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Creativity Not Bound by Disabilities

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1 Creativity Not Bound by Disabilities
Using Creative Expression in Music to Enhance Life for Students With Autism

2 What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
As defined by Autism Speaks, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.

3 (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005)
Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence- based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved Music Therapy Program.  (American Music Therapy Association definition, 2005)

4 What does a Music Therapist do?
Certified music therapists determine and implement functional goals to help improve the quality of life of the individuals served.  Improving gross & fine motor skills Increasing attention Improving verbal & nonverbal communication Improving cognitive function Increasing sensory capacity

5 Express Yourself Engage students in exploring their feelings through poetry & song writing Assist with the process of communication by leaving out words at the end of each phrase of the poem Create a song story by using pictures or sections of lyrics to organize the song Ask questions about the song to encourage expression Use instrument choices through pictures or sounds Simplify instructions by breaking up sections of poems when creating lyrics for the song

6 Adapting Instruments Adaptive instruments can be homemade or special ordered. Each individual student may require different adaptions depending on abilities. Percussive instruments may be a good choice for students with limited mobility Drum mallets can include a foam grip around the end to assist with fine motor coordination. Guitar picks can be attached to a stick which can be used with a foam grip.

7 Adapting Music Use a color coded system for teaching to read music.
Highlighting the note or lyrics helps the student track the music. Using a lighted keyboard may assist students with visual impairments.

8 Another Opening Another Show
Creating a show is an excellent way to celebrate the abilities of all students with disabilities. Having the student choose the instrument and learn about the instrument gives them a sense of control and accomplishment. Performing in a show helps the student’s self esteem, communication, social skills, and ability to focus.

9 Creating the Show The students are involved in the process from beginning to end. Creating the set, writing the script, stage crew, lighting, and expressing the poems into music is all part of the educational experience.

10 Every student has a “job” in a show.
The Show “Job” Every student has a “job” in a show. Each Friday or once a month, offer the students a chance to pick their performance to prepare for the “big” performances. Stage Crew Lights Sound Helper Performer Host/ Actor

11 Performed at Nova Southeastern University
“Break Free” the 11th Annual Original Performance of the Expressive Arts program of the Ann Storck Center Performed at Nova Southeastern University Ft. Lauderdale FL

12 Light up my world Performed by the Ann Storck Center Expressive Arts Program

13 Write it in a song What do you want to write about?
Pick a style & mood. Create your song structure. Ask questions such as what are you feeling and make a statement. Review the ideas together and decide what stands out the most to put in your title and chorus. Put it together, review, and sing it out loud and proud!

14 Monday Morning Jam by Matthew Age 7
I woke up Monday morning, feeling sad. I turned my music on, then I was glad! I started to dance, my feet would not stop. I jumped up all around to the beat of hip hop! I did the Monday morning Jam, yeah, yeah! I put on my shoes and got to school, I did the Monday morning Jam!

15 For More information
Mattie Mingst, CMT

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