Deaf student in choir
Date: May 25, 2013
I have been asked to evaluate a legally deaf high school student for the possibility of her joining our large mixed choir in the fall. She has a cochlear implant and can hear and speak and takes regular classes. She relies some on reading lips to do well in her classes. I have been told by her mother that she "sings around the house," and I want to assume that this means she sings tunes correctly. The school and her mother are really just curious if this would work for her; everyone will be fine if she cannot do it.
Obviously I'm going to try to assess whether she can hear and sing back pitch patterns I play on the piano. I will listen to her sing a familiar tune. I will see if she can sight read, but I do not believe she ever has been given a chance to do that before. I will check her range, hoping she is a soprano, because I would have to imagine it would be hard for her hold onto an alto part with all the sounds of the choir coming at her. Perhaps I should hear her sing in a quartet or something to see how she holds a part she is taught.
Does anyone out there have any experience with a situation like this?? Any suggestions for how I can evaluate her abilities? Any experience with how this will affect running rehearsals, or how she will do in rehearsals? I imagine every case is unique, but any general advice or anecdotes you can offer would be greately appreciated!
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