By Kelly Surette
Think that adult and transition age students with special needs can’t benefit from exposure to a formal music class? Think again!
For many students with special needs, music is a lifetime intervention that opens doors to communication, self-expression, and self-identity. Most people have strong opinions about their musical preferences and students with special needs are no different. I’ve known students who were diehard Queen fans, Maren Morris wannabees, and Susan Boyle fanatics!
Music is a part of everyone’s world, no matter how old they are and musical interests should be fostered throughout one’s lifetime.This is the reason adult and transition age students with special needs can reap tremendous benefit from participating in a structured music class, regardless of age.
Let’s take a look at five specific benefits:
So where can you find music classes for the adult and transition age students you support? Well, it looks like adaptive music education for all ages is becoming a “thing,” and if it’s not a thing in your area, it should be.
Check into your local music school and see if they offer any group classes for this age group. If not, perhaps they have a teacher that will travel to you. Additionally, many recreation departments are catching on to the overwhelming need for programming for this population. Check into their offerings by calling your local recreation department. Furthermore, many music therapy programs offer some form of group class for adults. Google local practitioners in your area.
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Kelly Surette is the author of Creative Miracles: A Practitioner’s Guide to Adaptive Music Instruction (coming soon.) She is a speaker and adaptive music educator in the New England area. Kelly is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with special needs and those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing with multiple disabilities through music. Connect with Kelly at www.kellysurette.com.