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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module addresses music education in special education contexts with a specific focus on music education for children in mainstream as well as special education settings. Points of departure will involve revisiting the construct of the socially inclusive music education through exploring national and European frameworks for inclusive teaching and learning. Focused study will be afforded to profiles of pupils with SEN (linked to BEd1 and BEd 4 inclusion modules) and how musical capacity can be developed in integrated contexts through an inclusive lens. Underpinning strategies will include consideration of a range of inclusive approaches such as accommodations, adaptations and modifications, set within an overarching UDL framework. Integration of creative strategies, such as those evident in selected music therapy contexts, will also be considered. Practical music making will involve use of adapted singing material, modified classroom instruments and digital resources. Critical reflection on previous experiences of teaching children with SEN on placement or other contexts, including guest talks and workshops, will also be central to the module. Curriculum material for music education in SEN will also be examined and explored, through discussion, theorising and practical music making. Co-constructing curricular, pedagogical, musical and technological knowledge together with other students, and with specific learners in mind, will be a key feature of this module. Continuous reflection on theories and practices of becoming a socially inclusive music educator will underpin learning experiences throughout.

Learning Outcomes

1. Articulate an understanding of teaching contexts for music education in special and inclusive contexts
2. Critically analyse music curriculum specifications for children in SEN settings in national policy documents and other educational resources
3. Observe and interpret the nature of the experience of music education for children in selected inclusive settings, either through digital recordings or live environments
4. Participate in digital or physical learning activities for creative, inclusive music making in collaboration with other students, utilising principles of universal design
5. Collaborate with other students to design creative music learning experiences for a specific learner with SEN in a school context, drawing from given profiles of children in schools
6. Demonstrate an understanding of learning throughout the module through critical reflection on selected readings, observations, educational and musical experiences

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop20University based lecture/workshops
Assignment Completion25Critique and presentation of a research article with a focus on music and SEN
Assignment Completion20Design and presentation of a music education lesson for a designated child with SEN in a classroom context (linking with Inclusion module in BEd)
Independent Study60Independent reading: Continuous
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Content
Building on students’ understanding of SEN from modules in general education, this module will focus attention on music education in special education contexts with a specific focus on music education for visually and hearing impaired. • Critical examination of readings and other digital resources on music education in SEN contexts; • Examination of curriculum documents and materials for music education in SEN through discussion, theorising and practical music making; • Working in small groups, observing music education experiences in SEN settings, other inclusive mainstream settings, or non-formal music learning setting, depending on locations; • Reflecting on use of music materials/instruments in particular settings and considering how they might be created or adapted for learners in SEN or wider inclusive contexts through working in small teams; • Working in cooperative teams to build understandings of music materials and related pedagogical, curricular, musical and technological knowledge with specific learners in mind; • Trying out the adapted materials in contexts – either in mainstream with an inclusive focus or other SEN setting; • Reflecting on experiences of becoming a socially inclusive music educator and documenting learning through a reflective eportfolio (Loop Reflect) .

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Hammel, A,: 2017, Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Practical Resource, Oxford University Press,
  • Ott, Pamela: 2011, Music for Special Kids: Musical Activities, Songs, Instruments and Resources, Jessica Kingsley Publishers,
Other Resources

55253, Web-based magazine, Lawson, M., 2019, Rhoda Bernard: Creating Resources and Opportunities for Students with Special Needs to Receive Arts Education, School, Band & Orchestra [SBO], https://sbomagazine.com/rhoda-bernard-creating-resources-and-opportunities-for-students-with-special-needs-to-receive-arts-education/,
Programme or List of Programmes