Paula Bishop-Liebler is one of several researchers who has been examining the cognitive differences of musicians with dyslexia and dyspraxia and looking at how they navigate their way through difficulties. These difficulties can affect various key skills such as: reading notation especially sight-reading, (“deciphering the significance of open or closed notes with tails going up or down, arranged on a mystifying set of five lines” and spaces”) Sheila Oglethorpe (1996) – learning new music quickly; gaining rhythmic accuracy (especially from notation); memorising music; scanning music or following a conductor and then finding the right place in the score. (Bishop-Liebler 2008).
There are four key books on music and dyslexia that are well worth accessing:
- Miles and Westcombe’s Music and Dyslexia: Opening New Doors. (2001),
- Shelia Oglethorpe’s Instrumental Music for Dyslexics: Teaching Handbook. (2002),
- Miles, Westcombe and Ditchfield’s, Music and Dyslexia: A Positive Approach (2008),
- and Music, other Performing Arts and Dyslexia, edited by Sally Daunt and published by the British Dyslexia Association in 2012.
There is a very useful page on the Patoss website which describes teaching strategies designed to reduce difficulties presented by a pupil with dyslexia. https://www.patoss-dyslexia.org/SupportAdvice/InformationSheets/2012-02-05/MusicDyslexiaSpLD/
You can find out about accessing accommodations for exam arrangements from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (2012a), Special Needs (online). http://www.abrsm.org/en/exams/specialneeds/
Bandplayer-is an online resource accessed via the Internet. Basically it is an audio and video music player that facilitates seeing and hearing musicians playing a pre-recorded track. It can be accessed free by students and tutors. http://themix.3firemusic.com/home.html
Dyslexia and Music Teaching is available (online) http://www.themusicjungle.co.uk/live/2012/09/01/issue-54-dyslexia-and-music-teaching/
Guidelines for candidates with dyslexia or other learning difficulties, http://www.abrsm.org/exams/specialNeeds/
The British Dyslexia Association has ten tips for musicians with dyslexia. BDA music dyslexia tips [PDF]
One of our mentees wrote a musical component poem. Emma Music components poem [DOC]
Four of our mentors came up with a list of tips to help students study more successfully. Tips from the creative mentors 2014_A3 [PDF]
The Incorporated Society of Musicians has put an excellent link to some of the BDA information on its website. Please see: British Dyslexia Association – Music Teaching Resources.