Teaching Music to Deaf Children

The Deaf Music project began in 2015 when Dr. Julia Silvestri hosted a panel event that explored the relationship between music, literacy, and Deaf Education. Music is traditionally defined as an art form whose medium is sound. Since ancient times– patterns of music have been found in the vibrations of nature, human voices and instruments. For children who are deaf and hard of hearing, sound energy is accessed differently. The energy can be made accessible through technology, translation or redefinition. The group of panelists–including Dr. Ye Wang, Warren Churchill, David Thacker-Bowell, and Jonathan McMillan–led us through different ideologies and aspects of musical education– including phonological processing through audition and visual-spatial communication, aesthetic appreciation, and creativity. The panelists concluded that Universal Design for Learning was the key to opening access to music for Deaf and hard of hearing students as well as expanding the musical experience for all people.

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