If you have a family member or friend in special education with Oak Park School District 97, my music therapy presentation this Tuesday night is a must- attend. Not only will I share with parents how music therapy can target educational goals, I will offer parents a much deserved moment of respite and relaxation through music. Here is how you sign up to attend. Come, listen, and enjoy.
Check out this nice article in Disabilty Scoop addressing how parenting style has a big impact on children with disabilities.
The researchers found that even though it may seem natural to allow behaviors, or eradicate behaviors, finding the sweet spot somewhere in between is the key to teaching independence and skills for the future. It’s wonderful to see how this is so in line with parenting typically developing kids.
As a music therapist, I balance in this place as a clinician at the piano, guitar, djembe, or other music experience. It’s in that space of gently guiding my clients towards free self expression and also creating aesthetic beauty in sound. It’s in that space, in that relationship we develop together, that the learning and insight happens.
If you haven’t seen this clip from last night’s Comedy Central fundraiser for autism programs, now is your chance. It shares the story of how Jodi DiPiazza’s natural interest in music became a tool for her self expression beyond her learning struggles due to autism. Her mother says that music is how she “makes herself known”. What a wonderful tool to communicate who we are – through music. Watch Jodi accompanying and singing “Firework” with Katy Perry herself. Whether you are a fan of Katy Perry or not, I think you’ll be moved by watching them perform together.
“Firework” has been a regular song in my list of tunes for therapy for a couple of years now. It speaks of resilience in the face of struggle, and celebrating one’s uniqueness and finding one’s strength. We could all use a reminder of our inner power now and again.
Now, I know nothing about this particular girl except that she has made great strides in defying the limitations imposed by her autism. When we give our children the tools, the opportunities, and the loving environment to succeed, sometimes they can really surprise us. The same is certainly true in music therapy.
I’m always excited to share what I know about music. The way we can to get to the heart of a feeling with or without words is profound. My connection with my clients who have emotional struggles, intellectual limitations, or disorders in communication show me every day how music is indeed a bridge to the heart. And my heart says that being connected to another human being, even in moments of being musical together, can make the difference between a good day and a difficult one.
Congrats little Jodi on a job well done, and to you Ms. Perry for sharing a really great tune with all of us.
For the rest of us, let’s keep singing.