Successful strategies of individuals with dyslexia in the field of music: a comparative case study
Nelson, Kent Peter
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Many of the symptoms of dyslexia-such as difficulties with decoding written symbols, phonemic awareness, physical coordination, and readable handwriting-may adversely affect music learning. Despite challenges, some individuals with dyslexia succeed in music. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of five professional musicians with dyslexia as they reflect on their experiences learning music. Of particular interest was the challenges these musicians overcame in their early years of learning in order to assist current school music students. Answers to the following two research questions were sought: What strategies have five professional musicians used to overcome the challenges associated with dyslexia? What are the perceived abilities and traits that the participants believe they have developed in music because of their diagnoses of dyslexia? This study's findings included support for multisensory learning and teaching, individual and/or small group instruction, the use of technology as an aid, and the learning of jazz and popular music. Most of the participants also thought their dyslexia contributed certain aspects to their musicianship. The participants offered advice on personal acceptance of their musical strengths and weaknesses. They also discussed whether students' disclosure of dyslexia to music teachers and other adults is a wise choice.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University