Research shows that blind infants and toddlers are more attentive to music and sounds than other children. Research also shows that blind children are more musically advanced than their sighted peers. Blind children have an inherent musical aptitude, many have the potential to become outstanding musicians, but we must cultivate that potential. Through music education, these children will be able to nurture their inherent musical attributes.
Prior to the 1980s, most blind and partially sighted children were educated in state schools for the visually impaired, where music instruction was typically part of the curriculum. Since the 1980s, blind and partially sighted children have been placed in educational settings where music exposure and instruction are not always available. Today, most visually impaired children do not attend state schools for the visually impaired, and many blind and partially sighted children do not have access to music instruction.
With music instruction, some blind and partially sighted children will become outstanding musicians. For those who do not, there are still great benefits. Blind and partially sighted children exposed to music typically show improved cognitive performance, along with improved social skills and personality.
Vision Through Music—A Collaboration with the Academy of Music for the Blind (AMB)
To address this need, CEF of AAPOS has joined efforts with the Academy of Music for the Blind (AMB) to increase the number of music teachers who work with blind and partially sighted children. AMB provides a virtual orientation program that gives music teachers experience working with blind children and will create web-based educational content. CEF of AAPOS hosts a registry of music teachers with experience teaching blind and partially sighted students, helping families of visually impaired children find appropriate teachers.