Special Issue 5 (2) 2013 – Article
Students with Special Needs in the 21st Century Music Classroom: Practices and Perceptions of Orff- and Non-Orff Trained Educators
Lori Gooding, Michael Hudson & Olivia Yinger
Students with special needs are increasingly incorporated into the music classroom, yet research suggests music educators feel unsupported and inadequately prepared for work with students who have special needs. The current study investigated music educators’ experience with and perceptions of students with special needs in the music classroom. A total of 99 participants enrolled in graduate level Orff-Schulwerk and non-Orff-Schulwerk courses answered 26 questions on (a) experiences with special learners in the music classroom, (b) teaching practices, and (c) perceptions regarding special learners in the music classroom. Results suggest that the only factor that significantly impacted feelings of preparation to teach special learners in the music classroom was the number of music-specific courses taken related to teaching special learners. The only demographic variable predictive of teachers’ use of multimodal activities in the classroom was the level of Orff training. This suggests that coursework on teaching special learners in the music classroom may contribute to teachers’ feelings of preparation and that the multi-sensory nature of the Orff approach has practical applications for teaching students with disabilities. Future studies should explore other factors that may impact teacher perceptions and practices when working with students with special needs.
special learners; Orff; music; perceptions; teacher training
Lori Gooding, PhD, MT-BC, earned her doctoral degree from Florida State University and joined the University of Kentucky as the Director of Music Therapy in July 2010. There she established the graduate academic program in music therapy, as well as the clinical music therapy program at the University of Kentucky UK HealthCare. She is actively involved in music therapy research, earning a grant from the National Institute on Aging in 2011 and from AARP (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) in 2012. Dr. Gooding currently serves as President-Elect for the Southeastern Region of the American Music Therapy Association and is a member of the Journal of Music Therapy editorial board.
Michael Hudson is Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Kentucky School of Music. Prior to earning his Ph.D. from Florida State University, Dr. Hudson taught high school bands and orchestras in the Brevard County Public School System in Florida. His duties at the University of Kentucky include teaching undergraduate courses in instrumental methods, conducting, behaviour modification and introduction to music education. Dr. Hudson has presented his research findings at regional, national and international conferences and serves as research coordinator for the Kentucky Music Educators Association. His research interests include sociology in music education, music perception, and music performance skills.
Olivia Swedberg Yinger is Assistant Professor of Music Therapy at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Yinger previously coordinated the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare/Florida State University Music Therapy and Arts in Medicine Program, as well as the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy. Dr. Yinger currently serves as a Fellow of the National Institute for Infant and Child Medical Music Therapy and presents and publishes at a regional, national, and international level. Her primary research interests are procedural support music therapy, neonatal and paediatric music therapy, and music therapy for individuals with neurological disorders.