Music for Special Learners

Music for All
Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year, where we are focusing on creating musical environments that represent Belonging, Equity, Diversity, and Representation (BEDR). Now is the time for us to reflect on our classrooms, performance settings, studios, music technology labs, collegiate programs, communities, etc. – are we providing equitable musical environments for all? Are we incorporating strategies and techniques into our teaching that can benefit all of our students? Are we incorporating music that is representative, authentic, and personable to all? Are we removing any barriers that exist to ensure all of our students have access?

How do we do this? With music of course . . .
Music has the power to bring people together, and create community and belonging.
Music has the power to give voices when many may be struggling to connect or engage.
Music has the power to create a sense of calm and prediction in a world that has a continuous sense of anxiety, instability, and unease.
Music has the power to expose and showcase our wonderful identities, and connect us together as human beings.

Let us use music to bring BEDR to ALL of our students.

Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
NYSSMA Chair – Music for Special Learners

 

2022 NYSSMA Winter Conference Special Learners Sessions
This year, we have a wide range of topics we will be presenting during our Special Learners sessions during our annual winter conference. Please take a look at our offerings.

Assistive Devices in the General Music Classroom
Presented by Dr. Rachel Grimsby
A variety of affordable assistive devices for students with disabilities will be shared. The use of each device will be modeled and participants will engage with devices in small groups to discuss practical applications in their classrooms.

Behavioral Strategies: Approaches & Techniques for All Students in Musical Environments
Presented by Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
Students can sometimes display behaviors in the music classroom which can prevent high-quality musical instruction from taking place. This session will look at behavior as a mode of communication, and focus on specific types of tools and strategies that can be utilized for students to replace targeted behaviors.

From Sound to Symbol: Using Devised Notation in an Inclusive Music Classroom
Presented by Dr. Sarah Perry
Providing opportunities for children to use devised music notation and composition can offer a safe space to create and compose freely, thus creating a more inclusive setting for music learning. In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore the use of devised notation to create original compositions in the music classroom.

Music for All: Developing Music Instruction for Students with Higher Support Needs
Presented by Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
This session will focus on engaging students with limited verbal ability, or students who may require hand-over-hand assistance in the music room. Music educators will leave with strategies focusing on a strength-based model, utilizing universal design and assistive technology to give all students access to high-quality and appropriate music-making.

Pandemic Proof Strategies for Doing a Musical with Special Learners
Presented by Peter Tinaglia
Based on autobiographical case studies from 2020 to 2022, the presenter will share “pandemic proof” techniques for teaching blocking, lines, music, and choreography to special learners. We will also discuss budgeting; technology; creating trailers; and procuring props, sets, costumes, and makeup/wigs. Musical theatre teachers of all grade levels are welcome.

Sensory Safety for Students: Predictable Routines in Instrumental Music
Presented by Krysta Mirsik
This session will address sensory challenges students face and how attendees can create predictable routines in their instrumental classrooms to alleviate those challenges. We will discuss the multiple ways that physical space, structured learning, peer buddies, and instructional adaptation can be implemented to support students.

Bias-Free PreK-12+ Classroom: What???
Presented by Dr. Elise Sobol (past Music for Special Learners chair) & Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
Would you like the tools to lead your music program free of bias and full of welcome? Attend to benefit from the extensive experiences of two leading educators. Topics include: careful usage of lyrics/ styles, inclusive language for age, disability, gender, intersectionality, racial/ ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.
* Workshop session will be posted under Collegiate in the conference booklet.

 

Previous NYSSMA Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2009 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2011 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2014 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2016 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2018 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions
2021 Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions

 

Organizations & Resources for Music & Exceptional Learners
Arts Better the Lives of Everyone (ABLE Assembly)
Arts for All Abilities Consortium
CEC Division of Visual and Performing Arts Education (DARTS)
Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
ISME Special Music Education & Music Therapy
NAfME Children with Exceptionalities Special Research Interest Group (SRIG)
Sonic Arts for All (SAFA!)
Very Special Arts (VSA)
United Sound
Urban Arts Partnership (EASE)

 

Assistive Musical Technology & Adaptive Musical Resources
Artiphon
Beamz
EyeHarp
Figurenotes
Jamboxx
Makey Makey
Orba
Skoog
Skwitch
Soundbeam
Specdrums

 

Literature for Music & Diverse Learners
An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners (Third Edition)
Elise S. Sobol

Exceptional Music Pedagogy for Children with Exceptionalities (International Perspectives)
Deborah VanderLinde Blair & Kimberly A. McCord

Including Everyone: Creating Music Classrooms Where All Children Learn
Judith A. Jellison

The Music and Literacy Connection
Dee Hansen, Elaine Bernstorf & Gayle M. Stuber

Music Education and Social Emotional Learning: The Hear of Teaching Music
Scott N. Edgar

Music in Special Education (Third Edition)
Mary S. Adamek & Alice-Ann Darrow

Special Needs, Community Music, and Adult Learning (An Oxford Handbook of Music Education, Volume 4)
Gary E. McPherson & Graham F. Welch

Spotlight on Making Music with Special Learners: Selected Articles from State MEA Journals (Spotlight Series)
MENC: The National Association for Music Education

Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label Free Approach (Second Edition)
Alice M. Hammel & Ryan M. Hourigan

Winding it Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings
Alice M. Hammel, Roberta Y. Hickox & Ryan M. Hourigan

 

Literature for Inclusive Environments & Teaching
A Best Practice Guide to Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Schools (Second Edition)
Lee A. Wilkinson

Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Theory to Practice (Third Edition)
Laura J. Hall

Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally
Emily Ladau

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life
Thomas Armstrong

UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning (Third Edition)
Katie Novak

Unlearning: Changing Your Beliefs and Your Classroom with UDL
Allison Posey & Katie Novak

                                                           

Publications by NYSSMA Music for Special Learners Chairs
Sobol, E. S. (August 1994). Music Success for Special Learners, Inclusion Buzzword
of Hope for the Future! New York: New York State Council of Educational Associations.

Sobol, E. S. (September 1994). “The Red, Green, Yellow, Song” in NYSSMA Notes.
Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (January 1995). “Assembly Programs” in NYSSMA Notes.
Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (March 1995). “Music Success for Special Learners.” in
School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (May/June 1995). “Music and the Mouse.” In NYSSMA Notes.
Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (November 1995). “Magic Microphone and Awesome Video Camera.” in
NYSSMA Notes. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (February 1997). “It Depends on Y.O.U.” in NYSSMA Notes. Westbury, NY:
New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (December 1998). “Loud, Louder, Loudest.” in School Music News.
Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (October 1999). “Communication through Music: A Language beyond
Words” in School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (August 2001). “Is That Your Joanna There? The Musical Rhythmic Intelligence.
How Fantastic!” School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E. S. (December 2001). “Instructional Music Teaching for Special Learners”
School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Sobol, E.S. (2001). An Attitude and Approach for Teaching Music to Special Learners
Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press

E. S. (2004). “Loud, Louder, Loudest-Teaching the Dynamics of Life.” in Spotlight on
Making Music with Special Learners. Reston, VA: MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 68–71.

Wagner, B. (2015). Engaging All Learners: Tools and Techniques to Reach Different Types of Learners in the Music Classroom. School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Wagner, B. (2016). Making Connections for Special Learners: Using Repertoire to Enhance Lifelong Learning. School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Wagner, B. (2016). Using Repertoire to Enhance Lifelong Learning. Music in a Minuet. Reston, VA: National Association for Music Education.

Wagner, B. (2017). Using a Differentiated Rhythmic and Melodic Notation System for Special Learners in All Musical Settings. Tempo. Lakewood, NJ: New Jersey Music Educators Association.

Wagner, B. (2017). Engaging All Types of Learners in the Music Classroom. Music in a Minuet. Reston, VA: National Association for Music Education.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2018). Teaching Lessons to Children with Special Needs. Music in a Minuet. Reston, VA: National Association for Music Education.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2018). Behavioral Supports for Students with Special Needs in Musical Environments. Music in a Minuet. Reston, VA: National Association for Music Education.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2019). Related Service Providers in the Music Classroom. DARTS Newsletter. Arlington, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2020). Distance Learning for Special Learners in the Music Classroom. Music in a Minuet. Reston, VA: National Association for Music Education.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2020). Let’s Make Music! Engaging Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the K-8 General Music Classroom. Coralville, IA: Music ConstructED.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2021). Neurodiversity in the Music Classroom: Using the Strengths of All Students During In-Person and Remote Learning. School Music News. Westbury, NY: New York State School Music Association.

Wagner-Yeung, B. (2022). Inclusive Strategies for Students with ASD in the Music Room. Coralville, IA: Music ConstructED.

 

 

Contact Brian J. Wagner-Yeung (NYSSMA Music for Special Learners Chair) at brianwagneryeung@gmail.com for handouts from previous NYSSMA conferences, articles, additional websites, and resources.

 

 


 

 

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