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  • Hello, my name is Julie Novak,

  • and I'm thrilled to be speaking with you today

  • about my topic, which is utilizing music therapy

  • to teach language skills for students, who are Deaf

  • or hard of hearing. I'd like to start with telling you

  • a little bit about myself. I was previously

  • the music therapist and music educator at the Colorado

  • School for the Deaf and the Blind. I worked for 10 years

  • with the School for the Deaf preschool through eighth

  • grade programs. I currently work for the Center for

  • Hearing and Communication in Broward County, Florida,

  • and now my focus is high school students.

  • I would like to briefly share with you

  • what music therapy is. Music therapy is a field

  • that requires a degree. It requires a Board Certification

  • and an internship. I like to define music therapy

  • as "the use of music for non-musical goals."

  • You can find music therapists in many types of settings.

  • You can find them in clinical settings, in hospitals,

  • in hospice services. You can also find them

  • in educational settings. A lot of times school districts

  • hire music therapists in special education settings.

  • Research has indicated that music can aid

  • in memory/attention. It provides motivation and

  • reinforcement, and helps establish

  • a positive learning environment.

  • Oftentimes, when I talk about Deafness and music,

  • I sometimes get a quizzical response.

  • One could hypothesize, that students who are Deaf or

  • hard of hearing: Why would they be good at music and

  • why would they enjoy music? I always, when I get that

  • kind of response, I like to highlight Gardner's Theory

  • of Multiple Intelligences, which states that all

  • of our brains are wired certain ways, in different ways,

  • and all of us have gifts.

  • My theory and Gardner's theory is that, just because

  • someone's hearing mechanism doesn't work like

  • the typical hearing population, it doesn't mean

  • that their brain is still not wired and gifted for music.

  • In my studies and in my experience at the School for the

  • Deaf and the Blind, I have known profoundly Deaf

  • individuals, who are rooted in the Deaf community,

  • but still enjoy any type of feedback they get from music.

  • They have speaker systems at their house,

  • they use earbuds, and even though what they're

  • experiencing is vibrational, they still get reinforced and

  • motivated by the rhythms of the vibrational feedback.

  • May I add, just like the hearing population there are

  • some hearing people, who don't enjoy music.

  • Music is not their thing, they don't enroll in any classes

  • in music. They are just not connected to music.

  • I think similarly to the Deaf community, there are some

  • Deaf members, who don't identify with music at all.

  • Research has indicated strengths and preferences

  • for children, who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Let me give you a few seconds to read these bullets.

  • It states that music should be appropriately

  • amplified. It is important for a teacher or parent to

  • realize, that for a student who is Deaf or hard of hearing,

  • a Fisher Price boombox is not going to do justice

  • to the music that they are going to hear.

  • You want to make sure the sound equipment

  • is legit, and that it's high quality.

  • Children, who are Deaf or hard of hearing, require more

  • exposure, which makes sense, because maybe their

  • musical experiences aren't as vast as someone,

  • who had a lot of experiences previously.

  • Rhythmic tendencies tend to be stronger than

  • pitch-related abilities. It's really interesting

  • in a lot of the research, the students, who are Deaf or

  • hard of hearing, do just as well as the hearing subjects,

  • when it comes to rhythmic testing.

  • So rhythmic tends to be very salient

  • for the Deaf population.

  • Finally, sustaining instruments give more

  • aural feedback, are more reinforcing than percussive

  • instruments. This is an interesting finding, because

  • a lot of times in the Deaf community, you'll see big bass

  • drums at football games and at pep rallies.

  • While that instrument is very reinforcing for the Deaf

  • community, the research found that low-frequency

  • instruments like a trombone, that sustains a low pitch,

  • tends to be more be reinforcing

  • and gives more feedback. Another example is

  • a bass guitar, when you strum the string

  • or when you pluck the string,

  • the sound going through the amplifier is reinforcing.

  • It's important here that I mention, that preference is

  • very important. As you know in the Deaf or

  • hard of hearing population, that lot of times

  • the hearing varies. There's high frequency loss,

  • low frequency loss. So it is important to match

  • preferences with the hearing loss. For example,

  • the soprano recorder, which is a small high-pitched

  • instrument, a lot my Deaf students didn't like that

  • instrument, because it wasn't low pitched.

  • They would actually detested that instrument.

  • But occasionally, I have one or two students,

  • who would just fall love with the soprano recorder.

  • So you really do you have to pay attention

  • to preferences.

  • I'll give you a second to read the slide.

  • Is music a part Deaf culture?

  • I think, if I would ask a member of the Deaf community,

  • they would probably say, "No," that it is not part of

  • Deaf culture, and that it is more part of hearing culture.

  • I have in working with the Deaf community,

  • I have found big examples of ways that music

  • is utilized in the Deaf culture. If you remember,

  • for example, the creation, performance, significance,

  • and even the definition of music varies according

  • to culture and social context. Music in America

  • is very different than, let's say, music in tribal Africa.

  • I would like to make the same comparison that music

  • in mainstream hearing culture, might be different

  • than music that's found and created

  • by the Deaf community. One example, I love to use is

  • the Gallaudet Fight Song. The song has strong rhythmic

  • examples inside of it. It has a calm response

  • type of feel, and it is used by the Deaf

  • and passed from generation to generation,

  • much like a folk song is passed down

  • from generation to generation in the hearing culture.

  • Another example of music in the Deaf culture

  • is D-PAN, Deaf Performing Arts Network, d-pan.com

  • is a website, where Deaf people can perform.

  • There's a performer there named Sean Forbes,

  • who actually creates raps and

  • incorporates ASL sign into his raps.

  • My last example of music in Deaf culture is Rathskellar,

  • which is a Deaf performing arts group that travels

  • around United States performing rhythmic chants,

  • performing dance, and performing all kinds

  • of instruments or actually it's more

  • geared towards movement in sign.

  • I'll give you second to read this slide.

  • For my graduate studies, I looked at the use of music

  • to teach vocabulary. I chose 24 target words, and

  • I really focused on children age three and four years old.

  • I had a hearing sample and a group of students

  • who were Deaf or hard of hearing.

  • I targeted words in six different categories to teach

  • them. I made sure before I started the testing

  • that they were unaware of the vocabulary,

  • that I was introducing.

  • In this project, I had four conditions or four situations

  • that I taught in. One was, I paired music with visual

  • aids and sign language. So I used song to teach

  • vocabulary. In my second condition, I used rhythmic

  • chant paired with visual aids and sign language.

  • My third condition, I just used conversation paired

  • with visual aids and sign language. Finally, my fourth

  • condition was a control condition,

  • which I didn't teach words at all in the session.

  • I found that the preschoolers, who are Deaf or

  • hard of hearing made the most gains in the rhythmic

  • condition, that the rhythmic chant helped aid teach

  • vocabulary most out of the melodic conversation

  • and the control group.

  • I will give you a second to read the slide.

  • This finding corroborates with previous research

  • that states, "Rhythm is very salient for people

  • with hearing loss," and the results could implicate

  • that rhythmic chant could be used in preschool

  • classrooms. In music classrooms, it may be beneficial

  • to use rhythmic chant to teach vocabulary.

  • In this next clip that I'm going to show.

  • It's an example of how I use rhythmic chant to teach

  • vocabulary. This is a chant that actually teaches

  • opposites. I'm going to show the clip for you now.

  • "To my rap, tell me the opposite, when I snap.

  • Listen, I say, 'Yes,' you say, 'No.'