Teaching a Dyslexic Child

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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amym996
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Teaching a Dyslexic Child

Post by amym996 »

Hi folks,

I am fairly new to piano teaching and have encountered a slight problem this week. One of my students is 10 years old and is dyslexic. He went to a different piano teacher before he came to me, and completed his Initial Exam with her, but upon investigation he seemed to learn his pieces entirely by depending on finger numbers and muscle memory. He had no sight reading ability whatsoever. I took him back to basics and he was getting on well, but then the pandemic hit and there was a bit of regression. He has been doing okay, and learning songs from his music book, and is working out what the notes are on the page while in his lesson, but is still depending on memory and ear - which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but the issue is that when he goes home, his mum complains that he forgets mostly everything he has done and he struggles with having the patience to work out the notes on the page without support. I’m wondering if anyone else has encountered something like this and if there are tips or strategies for how I can help him? Thanks!
chrisw
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Re: Teaching a Dyslexic Child

Post by chrisw »

Sorry I am not a teacher and have very little experience of dyslexia. If there are no replies to your post on this forum then please try ABRSM forums pages or Piano Network UK on Facebook. There are many piano teachers that like to use the latter two sites.
Feg
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Re: Teaching a Dyslexic Child

Post by Feg »

Firstly, speak to Mum about what help he gets at school.
He may have glasses with coloured lenses which can help some children with dyslexia.
Something as simple as changing the colour of the background or the notes can help a lot.
You are going to have to be creative in your teaching style. Marking certain notes in a different colour may help - every C a different colour, or using coloured lines in the stave.
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