Music Participation as a Means to Facilitate Self-Determination and Transition to Community Life for Students with Disabilities by Mary Adamek and Alice-Ann Aarrow.
Music Participation as a Means to Facilitate Self-Determination and Transition to Community Life for Students with Disabilities MARY ADAMEK AND ALICE-ANN DARROW
--Every child who has the opportunity to engage in music improves their quality of life and develops a deeper understanding of the world around them (Dahan-Oliel, Shikako-Thomas, & Majnemer, 2012). However, for students with disabilities, studying music requires preparation for a functional life as well as a cultural life. These students often face additional challenges as they prepare for life as independent adults. Students with disabilities must develop skills that include goal setting, problem solving, and decision-making to enable them to take responsibility and control over their lives. Students with self-determining disabilities are more likely to succeed in adulthood. Self-determined individuals are more likely to be employed, independent, life-satisfied, and less isolated (Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003). To achieve these goals in adulthood, efforts to build self-determination skills must be integrated into all areas of children's education (Wehman, 2013).
--A music curriculum for students should include activities that teach the arts, but also activities that relate to meaning and life. Fortunately, for music educators, our subjects are invaluable and can serve as a motivation and reward to engage in many activities that support a transition to general well-being, self-determination, and community life. These activities are usually oriented towards physical or cognitive functioning and socialization. Music is particularly well suited to involving numerous physical, cognitive and social activities due to its universality, universal appeal and flexibility in tempo, complexity and genre. Music can be used to provide structure for physical and social activity, provide emotional support, and promote lifelong learning and engagement.
--Problems Related to Self-Determination in Students with Disabilities Self-Determination (SD) focuses on the degree to which an individual is self-motivated and able to independently determine their future. Self-determination is “the combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulating, autonomous behavior. An understanding of one’s own strengths and limitations and the belief that one is competent and effective are essential for self-determination. When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have greater capacity to take control of their lives and assume successful adult roles” (Field, Martin, Miller, Ward, & Wehmeyer, 1998, p. 2).
--Students with disabilities may be disadvantaged in achieving success in meeting the academic and social needs of today's schools. In addition to issues related to disability, students may face additional challenges related to school violence, high-burden testing, limited access to general education, social acceptance, and peer pressure.
--Self-determination can be an important factor in improving higher education outcomes for students with disabilities. Self-determination is the combination of beliefs, attitudes, and abilities that lead a person to fully participate in life experiences and outcomes. Self-determining behavior promotes autonomy, self-regulation and self-actualization and empowers individuals to make things happen. Sample components of self-determining behavior include skills related to choice, problem solving, goal setting and achievement, self-observation and evaluation, self-advocacy and leadership, self-education, and self-awareness (Wehman, 2013). Students with disabilities express their preferences and interests, manage time, participate in team work and leadership experiences, solve problems with others, set goals and strategies to achieve these goals, and monitor achievement and develop these skills by having the opportunity to practice assertiveness (Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997). Music experiences can be motivating, flexible, and challenging, and provide an opportunity for students with disabilities to practice important life skills that will benefit them in their educational, social and employment settings.
--In a recent music neuroscience article, Croom (2012) argues that music participation contributes to an individual's well-being by influencing positive emotions, engagement with others, achievement, and self-awareness. These factors also form the basis for students' development of self-determination.
--Self-determination skills have been found to positively predict student participation in the curriculum and reduce competitive behavior (Lee, Wehmeyer, Palmer, Soukup, & Little, 2008; Wehman, 2013). Student participation is a key skill in developing self-determination skills. However, approaches to student engagement and the amount of support needed may vary depending on the student's skill level.
--Dummer (2006). Students with disabilities are often passive or content with consent or compliance. (Wehmeyer, Agran, & Hughes, 1998)
--Musical interventions, such as lyrics analysis, can help young people identify and express their current feelings about their worth and self-esteem. Environment. · Composing activities can provide young adults an outlet for expression and a non-threatening forum to share their feelings.
--Participating in group music activities can help teens build relationships and have positive experiences with others, which can boost their self-esteem. · Learning to play an instrument has been shown to be a great source of pride for many young people. Playing an instrument has also been shown to influence self-esteem by developing recreational skills (Costa-Gioma, 2004).
--Modern digital technology allows even students with severe disabilities to learn to play an instrument. socialization. Many of the attractions of participating in the school's music program are rehearsals, performance tours, and socializing in the music room before and after school. Music educators can support the social development of students with disabilities by providing interpersonal opportunities and encouraging and monitoring such interactions.
--The responsibilities of a music educator include preparing students for the future and increasing the likelihood that music will be a part of that future. Not all students continue to engage in music as performers, but it is the desire of all music educators that students continue to consume music. Being actively or passively engaged in music can make the transition to adulthood less stressful and more socially and cognitively engaging. People with disabilities often find the transition to community life easier if they develop leisure skills that can compensate for their sometimes limited social life. Given the opportunity, people with disabilities can develop musical skills that can be used to promote self-efficacy and motivation.
Myungja Anna Koh