Becki Laurent (on the cover) is well-known to many teachers for her work with JoyTunes. What you may or may not know is she was diagnosed with ADHD late in life. Her article in this issue, My Journey with ADHD, is one of the best and most compelling articles I have read in nearly 5 years of publishing this magazine. While her story and experiences are hers, I suspect they are representative of what it is like to have ADHD. As I read through her story, I could see children I have worked with in the past and know I will be better prepared to work with other students who might have ADHD because of her insights.
Notes with Nick By Nick Ambrosino and Play to Learn: Let's Play! By Michael Katz
Michael Katz has a short and sweet improv project for the dog days of summer in his column, Play to Learn: Let's Play! this month and Nick Ambrosino is has more great advice in Notes with Nick.
Can the 'Average' Piano Teacher Positively Impact Special Needs Students?
Some teachers have a passion for working with special needs students. And a few, like Dima Tahboub believe all teachers are able to work with special needs students. Dima makes a compelling argument for all teachers being open to working with these kids in her article Can the ‘Average’ Piano Teacher Positively Impact Special Needs Students? I hope the stories she shares of the changes she has seen in some of her students will inspire you as you work with yours.
Resources for Teaching Special Needs Students
If you have been teaching piano for any length of time, I suspect you have either worked with special needs students or at least been contacted by parents about teaching special needs students. I don't Know if screening has gotten better, if we have just become more aware of problems or if for some reason more and more kids are developing learning issues, but there just aren't enough trained music therapists to work with all the special needs students who have a desire for music training. If you are already working with special needs students, thank you for the time and effort you are putting in to help these kids. It can be intimidating to take on some of these students, especially when you don't feel you have the training to do a good enough job. If you have not felt ‘qualified’ to work with these children, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and be open to working with at least one special needs child this year. Whether you have special needs students in your studio or not, I hope you find the articles in this issue helpful.