As I may have mentioned, since September I have been teaching at New College Worcester , which is a residential school for blind and partially sighted children. I have one cello pupil, three violinists and a lot of pianists ranging from absolute beginners to Grade 8 level. Some of the students have some sight and can read print if it’s large enough, some learn by repetition, one or two can read music Braille.

This week I had MY first lesson in Braille. It’s fascinating and very complicated!
I need to learn to read Braille text before I can branch out and learn Music Braille (pictured here), through which I hope to be able to help the students to read for themselves, rather than having to rely on a teacher feeding the music to them.

Teaching these young people has made a huge impact on me in so many ways. My whole attitude to teaching has become more tolerant and patient. I have always tried to teach each individual according to his or her abilities but this experience has underlined the fact that we don’t all learn in the same way, let alone at the same rate. I am amazed at the capacity they have for memorising as they learn, and the joy and satisfaction for me of being a part of their “support team” makes up for the exhaustion at the end of a long day with them!

Published in: on January 31, 2009 at 10:43 am  Leave a Comment