What defines a hearing impairment? According to the IDEA, a hearing impairment is a hearing loss so severe that it impacts a student’s ability to process linguistic information and academic performance, requiring special education and related services
Some basic facts Students who are deaf may have some residual hearing, but generally are not able to use it for processing speech Many students use VISUALS to commnicate Students who are hard-of-hearing generally respond to speech using residual hearing and hearing aids Hearing loss may be congenital (present at birth) or adventitious (acquired) A conductive hearing loss means there is a difficulty transmitting sound vibrations to the ear, while a sensorineural hearing loss refers to damage to the auditory nerve. Mixed hearing loss includes both Hearing loss may be unilateral (present in one ear)or bilateral (present in both ears)
Effects of Hearing Loss: Effects determined by the level: slight (27-40dB), mild (41-55 dB), moderate (56-70 dB), severe (71-90 dB), profound (91 dB) Language development is affected (time frame) Intellectual development not affected, but educational achievement may be (testing biases) Social development is at risk if students cannot readily communicate with those at school and at home Students with severe to profound hearing loss often experience delays in academic achievement
Educational Approaches: ORAL APPROACH- advocates the use of speech and speech reading (read lips), and the amplification and use of residual hearing MANUAL APPROACH- uses signs and finger spelling to communicate thoughts and ideas AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE- distinct language with own grammar and syntax. Widely used in the US. There also several combinations of the above approaches Ex: the Bilingual-Bicultural Approach teaches ASL as a first language and English as a second.
Assistive Technology Hearing aids to amplify sounds FM Radio- the hearing aid receiver is connected to a teacher’s microphone, amplifying only the teacher’s voice TDD- telephone devices for the deaf are phones with screens that display words Closed captioning on the TV Cochlear implants can help restore hearing for sensorineural hearing loss
Music Education for Students with a Hearing Loss Students with hearing losses are musical, but the degree of interest in music varies among these students. Students should participate in music activities that include: 1. Listening to music 2. Singing 3. Playing Instruments 4. Moving to music 5. Creating music 6. Reading music
(Continued) Other objectives: Knowledge about masterpieces of music, elements of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, form, and expression. Orff and Kodaly approaches are particularly useful because of their visual and movement components. Students are at a disadvantage if they are taught music solely through music. Therefore learning through performing, reading, writing music and active participation is best for students with a hearing loss. Every student deserves the right to participate in musical arts, and hearing loss students do find music to be an important part of their life.
Adaptive Strategies Music therapists or teachers can make these appropriate adaptations in teaching music to those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. These are some of the adjustments based on research on music and individuals with hearing loss: 1. Rhythmic abilities are stronger than pitch related abilities. 2. Tactile perception can compensate for auditory deficits. 3. Visual cues, such as tapping the beat, are particularly helpful for students. 4. Pitch discrimination skills can be trained and developed. 5. Pitch discriminations skills can be made more easily in lower frequency ranges. 6. The vocal range of students with hearing losses is often lower and limited.
(continued) 7. Students can benefit both musically and academically from participation in musical activities. 8. Sustaining instruments may provide more useful aural feedback than percussive instruments. 9. Students may perform more accurately by reading standard music notation than by relying on the ear to imitate or learn by rote. 10. Students with hearing losses can improve their vocal intonation, both in singing and in speaking, by participating in vocal activity. 11. Music Instruction can assist in the development of a number of nonmusical behaviors such as speech production, listening, language, social, and academic skills.
Interpreting Songs into Sign Putting songs into sign language is a popular activity for deaf and hard-of-hearing students as well as typical hearing students. It is a useful means of sharing cultural values and performing popular music. Signing should not be “finger play.” Careful attention should be given to the art of interpreting songs, and they should be meticulously executed like the singing of the songs. Important guidelines: 1. Signs used for song interpretation can reflect volume, pitch, rhythm, and mood by a variety of uses of body language, facial expression, space, and manner of execution. 2. Musical signing should transmit emotion as vividly as the audible song. 3. When groups are performing in sign, special attention should be given to ensemble work. Signs should be synchronized: all hands moving in unison, all signs executed the same way, all signs made in the same amount of space. 4. Signs, like voices, should blend. No signer should stand out from the group.
Music Therapy for Students with Hearing Loss Deafness is no longer viewed as a medical condition, a deficit in need of treatment. The only true handicap is being cut off from the usual means of acquiring and transmitting language. The loss of hearing has many implications for the development of communication skills. Music therapy remains a viable educational intervention and the goals for them are: linguistic, behavioral, academic, motor skills, social interaction skills, and self-concept. With the focused training of English literacy as the critical skill in deaf education, music therapy serves as a motivating and engaging method for achieving linguistic objectives. The linguistic objectives for deaf children are: developing aural-oral English literacy and learning English as a second language through American Sign Language.