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Self-directed Study Sheet 19

Context: Liam has moderate learning difficulties. He has a special affinity for music, and enjoys accompanying himself on the omnichord as he sings. He is with his teacher at school.

  1. Observation: Think about what you see and hear in the video.
  2. Interpretation: What can you reasonably infer about the person's musical engagement?
  3. Assessment: Suggest a Sounds of Intent Level and Domain.

Liam sings the first part of Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, accompanying himself with the correct chords (and at the same pitch as the original song). The intonation of his singing is variable, and the words largely come across as a stream of approximations to the vowel sounds of the original. This shows that Liam has internalised the melody and chords of the opening part of the song can reproduce them. The inaccuracies in his vocal intonation are almost certainly due to physical issues rather than perceptual, since his reproduction of the chords suggests that he has absolute pitch. It appears that the words of the song have been processed purely as different qualities of sound rather than in any symbolic way. This indicates engagement with music at Level 5, Proactive (P.5): ‘performs, improvises and/or composes short and simple pieces of music, which may increase in complexity over time’.