Steady beat used to be a concept that I used to assume all students just kind of knew. I didn’t understand the deep necessity for students experiencing it, and how a strong sense of the steady beat would improve other areas of a student’s performance in piano.
My first two years as a classroom music teacher, I had my students do rhythm drills. We started with rhythms of half and whole notes, while students used traditional counting (1-2-3-4). From one lesson to the next, they could not accurately clap the correct rhythms and count. They could tell me that a quarter note got one beat and a half note got two, but there was something missing. It was frustrating for my students and for me. I was failing them somehow, but I could not understand why.
Even though I graduated with a music education degree, there are some things that you just don’t fully understand on their importance until it smacks you in the face while you are teaching.
For me, learning adaptations for students with disabilities was more of an abstract concept than something I fully grasped. But when I was faced with teaching multiple students with common disabilities like dyslexia, I decided it was time for me to find resources to consult, and learn how to adapt teaching music.
In the past I have had a couple students with learning disabilities who became frustrated in music lessons and stopped. I find this to be a failure on my part and I am bound and determined to do a better job at adapting music so that every student feels the joy of learning music.