[Athen] Student who is blind taking music courses- does not know braille

Martin, Susan smartin at necc.mass.edu
Wed Jan 4 09:37:23 PST 2017

Hello all-
The following question is from Pam LaBella at Northern Essex Community College:

I am looking for suggestions in regards to the best way to accommodate a student. It is an area I have never had to delve into until now.

I am working with a student for the spring 17 semester who is taking 4 music courses. The student is blind, uses JAWS, but does not read Braille.
He has a musical background and plays in a band so he has some good skills and knowledge when it comes to music.

I am not familiar with most of what the syllabi are referring to for software/ equipment to be use.

For his Music Technology: Composition course he needs to create compositions using
GarageBand (I did find a Garageband app available for $4.99 but I am not sure how it works with voice over)
Finale, Syllabus, Muse Score or other music notation software
A composition created in the style of 80s Synth Pop
A composition created using any digital audio workstation format or software the student prefers

For his Audio Recording II course the students are required to assist the instructor in developing, designing and installing a mobile multitrack audio recording studio to run on a MAC computer.
Must use Digidesign 002 audio/digital interface with the recording software ProTools
Align the convertor with an A.R.T. four channel analog pre amplifier as well as the Focusrite AD/DA pre amp
Incorporate the Mackie digital mixer and controller

For Jazz/Rock Ensemble I course
Each meeting will include melodic and rhythmic exercise, sight reading and performance of rehearsed pieces.

For his Applied Music: Guitar course
Some of the course requires him to read, analyze and perform chord comping, melody and improvise jazz standards

The format for the textbooks are also going to be a challenge. I am wondering if anyone out there has converted any of these textbooks into a format for students who are blind to use. Other than Braille. What does one do for a book that is basically music compositions. How does one convert and what is a good format for musical notes, scales, chords etc.?

The textbooks being used are;
'Classical Studies for Electric Guitar' by William Leavitt
'The Real Book' by Hal Leonard
'Modern Method for Guitar Vol 1' by William Leavitt
'The Guitarist's Music Theory Book' by Vogl
'Jazz Theory: From Basic to Advanced Study' by Dariusz Terefenko
'Music Theory for Computer Musicians' by Michael Hewitt
'Inside the Music' by Dave Stewart

I appreciate any help/suggestions

Thank you

Pam LaBella
Assistive Technology/Alternative Text Specialist
The Learning Accommodations Center
Northern Essex Community College
Behrakis One-Stop Student Services Center SC105
100 Elliot Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
Tel# 978-556-3705

Susan J Martin M.Ed - Director

The Learning Accommodations Center
Northern Essex Community College
Behrakis One- Stop Student Services Center SC111B
100 Elliot Street, Haverhill, MA 01830
Tel# 978-556-3647
Email: smartin at necc.mass.edu<mailto:smartin at necc.mass.edu>
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