Parents and teachers of gifted students can find many simple ways to help these students with music therapy. Gifted children often have difficulty fitting in with their peers and can feel overwhelmed by the demands of school. However, with the help of music therapy, these children can overcome some of their challenges and develop a strong sense of self.
Many parents and teachers of gifted students find ways to help these students with music. There are many simple ways to get started, such as providing a keyboard for the student to use or encouraging them to take music classes.
The gifted often have a unique set of talents and abilities that can be put to good use through music therapy.
Here are five simple ways for parents and teachers to help gifted students through music therapy.
1. Talk with your gifted child about what music means to them.
Music can be a form of communication for some children, so it’s important to understand what appeals to them and why.
2. Listen to music that your child likes.
This might sound simple, but it can be difficult for parents and teachers to listen to music from a modern genre.
3. Encourage your child to play with other kids who have similar interests in instrumental music.
Find established groups, or ask for help in creating one.
4. Support the child’s music by being active in the community.
Encourage your child to participate in music festivals, concerts, and workshops.
5. Find a musical mentor for your child.
Avoid the temptation to hide your child’s challenges. Many musical mentors are in tune with gifted students’ emotional and developmental challenges, even more so than traditional teachers without musical sensitivity training.
“Music has a way of giving the young soul a way to help heal the world”
How to challenge gifted students in the music classroom
Challenging gifted students in the music classroom can be a daunting task. However, with a little bit of preparation, teachers can help their students thrive in the music classroom. Here are some tips to help challenge gifted students:
1. Establish clear expectations for all students in the class. This will help ensure that all students are on the same page and understand what is expected of them. Gifted students often test boundaries, so enforcing adherence to directions is imperative from day one.
2. Identify student strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to determine if the student is ready for a challenging course or should be given a more gentle introduction to music.
3. Enhance the students’ skills with supplementary materials and practice.
4. Encourage individualization and creativity in your classes by allowing for student input and collaboration. This will allow gifted students to truly shine and show off their gifts.
5. Offer supplementary materials, such as online resources, audiovisual aids, or sheet music, to help your students improve their skills. This way, they can focus on learning at their own pace.
How to Differentiate Instruction for Gifted Students in the Music Classroom
Some gifted students are like turtles, where slow and steady wins the race. Others are like bamboo trees, where it seems like nothing is getting through…then BAM! When it seems they were behind, they suddenly grow 10 feet tall and outpace their peers. Parents who observe the cycles of their gifted child’s growth can capitalize on opportunities much easier and effortlessly. This is especially true when it comes to music education.
How to provide enrichment opportunities for gifted students in the music classroom
- One way to provide enrichment opportunities for gifted music students is to challenge them with a more difficult repertoire.
- You can also ask them to lead class discussions or workshops on topics related to music history or performance.
- Another way to provide enrichment opportunities for gifted students in the music classroom is to give them the opportunity to compose and perform their own pieces.
How to Accommodate Gifted Students in the Music Classroom
Gifted students have different needs than other students when it comes to music. Some gifted students may have difficulty following the traditional steps of learning music, such as notation and chords. They may be better served by an informal learning environment where they can explore music on their own terms. Other gifted students may do best in a more traditional classroom setting, with explicit instruction and assigned work. It is important to find a method that works well for each student and to provide a supportive environment that allows them to explore their musical potential.
Take Tiffany, for example. She has two boys who started playing string instruments in elementary school. Both were identified as gifted by psychological testing. One is left-brained and mathematical-minded, while the younger is creative and analytical. Rather than having them both learn in the same style, she incorporated both of their learning styles into their daily practice. It started out as 15 minutes of reading a page of music theory. This pleased the older, left-brained child. Then, they moved on to 15 minutes of improvisation from the theory they learned. This excited the younger child who loved creativity. As a result, they both learned much more than they would have if they practiced 15 minutes a day, but in different ways.
How to engage gifted students in the music classroom
What can teachers do to engage gifted students in music?
- Find ways for the students to be involved in the planning and execution of musical projects. This can involve having them help choose the music, designing the project’s layout or graphics, or even playing a role in its production.
- In addition, teachers should make sure that any materials used in class are appropriate for gifted students. Many gifted students are tactile, so demystifying the ‘mysterious touch’ by allowing appropriate instrumental touch can reduce stress for the student and teacher.
- Finally, parents and teachers should create a supportive environment where gifted students can feel comfortable exploring their musical gifts. This can extend to encounters outside of traditional settings, such as preparing for recitals, concertos, or collaborations with other musicians.
How to help gifted students thrive in the music classroom
Gifted students in the music classroom often have to face unique challenges. They may be used to getting A’s and being praised for their exceptional talent, but they may not have been prepared for the intense competition that comes with attending a music school. Here are some tips on how to help gifted students thrive in the music classroom:
1. Be accepting of their unique abilities.
Remember that gifted students are typically very talented and have a lot to contribute to the music classroom. Don’t try to change them or make them conform to what you believe is best; instead, allow them to be themselves and appreciate their gifts.
2. Encourage them to take on more challenging tasks.
Gifted students can often be very ambitious, so give them opportunities to work on more difficult problems and projects. This will help develop their skills while also giving them a sense of accomplishment.
3. Encourage them to seek out opportunities outside of the classroom.
If a student is naturally talented, they will probably be leaving the traditional music classroom by high school and entering pre-college programs. Don’t let that discourage you from finding age-appropriate ways to help them develop their talents and skills.
In summary, gifted students may not be top-tier musical students in the beginning. Don’t just give them opportunities to play in front of an audience. Help your gifted students develop their skills and talents throughout their school years. Also, encourage them to take on more challenging tasks and projects outside of the classroom.