Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wait a minute!

We live in a world where for the most part, we like things to move at a steady, if not speedy pace. We all but expect self gratification.

If something is supposed to work, we want it to work. If we are traveling somewhere and know on average, how long it should take to get there, we don't want to run into too many diversions along the way that might slow us down.

Patience is indeed a virtue, and in the world of special education it's a requirement.
As a music therapist who works with students with a variety of special needs, I often have to wait.

Wait for what?

I wait for a student to respond to a question, to choose an instrument, to give me an answer via eye gaze to a question,etc..
Technically speaking, I give the student wait time.

What is a "wait time"?

A wait time is defined as the duration of pauses separating utterances in a conversation, (i.e. the time a teacher waits after asking a question and after receiving a response).

Another definition I found online for wait time is the amount of time that elapses between a tutor-initiated (teacher) question and the next verbal behavior (e.g., a student response).

Wait time is an important tool to use in music therapy sessions. It gives the student time to process what you said and/or asked them to do. Some students who have apraxia, require the wait time so that they can process what you said and then form their answer/opinion/choice,etc..

So, a wait time is very important to therapists and students they serve.

Wait a minute-what do I do during a wait time?

Stay tuned for my next post here on More with Music when I'll give you ideas and more information about wait time, what to do and not do, and how to validate a student's responses or non-responses during a wait time!

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