and mentioned that “H” really likes routine, so I made sure that I did the exact same warm-ups at each lesson such as: Variation A on E string 8 times, then on the A string.
I know you’re working with a pianist, but routine seems to be much more important with Downs students. Also, “H” has trouble memorizing so we (the mom and I) came up with a color-coded learning tool. All notes on the E string are in purple and A string in red. I re-wrote out the “notes” on a separate piece of paper with the color-code. I have also added other songs that just use the E string such a “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Hot Cross Buns” because “H” has trouble on the A string right now.
Working closely with the mom, instead of the therapist might be more beneficial. I hope this helps a bit.

Colleen

Rebeca Padilla said: Mar 12, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
11 posts

It is, thanks very much, is it any possibility for you to share with me your color coding? Just to see the way you do it in case it helps me in a different way. The mother is very helpful, she just gave me the number in case I wanted to talk to his therapist.

Colleen Lively said: Mar 13, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
11 posts

I’ll get the color-codes to you later today.

Colleen

Colleen Lively said: Mar 15, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
11 posts

Rebeca, I am finally getting around to sending you my “color-codes” for Twinkle Code. Ooops, I just tried to “copy & paste” but the color won’t show up here. I’ll just email you the code in a few minutes. Hopefully that will work.

Colleen

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