Sharing Stories and New Experiences through the Creation of Audio Art

The Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle, Washington, has a long history of working with students with disabilities to create audio art in a variety of formats. The hands-on arts experiences they offer to students provide a way to share stories and create something new. Executive Director Joan Rabinowitz says students in both the organization’s … Continue reading Sharing Stories and New Experiences through the Creation of Audio Art

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Communication is Key to Effective Collaboration Between Arts Educators and Instructional Assistants

When working with students with disabilities, arts educators frequently encounter other adults in the classroom. Instructional assistants, also called paraprofessionals, work as part of the educational team and often focus on supporting students with disabilities. Will Houchin and Zoe Gelinas, both students in Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Master of Music in music education (autism concentration) … Continue reading Communication is Key to Effective Collaboration Between Arts Educators and Instructional Assistants

Announcing the Winners of the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Competition

This year marks the 34th anniversary of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program that recognizes talented, emerging artists ages 14-25 with disabilities from all over the world. The four young musicians who have been named winners of the 2018 award are: violinist Eva Casado Ariza, age 22; … Continue reading Announcing the Winners of the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Competition

Five Tips for Teaching West African Drumming to Students with Disabilities

By Aidan Owens West African drumming is a great way for teachers and students to address a variety of goals in a fun, supportive, and musical environment. This social, sensory, and scaffolded music is energetic and participatory, and can be an excellent arts learning tool for students with disabilities. Here are five quick tips to … Continue reading Five Tips for Teaching West African Drumming to Students with Disabilities

Announcing the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Call for Entries

  Each year, the VSA International Young Soloists Competition recognizes outstanding young musicians with disabilities, ages 14-25. These emerging musicians from around the world receive a $2,000 prize, professional development activities, and the opportunity to perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. If you or someone you know is interested in … Continue reading Announcing the 2018 VSA International Young Soloists Call for Entries

5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 VSA Intersections Conference

There are lots of reasons to attend the Kennedy Center's VSA Intersections: Arts and Special Education Conference. Here are a few of our favorites: 1. Brand New Content We have tons of new sessions that you won't want to miss! Here is sampling of what we have planned: It Takes a Village: Inclusive Community Music … Continue reading 5 Reasons to Attend the 2017 VSA Intersections Conference

Meet the 2017 VSA International Young Soloists Award Winners

This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program that recognizes talented, emerging artists ages 14-25 with disabilities from all over the world. The four young musicians who have been named winners of the 2017 award are: pianist Elliott McClain, age 23, from … Continue reading Meet the 2017 VSA International Young Soloists Award Winners

Drum Circle Class Impacts Students and Educators

A new partnership between the Westminster Center for Community Engagement and Critical Pedagogy and Trenton Public Schools in New Jersey (U.S.) offers children with autism the opportunity to learn drumming alongside Westminster music education students. The program, called Junior Vitamin D after the Westminster Choir College’s own Vitamin D Drum Circle, provides students in self-contained … Continue reading Drum Circle Class Impacts Students and Educators

Five Tips on Using Picture-Based Visual Supports for Students with Complex Communication Needs During Music Instruction

By Lisa Pierce-Goldstein, M.M., M.S. CCC-SLP Visual supports are an integral part of the day for all of us, from street signs to calendars to scrawled reminders on Post-it® Notes. Visual supports in the form of pictures can be an effective and integral part of music instruction for students with complex communication needs, who cannot … Continue reading Five Tips on Using Picture-Based Visual Supports for Students with Complex Communication Needs During Music Instruction

Combining Movement and Classical Music at the Australian Chamber Orchestra

At the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO), access and inclusion are core organizational values. Their triennial disability action plan is a major part of the strategic plan, and comprehensively sets goals for inclusion in every aspect of the organization’s work. This includes their signature education program for students with disabilities, ACO Move. ACO Move is a … Continue reading Combining Movement and Classical Music at the Australian Chamber Orchestra