[Menvi-discuss] Color references and other sight-related material
themusicsuite at verizon.net
Thu Apr 19 08:50:36 EDT 2012
This question comes up somewhat frequently, and unfortunately, it's kind of a "great divide"--which you clearly state when you say that one way seems insensitive, the other patronizing.
As a blind teacher working with primarily with sighted students, my personal and professional preference would be to have the Braille correspond as closely as possible to what my students are seeing. Creative teachers can always make the necessary modifications on a case-by-case basis when working with any student, blind, sighted, or with other traits that come into consideration in the normal course of teaching a wide range of students.
If you get a lot of feedback saying the books should be modified, then perhaps an alternative would be to produce "teacher's" and "student's" versions, and include the modifications only in the student edition while leaving the teacher's alone.
One other thing to consider is how to make the beginning teaching materials that are so widely used easy for beginning Braille music readers. Too often, this aspect of producing educational music isn't thought out carefully enough, and blind students who start learning to read using commercially-produced books because "that's what my teacher uses" become very confused, very discouraged, and end up giving up on Braille music as "too hard", especially since most teachers don't have the background or patience to try and help students figure out the Braille issues--they're too busy trying to teach everything else involved in learning to play an instrument!
I'm glad that your company is making an effort to produce current materials. My biggest challenge as a teacher is staying up-to-date with materials. When refreshing or innovative music is being discussed and used by my colleagues, I'd love to be able to participate in the discussions without having to rely on just listening.
Best of luck to you and your company.
----- Original Message -----
From: Lydia Machell
To: menvi-discuss at menvi.org
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 3:02 AM
Subject: [Menvi-discuss] Color references and other sight-related material
I'm producing braille editions of the Piano Adventures teaching series and there are instances where the text needs to be adapted for VI users. For instance, where the student is asked to circle items in a piece, or fill in blanks on the page, we have replaced the instruction with "show your teacher...". These are just practical considerations. But what about a piece that asks the student to "choose a color for each dynamic mark"? Or memory exercises referred to as "Blind Flying"? As a publisher, should our principle be to show braille users exactly what's in the print, or should we adapt the contents for our market? The first approach may make us seem insensitive, while the latter could seem patronising. We just want to get these excellent resources out there in the most user-friendly form.
Lydia Machell (Prima Vista Braille Music Services)
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