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[HANASHIR:17245] Learning Disability

Hi all,

I'm wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation:

I am teaching a 13-year-old girl to be a songleader.  She is enthralled with 
Jewish music, can play the piano, violin, and guitar, and sings fairly well 
(for someone whose voice hasn't matured yet).  She is incredible smart, and is 
homeschooled at an 11th grade level.

This girl has a learning disability, which prevents her from hearing certain 
things.  For example, in a crowded room, she can only hear one person's voice 
clearly, the rest becomes gibberish to her.  She also has dyslexia.  The 
result is that when she tries to sing and play guitar at the same time, she 
hear exactly what she is singing, and ends up singing off key.  She can sing 
perfectly if I am accompanying her, rather than her doing it herself.  I have 
also moved away from using sheet music with her, as her perfect pitch getting 
the way. This has been mildly successful.

I have advised her that she just needs to take a few little extra seconds at 
the beginning of the song to focus on where she is going to start her vocals, 
but I can't seem to break what's happening, or is that even possible?  It is 
naturally frustrating for me because singing has always come easy for me, and I 
often have a difficult time putting myself in her shoes.

This is the first learning disability that I have ever had to teach through 
on a one-on-one level.  Are there any thoughts out there?

Neil Weinstein
Bellevue, WA

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