The Briitsh Dyslexia Association Music (BDA Music) Advice

The BDA Top Ten Tips – And The Dynamite Dyslexic’s Hi-5! Ways Solutions!

The Dynamite Dyslexic Writes – REMEMBER – As the BDA Says – One size does not fit all. One size might not even fit one – as people build strategies to help that change too! The key is to have an APPROACH that is flexible and structured – if that even makes sense!!!

THE 4 D’s and the BIG WHY….

g-girl-dyslexia-logo-copy…we DESPERATELY need a new way of learning, playing and teaching music,  as I, The Dynamite Dyslexic explode the thinking of traditional music teaching.

g-girl-difficulty-logo-copyWhy? Simply because I needed it for ME! After a lifetime of frustrataion trying to learn music and failing – badly: And my daughter too – she ‘gave up’ trying to be a violinist not able to relate the colour dots her teacher gave her and the black notes on the notation: And my wonderful friend with Asbergers and dyslexia and dyspraxia too as she had tried to learn to paly and failed.

And so too everyone in my 20/80 rule of the 4 D’s of music learning difficulties and disabilities. The 20% who have difficulties like Dyslexia (me), Dyscalculia (me) and the newly discovered Dysmusia (me too!) and most of the 80% who just find it too Difficult.

dyscalculia-testJust too difficult…..is why music learning at school has gone down from 46% to 34% of students from the 80’s to 2008. And so a massive 95% of USA households do NOT have a musical instrument! No wonder. Never mind if you have a learning difficulty.

Why do I care and why set out on this path?

After a lifetime bereft of music learning ability and my daughter distressed at having tor give up violin and friend with Asbergers, it’s PERSONAL; but a LOT more.

Not only are there an estimated percentage of people up to 15% of the population – that’s MILLIONS!-  with (just) Dyslexia, then there is Dyscalculia and (now) Dysmusia, but (my guess) at least 90% of the population who find music just too DIFFICULT!

Even professional musicians like the rock stars who CANNOT read music or only read TAB!

Why can’t I read music – or have to ‘play be ear’ or use TABS for the guitar? Because it is just SO DIFFICULT! But the benefits – to all – like enhanced ability in every sphere of NEURAL ACTIVITY and MENTAL ABILITY are AWESOME!

 Dyscalculia – Your Numbers Up! 3-6% of Us! It’s a problem of Language says the Prof. Numberphile

dyscalculia-5-dotsThe Dynamic Dyslexic Writes: I get numbers all mixed up. I get telephone numbers mixed up.  And when it comes to music look what we have to cope with. LETTERS = ABC to G oF the KEYS …. BUT then they have NUMBERS = NOTES in the keys AND then they have NUMERALS = CHORDS in each Key AND then throw in MODES and GREEK NAMES like Mixolydian which has it’s own NUMBERS and NUMERALS….Eeeeek!
stickey-music-dyscalculia-5-dotsWhat’s the answer?? Here’s my Musemonics answer with Smileys! Plus the proof with what Prof. Brian Butterworth says. For people not good at enumerating the number of objects need to TARGET the WEAKNESS with lots of practice with enumerating sets linking that enumeration the SYMBOLS (n.b. because that is what they only are – symbols – not the ACTUAL number) that we use like the WORD FIVE and the DIGIT 5 (and what about the ROMAN NUMERAL V = Root key number 5 = The V Chord = Major V = Perfect 5th!!). Find out more with EMOJI-SUUJI – EMOJI – NUMBERS.

dyscalculia-testAn expert on on cognitive neuropsychology speaks to us about his research on the seldom-discussed “dyslexia for numbers”. Professor Brian Butterworth is based at University College London.

Dyscalculia is a learning disability involving mathematics and numbers.

More From The Cognitive Neuropsychologist.

Your brain seems to treat numbers and words very differently (even if the number is written as a word!). So says cognitive neuropsychologist Brian Butterworth.

Hear From A 1 in 20 Who Has Dyscalculia! Have you even HEARD of it????

dyscalculai-line-rothmmanThe percentage of the population with developmental dyscalculia is estimated to be between 3­6 percent, or one in twenty individuals,” says Line Rothmann, and she is one of them. As a dyscalculic, she has difficulty understanding anything and everything math related. Her talk offers a glimpse into her reality and all the quirky systems she developed to get on in a world that is largely based on numbers and calculations. From her story we learn how our disabilities, small or big, can become our strengths.

Line Rothman is a recent graduate from the creative business and design school Kaospilot, Aarhus, Denmark. What is it like to live in a world where the mere concept of time does not exist? Line Rothmann has dyscalculia, a disability in math and anything math-related. She has absolutely no sense in time and timing. She will tell about her quirky systems on how she navigates through the world and everyday life, how her disability is her source of strength, frustrations and tears.

Think In Pictures!! Wherever you are on the Spectrum!

successful-mindsThe Dynamic Dyslexic Writes: Go to 6min 45 Seconds if you are in a rush (but you will miss a lot of fun!) Pattern thinkers = MUSICIANS!! And she says that includes a lot of Dyslexics.

Ted Talks – Autism activist Temple Grandin talks about how her mind works — sharing her ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

It’s Time To Learn From Bacon Boy!From A Child Prodigy

bacon-boyThe Dynamic Dyslexic Writes: I’ve NEVER Grown Up! Yet no-one could teach me THE most important way to developp not just my music brain but my brain – period (or full stop in the UK!). So when a child says ‘I can’t’ it may just be that they can’t.. or you aren’t listening. I’ve put this in as a bit of fun. And to really ‘justify’ my ‘childish’ thinking that SticKey-Music is a much for BIG kids as little ones! Compare ‘Bacon Boy’ here to Stikey-Music ‘On-Line Bravo Boy’ and ‘Space Girl Grace’.  So be ‘childish’ or is it ‘child-like’ about using pictures and colour and EMOJIS to learn music – no matter how old you are. It might just stop wars – see Adora!

Ted Talk: Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs “childish” thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids’ big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups’ willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

aditi-ted-talk1 in 6 Childrten Suffer From Developmental Disorder.Yes 1 in 6!!!

The Dynamic Dyslexic Writes: It’s incredible how different we all are. It’s all in the brain not just in the mind! This talk is on specific issues revealed by Harvard University breakthrough technique of real time monitoring. I include it to show how each situation may be different but nore to show the huge variety and depth of difficulties and disabilites.

Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass knew that we should be looking directly at their brains. She explains how a remarkable EEG device has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children’s lives.

The BAD News on Music Learning Difficulty and Disabilities

g-girl-dysmusia-logo-copy
multi-modal-memory-improvementQuick story first. I went into Blackwells ( in Oxford to their very big music department. Is there anything much on music learning difficulties? NO! Sticky ABC (boring in black type) to stick on keys. One very buried deep book on colour music for young kids. Theory books on music with no references to ‘Dyslexia’ of learning difficulty.

The GOOD News on Music Learning Difficulty and Disabilities

http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/educator/music-and-dyslexia
for accessible/dyslexia friendly music teaching
1. Be imaginative and patient. One size doesn’t fit all: everyone is
different. How do you / does your student learn best?

2. The student should choose what works including reminders (such as
tracking from one end of the stave to the next). Don’t impose ideas.


3. Use colour (of the student’s choice) for highlighting etc.


4. All activities should be very structured: chunk information; build it up.


5. Use multi-sensory approaches: hear; see; feel; read; write; hands on…


6. Consider whether visual difficulties (visual stress) could be a problem;
try copying on to tinted paper (of the student’s choice).


7. Use over-learning/revision/embedding: recap – repeat – give overviews
and summaries – this helps with short-term memory difficulties.


8. Try approaches from Kodály, Dalcroze, Suzuki, but they aren’t always
successful with dyslexic/dyspraxic students, so just given them a go!


9. Remember: dyslexic people can take 10 times as long to complete an
activity = extra tiredness and perhaps stress & poor self-esteem.


10.Help with organisation (in imaginative ways): use mobile phones; postits;
labels; colour-coding; texts… Use written reminders (using large, sansserif
font, if possible, not handwritten).

Queries? Contact bdamusicdyslexia@gmail.com