Focus on Music

Exploring the musical interests and abilities of blind and partially-sighted children and young people with septo-optic dysplasia

Paperback / softback, 71 pages, 297 mm x 210 mm
1 Feb 2006
Institute of Education

Price: £9.99

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Focus on Music breaks new ground. It is the first survey of its kind to explore the musicality of blind and partially-sighted children in the UK and USA. Through the eyes and ears of their parents and teachers, and through the first-hand experiences of the research team, an intriguing picture emerges of a group of young people in whose lives music occupies a special place. Few of these young people receive the services that their special musical interests and talents deserve, however, and Focus on Music makes a number of recommendations to improve the equality of access to music education for all blind and partially-sighted children, including those with additional disabilities.

  • Adam Ockelford

    Adam Ockelford is Professor of Music at Roehampton University and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, having formerly been Director of Education at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). Adam is Secretary of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE), Chair of Soundabout, and founder of the Amber Trust, a charity that supports visually impaired children in their pursuit of music.

  • Linda Pring

    Linda Pring is Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

  • Graham Welch

    Professor Graham Welch holds the Established Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, and is Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy. He is elected Chair of the internationally based SEMPRE, President of ISME and past Co-Chair of the Research Commission of ISME.

  • Darold Treffert

    Darold A. Treffert, MD, is past-president of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a psychiatrist at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

1 Summary
2 Background
3 The participants
4 Parents’ perceptions of their children’s interest in everyday sounds and music
5 Parents’ perceptions of the importance of music to their children in different contexts and at particular times
6 The children’s musical abilities: parents’ perceptions and other evidence
7 Parents’ accounts of the provision of music education and therapy, and their children’s own approaches to learning
8 Conclusion and recommendations
Appendix 1 Case study
Appendix 2 Excerpts from the questionnaire
Appendix 3 Useful organisations and contact details