Special Education Expert Presents Music Education Strategies & Strengths

Tuesday, at Shema Kolainu Hear Our Voices, Stephen Shore Ed. D. held a workshop on music education for children on the autism spectrum. Shore completed his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University and now teaches at Adelphi University in New York. Having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum and non-verbal until the age of 4, Shore brings a unique perspective to the field of special education. He attributes much of his success to the comprehensive interventions his parents guided and the music education he received from an early age. Subsequently, his approach to education is one of both specialization and inclusion. Shore’s strategies are developed particularly for the varying abilities of autistics, but are applicable for neurotypical education as well, allowing for integrated classrooms. While music is often recognized for it’s therapeutic benefits, Shore’s focus is not therapy, but structured, sustained education. Today’s workshop demonstrated the potential of music education to increase communicative abilities, strengthen neurological development in youth, foster social inclusion, and provide potential career paths for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shore charismatically relayed stories of his students’ astonishing talents. One anecdote told of a non-verbal young man who, when guided hand-over-hand while playing piano, sang clear as day. Shore suggests that the structure, support, and focus the student experienced while guided to play the piano enabled him to sing, though he could not speak typically. Drawing from examples of students demonstrating expert knowledge in areas, who are unable to express understanding through certain mediums, Shore makes the case for specialized assessments in education in general, not just for students with developmental disabilities.

Check out Dr. Stephen Shore’s work and many publications at his website: http://www.autismasperger.net/. The workshop, ‘Music for Children on the Autism Spectrum,’ will be streaming soon—stay tuned to see Dr. Stephen Shore speak

Autism Education Expert, Stephen Shore, Presents Workshop ‘Music For Children On The Autism Spectrum’ At Shema Kolainu

Tomorrow, Shema Kolainu Hear Our Voices will be holding a workshop on ‘Music for Children on the Autism Spectrum.’ Presenting the workshop will be expert Stephen Shore Ed. D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at Adelphi University. Shore is an inspiring individual who is on the Autism Spectrum himself. Having been nonverbal until the age of four and having completed a doctoral dissertation on the needs of those on the autism spectrum at Boston University, Shore is a testament to education and therapeutic strategies. He will be making a case for inclusion of autistic children in typically music courses as well as individualized music training and therapy as a means of communication development. Shore asserts that the “structural regularity” of music aids autistic children with communication in varying ways, contingent on their place among the spectrum. For non-verbal children, music may serve as the form of communication itself. Shore’s musical methods go further than skill development, drawing ideology from the proven physiological benefits of music as well. On Shore’s website testimonial for music therapy, he references a study performed by a neurologist/musician at Beth Israel Hospital, which showed an area of nerve fibers that transmits signals between the two brain hemispheres to be 12% thicker among keyboard players who began training before 7 years of age. To register for Stephen Shore’s workshop ‘Music for Children on the Autism Spectrum’ at Shema Kolainu Hear Our Voices click here! The workshop is April 16th, 2013 at 10 AM. Learn more about Stephen Shore’s work at his personal website or his Adelphi University page.

Fighting Autism with Music

The difference music can make for children

Music therapy has been practical in the treatment of autism. Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects children, and its effects can be seen as early as infancy. Symptoms may appear at the age of six months, and the disorder is established before the child reaches three years of age.

Music has always been a way to get young people energized. Music that engages autistic children in dancing and singing works very well in helping them communicate and develop social skills. Autistic children respond to music by singing in the same note, and some of them may even start communicating through singing. They may take up an instrument to play, and this will help them gain interest in acquiring a certain skill. Music therapy can help different autistic patients in different ways, but generally, it is beneficial to them because it makes them more responsive to things around them.

Shema Kolainu – Hear Our Voices is hosting a free workshop on Music for children with autism on April 16th, 2013 from 10am to 12pm. It is open to all. If you would like to RSVP >>Click here>>
It will be focusing on including children with autism in the music curriculum and teaching them how to play a musical instrument this presentation explores techniques that are applicable to learners of all abilities and presented by Dr. Stephen Shore of Adelphi University and on the Advisory Committee for ICare4Autism.

A local group is trying to help kids with autism and other developmental disorders bring out their inner celebrity feelings .

Rock the Autism was started years ago by local musicians to play together and make a difference for those on ASD. It happened after its founders noticed the effect that music could have on children with autism

Rocky Neidhardt started the organization in 2010, after seeing the effect music had on Joe Santley’s son Luke, a member of the organization’s board of directors. ,” Neidhardt saw that music could make a difference in reaching autistic children and adults.

“Luke Santley sat right down on the drum set and did a perfect drum rollMusic has been shown as an effective therapy to help those with autism, as it helps to improve development in a number areas, such as word recognition and pre-writing skills. It also serves as an effective way to help students interact with one another and “neurotypical” children.”

 “That’s been one of the real breakthroughs,” Neidhardt said. Early on, he said, the program was split into two rooms, one for autistic and special needs children, and the other for neurotypical children. But that division isn’t necessary anymore, Neidhardt said. “The neurotypical children have fully embraced the special needs and autistic kids. They’re all friends and they’re pulling for each other.”

Neidhardt said that while the organization has used a number of different musical instruments, including bass guitar and piano, drums remain the most popular instrument option, as they were with Luke.

“They thrive on them,” Neidhardt said. “They usually just line up for it, and we usually have a great drum instructor to help them.” Initially, Neidhardt said he’d been told that drums might be problematic for some autistic children due t­o the noise. “They said it might be too much for them, that they’d run from the sound.” Neidhardt said. “We’ve had quite the opposite experience. We have a lot of kids who come with headphones or earmuffs on, and when they sit down, they’ll take them off and turn up the volume on the drums.”

Tammy-Jo Leonard, a friend of Neidhardt’s, said she knew the positive effect music could have after seeing how music had helped bring her own son out of his shell.

“It’s something we’ve always believed in,” Leonard said. “Once you see the look on their faces, the love of it, it’s amazing. It’s such a healthy, therapeutic outlet for them.”

For more information about the group, visit its website, www.rocktheautism.org


IPad app helps students get creative

Adam Goldberg, a music teacher at P177Q in Queens, NY, a school for special-needs students, has successfully integrated the iPad into his class, creating an iPad band of talented musicians.

“Some of the students in this school who are very low functioning, are really making music,” Goldberg tells FoxNews.com.

Being on the autism spectrum, Goldberg’s students often have a hard time with communication, socializing and focusing.  But, with use of an iPad, they have been able to play some of the most difficult and challenging music compositions such as “Space Circus” by famous jazz composer Chick Corea. Continue reading