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Case Study Framework Student: Charlie Brown Teacher: Mrs. Valentine/Ms. Hoke Dates: Observation Interpretation Hypothesis Curricular Decision/

Case Study Framework


Charlie Brown



Mrs. Valentine/Ms. Hoke



Sept-Nov. 2014




Curricular Decision/



date & time





Charlie seems to be unsure of himself when learning his solo.

If I work with him one on one, and reinforce tools that have been given, then he could be stronger in his learning.

Count rhythms Clap rhythms Recite words Recite words in rhythm (sing-speak). Sing song in sections (every 4 measures). Record the sing- speech and song

Charlie seems more confident with his song word and rhythm. But, he is still unsure with the notes


without piano



Charlie seems to be intimidated by the other students who have sung their solos.

If I continue working with him one on one, he will become more confident with his solo.

Count rhythms (with me and alone) Clap rhythms (with me and alone) Recite words (with me and alone) Recite words in rhythm (sing-speak). Sing song in entirety.

After speaking with Charlie, he confirmed my thoughts. He is intimidated by the other students. He feels he's not as good as they are, and feels he can't





Charlie seems to still be a bit intimidated by the others.

If I and other students work with Charlie on his solos, then he will be less intimidated but the others.

Have his big brother and another classmate encourage and work with Devin on his solos.

Results have yet to be seen. However, he has a little more confidence since on of the students has started to work with




I'm not quite sure what is going on with Charlie. He seems to be pulling away from everyone, becoming reserve.

If I speak to his resource teacher, and she can give me more insight to his personality, then maybe I can better understand and address what is going on to help him learn through whatever he is going

Speak to the resource teacher, have his peers continue to help him, and adjust according to what I have learned about him.

Resource teacher says they she feels he is starting to realize he is different from the other students.



Charlie seems to still be reserved from everyone, but is getting back to how he was before.

Through much encouragement, and help from his peers, then Charlie will be successful in learning his solos.

Continue to reinforce notes and rhythm. Give encouragement and positive reinforcement. Continue to have peers work with him to give the extra support.

Complete results have yet to be seen. However, Charlie is no longer complaining as much about how he can't do something. His confidence is building again.

Case Study

Charlie Brown is a 16 year old sophomore student at Detroit School of Arts, in Detroit, MI.

He's about medium height, brown skin, glasses, and facial hair (mustache with hair on his chin).

He has a lot of personality, and is a very nice young man. Sometimes he's too nice. He has been

singing for two years now at DSA. He began singing last year with the DSA Vision Male

Ensemble. It came as a shock to his mother that he was now singing at school. According to his

resource teacher, Mrs. Pleasant, his personality is the complete opposite to his autistic condition.

By looking at him, you wouldn't be able to tell that he had any issue. However, after watching

him, you begin to see that he is different from the rest. I chose Charlie because it's easy to adjust

for someone who has a physical condition than it is to adjust for someone whose condition you

can't see. Or so I thought.

The particular class I chose to work with Charlie in is a self-taught class. There is more

guiding than there is teaching. It is the harmony, or Solo and Ensemble class. They are to choose

their own solo pieces, and then are given tips on how to go about learning the song. They were

also given tips on how to choose a song as well. They have a few handouts that we have gone

over to help with posture and breathing. I felt that this class was the perfect opportunity to work

one on one with him. A strength that I found him to have is his personalty and ability to express

himself in his singing. The only weakness I have found is the unsurity he has of himself.

Knowing this, my goal was not only to have him learn the song, but to reinforce the basic music

and singing skills that he learned the previous year.

The first song Charlie chose was Simple Gifts. It is a traditional shaker song. It is very easy to

learn due to the repetitiveness and step wise motions. After reviewing some basic music skills, I

learned that Charlie was unsure of himself. He has some basic music skills, he is hesitant to

reveal it. Once the key was established, we started clapping the rhythms slowly. When I saw that

he had some problems with the simple syncopation, I wrote out his rhythms. We started clapping

again. We clapped through the entire song. When we went back to the top of the piece, I took it

by every five measures because we added words. The next session, the students were presenting

their songs to the class. They were to write out the words, look up the arranger, the musical era

the song was written, and read the words of the song to the class. I must say, Charlie did an

awesome job on his research and presentation. He is very engaging when he speaks. That same

mannerism is exposed in his singing. The class was very receptive to him.

Once all of the students had presented over the next few classes, we got back to work on his

song. We made sure that he had a recording of the piano accompaniment, his melodic part, and

the rhythms that we did to help him practice at home. Our following one on one session, he made

a lot of progress! However, once the students started to present their pieces, he began to draw

back. I talked to his resource teacher about the draw back that I was seeing. It began with him

saying “I can't do it.” Mrs. Pleasant explained to me some occurrences that happened in other

classes, and stated that she feels that he is starting to realize that he's different from everyone

else. With the information I received from her, and my observations and one on one with him, I

began to encourage him more. By his first singing presentation of Simple Gifts, he had the first

half of the song memorized and received a “B” on his assessment. That, of course, gave a a bit if

a boost in self efficacy. I worked with him a bit more so the whole song will be complete. He

was to use the recordings we made to help him learn the song. All of my assessments were

informal, while the lead teacher assessments were formal. At his second singing presentation of

his song, he was able to sing the entire piece. He had some issue with the middle section, but he

did make it to the end, and received another “B.”

As a result, I have included peer to peer help for Charlie. He was assigned a big brother in

Vision who I talked with and asked him to keep Charlie encouraged in learning his music. I also

asked another one of his vision brothers to help him with his solos. This builds up his community

of people he can depend on. I do see, however, that the cycle is going to repeat itself almost

exactly. Therefore, there has to be a con tank rebuilding of self efficacy. He has expressed that he

wants an “A” on his songs. I encouraged him to continue to practice and work with his Vision

Brother to help him with his solos. Another reason I included peer help is because I am leaving

soon. I don't want my leaving to affect him too much. I'm not completely sure as to what would

happen when is community changes a little. Hopefully he will continue to work hard and

continue singing.

Reflecting on the process, I realize that I should have asked and researched his autistic

condition instead of just jumping in head first. I wonder, what else I could've done to prevent the

“I can't do it” cycle from recurring. Another question I have is, is the process I used enough to

use in the classroom when there are multiple students who need help? If I have known more

about his autistic condition, I probably could have been more effective for him. I'm proud of his

small accomplishment. However, knowing more information would have helped me help him

improve even more. I was too nervous digging into his family background because I didn't know

what the possible backlash would be from his family. The biggest adjustment was working one

on one with him and breaking the song up into smaller pieces, as well as giving him more time to

learn his song.


As of Saturday, January 24, 2015, when I last saw Charlie, He thanked me for all of the

encouragement and informed me that all of the help that I gave him helped him learn his pieces.

He assured me that he is working hard on his solo pieces and that his Vision brother is still

helping him! For me, that made me feel accomplished. He knew how to read the music, but

didn’t have the confidence to read and sing it in front of everyone alone. He does well in a group,

but my goal was to build his self-efficacy. And according to what he told me, that was