Author

Rachel Strong

Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Music

First Advisor

Mohamad Schuman, Jr., D.M.A.

Advisor Department

Music

Abstract

Despite several major advances in education for people who are deaf or hearing impaired, there are still some pervasive negative attitudes and perceptions in the education world towards this community of students. The purpose of this study was to discover the attitudes and perceptions that band directors in Mississippi public schools have towards hearing impaired students participating in instrumental ensembles. This study utilized a survey that was sent to every director in the state. The survey contained several questions pertaining to whether directors had ever had a hearing impaired student in their ensembles before, what accommodations were made for those that have, and whether directors would be likely to attend workshops and seminars concerning hearing impaired students as they relate to the musical world.

The results indicate that there are indeed negative attitudes among some directors towards hearing impaired students participating in instrumental ensembles, and there is an unwillingness to learn more about hearing impaired students, as well as an unwillingness to be taught effective ways to teach these students music. Despite the negative attitudes, though, the majority of participants reported that they have little to no issues with hearing impaired students participating in their ensembles. The general response towards educational workshops was less than enthusiastic, though. This is quite concerning. If the attitude towards hearing impaired students in music is ever going to change, it is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of education.

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