A-Z List

Adaptive Music

Abstract goes here


Standards Accessed: Develop, apply, and refine appropriate rehearsal strategies to address individual and ensemble challenges in a varied repertoire of music. MU:Pr5.1.E.IIIa

Adaptation: Conducting as an activity/unit

Function: Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders often struggle with empowerment. By teaching conducting and letting students conduct each other or the teacher, teachers can give students a sense of control that helps them feel empowered in the music-making process.

The above image can be used as a visual to accompany a beginning conducting class.

Harvey, Arthur W. "A Conductor in Every Chair." Music Educators Journal 58, no. 6 (1972): 46-47.
Sandene, Brent. "Awakening Students to the Art of Conducting." Music Educators Journal 81, no. 3 (1994): 38-40.


Creating info


Standards: Standards MU:Cr2.1.P, MU:Pr4.2, and several others all refer to an ability to perceive rhythmic notation. While these standards sometimes exclusively refer to symbolic notation, iconic notation can serve as an adaptation to access rhythm, or as a gateway to symbolic notation.

Adaptation/Modification: Visual -- more specifically, iconic -- notation for rhythm rather than symbolic or numeric notation

Function: Symbolic notation notates a concept by serving as somewhat of a code for that concept. In music, a quarter note is an example of symbolic notation, because it only looks like 1 beat in 4/4 time if you know what the symbol definition is. In contrast, iconic notation looks like what it means. This may help students with learning disabilities understand how to interpret reading music.



Standard(s): Many standards could be implemented via a Snoezelen-inspired music station, but one example from Secondary General Music would be:

Highlight how music interacts with the affective domain, such as feelings, values, opinions, wishes, personal awareness, or character. MU:Cn10.1.E.IIIb-WI.

For a less trained musician, this could mean simply using sensory instruments and assigning affects to them (with justification.) For more advanced musicians, this could involve listening to excerpts in a Snoezelen environment and describing what musical elements caused them to feel certain feelings or sounded like an embodiment of certain moods.

Modification/Adaptation: Having a Snoezelen-inspired option for students with ASD

Function: Students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder can explore music in a calming multisensory way by combining explorative music curriculum with a Snoezelen-like approach. The benefit to this is that is can function as any other music 'station' in a classroom, but with Snoezelen elements that make it a good fit for a student with ASD.

What would this look like?
In most classrooms, this would look like an educational station, with a little more privacy and an emphasis on sensory stimulation. Some tools that could work.
  • Using textures -- for example, in a middle school class, this could look like lining notes or pictures of fingerings up with their names on a felt board, so that the images and board had unique textures.
  • Comfortable headphones to listen to excerpts that are good examples of whatever musical concepts have been discussed.
  • A curtain or divider that makes the station feel more secluded, but still allows for teacher supervision.
  • A weighted blanket for when seated and doing work.
  • Sonic textures: a composition station could feature instruments like Gourds which have distinct sonic and felt texture, or student-created instruments.

          Rompa Ltd. "Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments | Sensory Rooms and Therapy Explained." Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments | Sensory Rooms and Therapy Explained. N.p., 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.
          Chitsey, Amanda M., Barbara K. Haight, and Melaina M. Jones. "Snoezelen®: A Multisensory Environmental Intervention." Journal of Gerontological Nursing 28.3 (2002): 41-49. Web.
          Lotan, Meir, and Christian Gold. "Meta-analysis of the Effectiveness of Individual Intervention in the Controlled Multisensory Environment (Snoezelen®) for Individuals with Intellectual Disability*." Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability 34.3 (2009): 207-15. Web.

Auditory Perception

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Communication (Speech and Language) Disorders

Gifted and Talented

Hearing Impairment

Learning Disabilities

Physical Disabilities

Visual Impairments

Previous Standards

Special Education - WI Standards of Adaptations for Music

Wisconsin's Academic Content and
Performance Standards 
Adapted for Students with Special Needs

Jessica M. Lichty
Lee Anna MT-BC

Emotional Disorders/Behavior Disorders

Cognitive Disability (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) (Mild-Moderate)

Cognitive Disability (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) (Severe/Profound and Autism Spectrum Disorder)

Communication Disorders (CD)

Hearing Impairments

Orthopedic Impairments

Visual Impairments

Additional Resources