Music Speaks at P.G. Chambers School
Margey, P.G. Chambers School music teacher incorporates listening, playing instruments, singing, and moving into her daily music classes. Using a creative approach to music instruction, Margey adapts her lessons to the unique needs of each child. These elements play a significant role in music and in the cognitive and social development of the students at P.G. Chambers School.
During my orientation week, I had the opportunity to join a few music classes. Each class played their own rendition of “Hello There”. At first, I wondered how some of the children who were non verbal would participate in singing. I soon learned that switches are prerecorded to the lyrics of a song. Singing with voice or augmentative devices help the children develop language skills. I also wondered how some of the children with physical disabilities would be able to participate in playing instruments. I also learned that hand chimes and other hand held instruments are modified with Velcro to help the children firmly hold the objects. The teachers also use a hand-over-hand technique to help the children feel the vibrations of the drum. Adaptive music education is essential for allowing all the students to participate.
Additionally, the music program works to stimulate every sense and engages the students everyday to help them see, feel and hear in many different ways. Music allows them to express and free themselves in new ways. Certain instruments such as drums, tambourines and even glockenspiels deliver auditory and sensory feedback to the students allowing them to feel the beat and rhythm in their bodies.
Students at P.G. Chambers School express their creativity in music class. They find the feedback from feeling the vibrations of the percussion instruments and hearing their sounds immensely rewarding, building self confidence, and satisfaction. “Music class affords our students many opportunities and experiences but I think the most important of these is joy”, Margey said. “Our music classes are about the process, the joy that comes from creating, vocalizing and moving to a variety of sounds.”