Relating Score and Sound for Accessibility

Areas Assisted:

  • Visual Impairment
  • Hard of Hearing

Possible Applications:

  • Theory/Analysis/Pedagogy

The relationship between the visual (score) and audio (recording) representations is one of the most readily available resources that can be used when making music lessons Accessible for students. In terms of theory and analysis lessons, consider times when having the student interact with the score may take the place of a listening-based assignment while allowing students to make necessary conclusions and interactions with the lesson material. Similarly, consider times when having the student interact with a recording may take the place of sight-based activity such as some elements of score analysis.

Some example analysis elements where the score could be a substitution for the recording:

  • Form and Structure
  • Counterpoint / Interplay of melodies
  • Instrumentation

Some example analysis elements where the recording could substitute for the score:

  • Instrumentation
  • Form and Structure
  • Harmonies

Things to Consider for Switching Score and Sound

  • This approach is one of the simplest alterations that can be done. Scores and related recordings are often very easy to acquire.
  • The foundational skills of listening and score analysis are covered in the earliest stages of music theory, which should provide a reasonable backbone for this approach to creating an accessible music assignment.
  • However, since this exchange of media requires some foundation in listening or score analysis, very early introductory work may require modified strategies to help work with a lack of skill foundation.
  • There may be some scenarios where you as the instructor would not want a listening assignment in place of score analysis, and versa. Ultimately, as the instructor, it is up to you to determine if and when substituting a score based assignment or recording based assignment would be appropriate to gauge the student’s mastery of the key learning goals.