It is a pleasure and privilege to recommend Music Through My Spectacle from Polly Chan, a book which opens a new door for the visually impaired to pursue their musical endeavours.
Music is usually perceived as a privilege of the sighted – to learn and to play a music pieces, first you have to READ the music scores. Is it really impossible for the visually impaired people to learn music?
A memorable volunteer experience of teaching piano in Ebenezer School and Home for the Visually Impaired inspired a young woman, Polly Chan, who has lots of passion for music, to adjust the existing sighted music system, making it more accessible to the visually impaired. Later she encountered the famous visually impaired musician Lee Hin, who gave her valuable insights into teaching musicians with disabilities.
“Many of us attribute blind musicians to musical prodigies or simply miracles due to misconceptions derived from our unfamiliarity with blindness.” Polly wrote. “With unwavering patience and befitting methods, the visually impaired can also enjoy the strongest form of expression and perform the most therapeutic kind of magic.”
In this book, Polly presents alternative ways for visually impaired people to learn piano, aided by various handicap-friendly features, tips on learning piano, instructions for teacher as well as traditional braille music system. It is indeed a valuable and helpful guide book for those who are visually impaired but are determined to experience the wonderfulness of music.
This is a piano guide book for visually impaired beginners. It is designed in a format which is more accessible than existing sighted music system for visually impaired students, based on author’s personal teaching experience, observation and information collected from visually impaired musicians. Aside from traditional braille music system, it also includes handicap-friendly features such as greatly enlarged music scores, colours, finger numberings, etc. The choice of song material is a mixture of some familiar favourites and tuneful originals, all adding to the enjoyment of making music. For teachers, the book also provides tips and advices in assisting visually impaired students.
Polly attended St. Paul’s Co-educational College and is currently studying at The King’s School, Canterbury UK. She enjoys volunteering and devotes her time to causes and interests that are close to her heart, including Ebenezer School and Home for the Visually Impaired, and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Polly views music as an indispensable part of her life. She is a member of the school choir and has achieved Grade 8 distinctions (ABRSM) in both singing and piano. Apart from pursuing music formally, Polly is a huge fan of Broadway musicals and a professional Broadway stars stalker.
When she is not playing music, she enjoys baking goodies like matcha chiffon cake and trying new recipes. As an animal lover with a pet turtle named Baby, Polly also runs her own Blog, entitled ‘My Fauna’, to raise awareness against animal cruelty.
- An explanatory note
- How is it different?
- Tips for teaching visually impaired beginners
- Introduction to playing
- Finger Numbers
- The Keyboard
- Time Signatures
- Notes and rests
- The Basic Scales
- Music Pieces
- The Skipping Waltz
- The Sunny Beach
- Ten Little Indians
- Long Long Ago
- Jingle Bells
- Oh! Susanna
- Old Black Joe
- Aura Lea
- My Bonnie