Adaptations in the Music Classroom: Accommodations and Modifications
Darrow, A.-A. (2008). Adaptations in the music classroom: Accommodations and modifications, part 2. General Music Today, 21(3), 32-34.
Present information in a variety of ways and using a variety of modalities
- Visual aids
- Kinesthetic reinforcement
- Hands-on activities
- Active participation
Offer a variety of formats for assessment
- Have the student answer questions verbally instead of writing
- Allow the student to show understanding through movement
- Allow the student to use communication devices
- Have the student play an instrument instead of singing
Allow the student extra time to complete assignments
- Allow the student extra time in class
- Allow the student to come during free time
- Collaborate with the special or general education teacher to finish tasks outside music class
Decrease the amount of work expected
- Have fewer required questions on worksheets
- Have the student only learn one or two parts of a song
Arrange the classroom to meet the needs of the student as much as possible
- Put away any unnecessary items to limit distractions
- Seat the student near a positive peer role model
- Seat the student near the teacher
- Make sure the student can get around the room without any obstacles
- Keep the classroom set-up consistent for students with visual challenges
Make modifications to existing or purchase new instruments to allow everyone to play
- Give the student a lightweight instrument
- Give the student an instrument on a stand, like a chime tree
- Give the student an instrument that uses a large mallet to grasp more easily
- Use an instrument holder that can be attached to a wheelchair
- Use adaptive mallets
Assign the student a buddy to help complete tasks
- Have the student work with a student buddy
- Have the student work with an adult assistant
- Seat the student close to the teacher so the teacher can check in on him or her regularly
Create easier, but complementary tasks for the student to complete
- Have the student perform a steady beat while the rest of the class performs a rhythm
- Allow the student to play an easier part while other students play harder instruments
Allow the student to participate only partially in some activities
- Allow the student to play only the rhythm while the rest of the class performs the entire song
- Allow the student to leave if an activity is too noisy
- Have the student use headphones to listen to music if he or she becomes overstimulated
Modify the objective of a task or assignment to meet the student's needs
- Focus more on socialization than comprehension of the material
- Allow the student to participate to the best of his or her ability
Provide an alternative when the activities the rest of the class is doing are not appropriate for the student
- Teach the student individually or in a small group
- Give the student an alternate assignment if he or she is incapable of doing what his or her peers are doing
Click for details and examples
10 Tips for Successful Inclusion
2. Have high expectations for all students, including those with special needs.
3. Use chronologically age-appropriate materials.
4. Be flexible in both planning and teaching.
5. Actively interact with students so that you can get to know them and their needs.
6. Be consistent with directions, rules, and consequences.
7. Keep a positive attitude about teaching students with special needs.
8. Reach out to special and general education teachers, parents, and other members of a student's support team.
9. Offer feedback regularly, especially positive reinforcement.
10. Try to exhibit patience, warmth, and humor in your interactions.