Every student attends a trial assessment before signing up for Special Needs Music Lessons at The Radiant Spectrum. These assessments are crucial in helping to identify the current understanding and performance level of our children so their learning needs can be better matched. We also look for skill gaps and misconceptions which need to be bridged or corrected to prepare scaffolded teaching materials for the child’s learning.
At TRS, our trial classes aim to:
- Understand your child
- Identify current music understanding and skills
- Assign a suitable teacher for your child
What do our trial class look like?
1. Help your child get comfortable in the environment
New environments can be intimidating for our children with special needs and we often allow inquisitive children to walk around the school and classrooms during their first visit. This helps them visually understand the environment and the people around them.
2. Observe how your child behaves
Some children may be initially resistant to the size and/or the sound of the real piano. A toy piano or handbells can be offered to them instead. Once they are more comfortable, they will be given the opportunity to interact with the real piano again. We may also sit on the floor with younger children who may require more time to warm up to less familiar adults and materials.
3. Build rapport, more rapport and even more rapport
At TRS, we value relationships and our educators are committed to understanding your child as who he/she is. We do our best to engage them positively during the session as we believe a positive relationship facilitates learning and growth in our children.
4. Assessing music skills through starter activities
Through a range of starter activities, our educators assess your child’s skills and abilities. Below are some skills that will be assessed during trial classes:
- Literacy: alphabet and colour recognition through matching and/or sorting
- Motor skills e.g. pressing with palm, index fingers, and motor coordination between two hands
- Visual processing skills to read from left to right i.e. one-lettered, or multiple-lettered
- Visual referencing skills to track from music score to piano
- Rhythm and pitch
- Attention span
- Tracing, copying and/or writing skills
- Communication skills
- Behaviours in a classroom setting
5. Brief interview with parents
After your child settles into the activity routines, we will ask parents about the home and school environments to get more information on your child’s learning needs. This can include likes, interests, motivation, learning needs and style, communication preference, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and behaviours.
6. Design a suitable education plan and assign a teacher for your child
Based on the information collected during the trial session, the Educators team will come together to evaluate and design an individualized education plan for your child’s music education with us. A suitable teacher with relevant teaching experience will be selected to cater to your child’s unique learning needs. Although each child is typically assigned to one teacher, your child’s progress will be monitored by the entire teaching team so that learning is maximised in the long term!
Our educators will set goals for your child such as:
- Classroom readiness:
- Child is able to follow visual schedule
- Child will comply to requests to stop an activity
- Increase focus and stamina:
- Child is able to attend 45-minute lessons with a maximum of three 2-minute breaks
- Child is able to complete 7 songs in a 45-minute lesson
- Child is willing to repeat songs when requested
- Improve gross and fine motor skills:
- Child is able to play tunes with right and left index fingers
- Child is able to use fingers 1,2,3,4,5 on the right hand (and left hand where it is an appropriate goal)
- Child is able to play C major scales for 1 octave, with the correct turning
- Build musical knowledge:
- Child is able to recognize keys on the piano with no labels on the piano keys
- Child is able to identify treble clef C and D notes consistently
- Child is able to distinguish between crotchet and minim rhythms
The above is a non-exhaustive list of the goals we set for our students at The Radiant Spectrum. Speak with us to understand better how we can help your child nurture his/her love for music, and achieve his/her full potential!
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