Special Education Music Therapy Stories
Through the Eyes of Low
Music Helps a Student with Down Syndrome to Meet IEP Goals
“My name is Lawrence “Low” Zucker, and I am a six-year-old with Down syndrome. I am not able to tell you how I feel or what I need because I am learning how to talk. I am a very happy playful boy who loves being active, swimming, and music.
My teacher does this great program with me called Tuned in to Learning. It’s so much fun. My mom came to the classroom to learn more about it, and now we get to do it at home. I get so excited when she pulls the book out. I am an active learner who learns through movement. This program is great for me because it helps me meet my goals, allows be to move, and makes me laugh.
I wanted you to know how great it is so maybe it can be a part of your fun learning too!”
Lawrence “Low” Zucker
Coast Music Therapy Achiever and Music Lover
(Submitted by Low’s Mother)
Grandmother Sings Praise for Music Therapy
Music Helps Build Words into Sentences
“Since attending Coast Music Therapy, Grace has grown leaps and bounds toward putting words together into sentences. This ability has not come easy for Grace, diagnosed with autism. However, through music, she has been able to excel in moving toward greater success in memory and radiates self-confidence. She participated in two spring concerts, and each time she displays concentrated effort.
This effort is largely due to the wonderful music therapists at Coast Music Therapy. These teachers capitalize fully on the talents of their students, and, with positive and realistic expectations, they work diligently to generate greater success for each student.
Grace always looks forward to “music with Betsy”. Betsy (Grace’s music therapist) displays warmth and consideration toward Grace, and Grace responds with a willingness to try, and, for “just one more time”, to use words and put the words together in song.
Grace along with her school classmates numbering 6 will venture one more step as they go into the 6th grade choir. Grace has taken her songs to Betsy to help her “just one more time” to get all the words together, memorize and sing out for all to hear. Autism surely sings.
Grandmother to Coast Music Therapy Star Student Grace
Special Education Music Therapy Customized Songs are a Classroom Hit
Music Helps a Special Education Teacher to Engage a Variety of Special Learners
“As the school-year comes to a close, I want to thank you once again for the tremendous contribution your music therapy programs have made in my classroom.
Having four students who qualify for music therapy services has meant that each of the students in my classroom benefits from the tremendous work of (music therapist) Amy Andrews. For each weekly session, Amy is fully prepared to bring music and activities that compliment the children’s IEP goals and the calendar! Imagine the challenge of constantly looking for ways to filter children’s goals through Thanksgiving or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Memorial Day! But Amy does this for the children.
My work with your team began in January 2011. During the past year and a half, the best practices of your team of music therapists have become part of the best practices of my classroom. Teachers are constantly sharpening their tools and looking for more precise ways to meet the individual needs of students. So, not only has your program impacted the academic achievement of the children, it has been a constant benefit to me. I appreciate the collaboration that I enjoy with Amy, and I use her suggestions almost daily, as I plan individualized curriculum.
There are brief celebrations that we enjoy with our teams and with our students. As this school-year ends, I hope that you and your team will be able to celebrate, remembering the many times that your therapy session encouraged a child to engage and learn, the many times that your instruments encouraged a child to reach out and try something new, and the many times that your music made a child very happy. Our music therapy sessions are truly one of our favorite lessons during the week.
Thank you for the tremendous work that you and your team members are doing, as you partner with us in our collegial work for children.”
Lindbergh Schweitzer Elementary
Speech-Language Pathologist Considers Music a Powerful Tool
Music Helps a Speech-Language Pathologist to Present Communication and Social Lessons
“Betsy (music therapist) from Coast Music Therapy is a great asset to our moderate-severe special education program! The students are so motivated by the music. Their willingness to participate, use communication, and engage increases greatly when she walks through the door with all of her instruments.
From a speech-language perspective, music therapy has been a great tool to include in lessons. We are able to target a variety of communication goals, from learning basic concepts to socializing with peers! The students are able to work on their goals in such a fun, creative way. Everyone who participates in our speech/music group has such a great time!”
Stephanie Covert, MS, CCC–SLP