Assistive Tech for Kindergarten Music

This year I have become an expert in teaching kindergarten music. 16 hours a week is way more than I ever wanted. With this I have been able to dig deeper into my students’ needs. One I focused on this week was a student with childhood apraxia of speech. I wasn’t really sure what it was so I looked up the definition first! The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association says this:


To speak, messages need to go from your brain to your mouth. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. If your child has apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly. Your child might not be able to move his lips or tongue to the right place to say sounds, even though his muscles are not weak. Sometimes, he might not be able to say much at all.

ASHA Childhood Apraxia of Speech page (ASHA)

This helped me get an idea of how they could participate in the future, and how technology might help them with the singing part while they are still learning to make sounds. So I found PIXELSYNTH as a way they may be able to participate in the melodic portions of class. I made a short screencast to demonstrate how it works.

Video of PIXELSYNTH by me, March 2019

I love how easy it is to use, and how its functionality would work on a tablet. It does require a lot of setup prior to class by me in the settings since this student is learning to read. As they get older this could be transitioned to a keyboard as they learn to read music. I plan on talking to their paraeducator to see if this is something we can set up for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed!

References:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Childhood-Apraxia-of-Speech/

One thought on “Assistive Tech for Kindergarten Music

  1. Well this is certainly an “ill-structured” problem. I imagine when schools create music curricula they do not dedicate much time to the issue of childhood apraxia of speech. If I am right, then I also guess that students with this issue find it hard to engage in music classes. I think that your tool is a great idea because it validates the student’s engagement with the material in a way that the traditional method of engagement might not allow. Good find!

    Like

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