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Teaching Special Needs Kids Music

In product design, having the most difficult use-case scenarios usually creates wonderful results.   What do I mean?

Apple originally worked on creating the computer interface to make it easier for non-technical people to work on a spreadsheet.  They also added a whole subset of features for the visually impaired.  By forcing the designers to think about these special needs, it lifted the whole project to create such magical results as the iPad, a device a 2 year old can operate.  Heck, even a cat!  (Have you seen those cat games on iPad?)

When I set out to teach kids music, I discovered a gaping hole in the marketplace.  There were no methods devoted to starting kids on playing an instrument until they were much older, say 8 or 9 years of age.  The books were cluttered with useless facts that only an adult could interpret, or colorful pictures that were meant to attract the child, but instead ended up distracting from the real information.

Over the years, out of my hundreds of students, I’ve had about a handful of children who could be described as being on the autism spectrum.  While I didn’t intend to seek out these students, they naturally gravitated to me as my methods have been so successful with just about any child.

Yes, there are greater challenges in focus.  I have to limit my activities to 3 minutes instead of 6 or 8 minutes.  I may need to ask them to change positions more often moving them about in the physical space.  Or I need to give them something physical to hold or do.  These learnings I have incorporated into the Musicolor Method™, lifting the results f0r everyone.

Here’s a few articles I’ve found helpful in understand the positive effects of music on autism.

Music therapy has a positive effect on children with autism
http://fhands.com/nURrHDc (examiner.com)

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Music therapy improves behavior in children with autism
http://fhands.com/FpEWj32 (sciencedaily.com)

Music and Autism Research
http://fhands.com/1W2QlzU (coastmusictherapy.com)

EFFECTS OF MUSIC ON VOCAL STEREOTYPY IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
http://fhands.com/IEorLgY (nlm.nih.gov)

The Sounds Of Learning: Studying The Impact Of Music On Children With Autism
http://fhands.com/bgvbIml (sciencedaily.com)

 

 

Andrew Ingkavet

Andrew Ingkavet is an educator, author and entrepreneur. His belief that learning a musical instrument builds skills vital to success in life has led to a thriving music school in Brooklyn, NY. Andrew helps children, parents and educators with the Musicolor Method, an innovative music curriculum suitable for all children even those who are preliterate or have special needs. His previous bookThe Game of Practice: with 53 Tips to Make Practice Fun is rated 5 stars at Amazon. Andrew is also known as one of the first VJ's at MTV Asia and co-founder of the first digital marketing agency in Asia. He holds a Bachelors of Music from NYU where he was a Scholar in Education.

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