Music for Special Learners

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year – where we are focused on rebuilding, refreshing, and making music for all of our students. While the past year and a half have posed many musical challenges for our programs, our students, and ourselves – we can use what we have learned to better music education for all students. Music has once again shown to be the glue that brings our school communities together and provides emotional and artistic outlets for our students – including our diverse learners across New York State. This year, let us take what we have learned from the last year and a half, and apply it to make music-making communal, inclusive, and accessible for all of our students. Let us focus on:

  • Creating truly inclusive music environments for ALL students
  • Using music as a means to teach togetherness, empathy, and harmony
  • Recognizing that all of our students have their own individual strengths
  • Recognizing and celebrating the different diversities in our classrooms, and using music to showcase this
  • Providing music-making opportunities for our communities to come together

Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
NYSSMA Special Learners Chair

 

86th NYSSMA Winter Conference Special Learners Sessions
This year, we have a wide range of topics we will be presenting during the Special Learner sessions during our 2001 Winter Conference. Please take a look at our offerings.

The Neurodiverse Music Classroom: Using Strengths of Special Learners and All Students in Various Learning Environments
Thursday, December 2nd at 7:00 PM in Convention Center Highland CH
Presented by Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
Neurodiversity focuses on incorporating strength-based learning in the classroom and celebrating brain diversity. This session will focus on creating a neurodiverse classroom by incorporating positive niche construction. Examples include strength awareness, universal design for learning, and creating environmental modifications. This session will cover elementary/secondary, in addition to classroom music/performance ensembles.

Teaching the Visually Impaired: A Benefit to All
Friday, December 3rd at 9:30 AM in Convention Center Cascade ABC
Presented by Peter Leo
This session explores best practices for teaching music to students with visual impairment. These methods for making music accessible, based on Universal Design for Learning, will not only benefit visually-impaired students but will also result in improved education for all students in the class.

Universal Design for Learning: A Framework for Inclusive Music Teaching
Friday, December 3rd at 10:45 AM in Convention Center Cascade ABC
Presented by Jason D. Jones
The Universal Design for Learning framework is a guideline for teachers to instruct students with and without disabilities. This session will provide an overview of the framework and how to incorporate it immediately into the classroom. Participants will leave this session with concrete plans to take back to their classrooms.

Making Musical Connections: String Orchestra for Special Learners
Saturday, December 4th at 9:30 AM in Hyatt Regency Ballroom C
Presented by Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
All students should have the opportunity to participate in a string orchestra. Nevertheless, special adaptations/modifications are needed to provide a structured and meaningful experience for students with special needs. In this session, you will see basic accommodations, adaptations to literacy, and how language development/social skills can be enhanced through music-making.

 

Previous NYSSMA Special Learner Sessions                                                     

2018 82nd NYSSMA Winter Conference Special Learner Sessions

2009 Winter Conference Special Learner Session Descriptions 

2011 Winter Conference Special Learner Session Descriptions

2014 Winter Conference Special Learner Session Descriptions

2015 Winter Conference Special Learner Session Descriptions

2016 Winter Conference Special Learner Session Descriptions

 

Resources for Music & All Abilities                                                           

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)

 

Literature for Music & All Abilities
A Best Practice Guide to Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Schools (Second Edition)
Lee A. Wilkinson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                           

Publications of NYSSMA Special Learner 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). Enhancing the Social-Emotional Needs of Students with Special Needs through Music Making and Repertoire. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. Los Angeles, CA.

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.

 

 

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

 

 


 

 

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