5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE TEACHING PIANO TO CHILDREN WITH DYSLEXIA
1. Dyslexia is real
Dyslexia a learning disorder and affects around 10% of the population. It is a life-long, neurodevelopmental condition - not psychological – which usually runs in families and is not an indication of intelligence or the lack of it.
Children with dyslexia have difficulties in reading, including reading music scores, which is also referred to as developmental dysmusia. This means your student is most probably going to have difficulties in one or more of these areas:
Decoding information like in exams as an example.
Organization of things such as having the right stuff and practicing alone
2. It is not due to poor vision and it is not curable
This is not only a stage, the student will continue having difficulty with reading the notes, you will have to redesign and choose a suitable method to avoid frustration and ensure progress.
Dyslexia covers so many different areas and skills, this is why it is so important to identify the student’s learning strengths and where there is a weakness and continue to observe this all the time.
3. It comes with a combination of other challenges
Further to this, co-occurring difficulties may be also seen in students with dyslexia such as:
Motor skills and co-ordination problems
Writing and reading difficulties
Time management difficulties
4. It will take longer to go through books and repertoires
Starting by teaching the staff is not the ideal way to start with a student with dyslexia. Soon you will find out that you need to leave the music notation for a while and establish some basics and build a solid ground first. For practical steps and more advice on strategies that work read more:
5. You will have good days and bad days
On some days your student will remember everything, read and play perfectly and have a great lesson and on other days everything seems to be forgotten and you seem to go back to square one. All of this with no apparent reason.