University of Edinburgh

Music Performing, Creating and Listening

Presented on Wednesday 5 March 2008

General adaptations to music papers

Request should be made to the SQA for the following:

Papers should be enlarged to an appropriate size or embossed in braille.

Papers for partially sighted pupils should not have questions written across two pages so the pupils have to san from one page to the next. This sometimes happens when pupils are asked to follow the lyrics to a piece of music and write in certain features in the correct place. Often we find that the question is on one page and the extract on the opposite page.

Similarly, any question which involves scanning both across the page and down the page will prove difficult for most pupils.

Questions will need to be adapted so that they require as little movement of the visual fields as possible. For some pupils this will be different than for others. Some pupils prefer questions running vertically downwards in a small block of text with the paper in portrait orientation. Others perfer them going across the page with the paper in landscape orientation. This will depend on the type of visual impairment which is involved and what the pupils find easiest.

Papers should be 'de-cluttered'. For example, the 'egg' questions should be removed and just written as normal text. Questions should have boxes / tables removed so that there is just plain text. Any extra lines and diagrams should be removed. This is particularly relevant in comparison questions between two versions of a piece of music or questions where pupils have to complete a table, commenting on various aspects of a piece or music timbre, dynamics, melody, harmony etc.

If pupils have difficulty with contrast then the examination paper should be printed on the most appropriate colour for the pupil. We use black and white for our adapted examinations but it is quite important to request black and white as the SQA use coloured paper for their examinations.