Music for Children with Special Needs

The Music Studio is proud to offer small-group classes and individual instruction for children with special needs. Recognizing the unique challenges specific to children with autism spectrum disorders, neurological impairments, and complex learning disabilities, we have invited Beth McLaughlin to join our staff. Ms. McLaughlin is a board-certified music therapist who is also a certified music teacher in the state of New York. She comes to us after a long tenure at Wildwood School in Schenectady, and has created an innovative program for us: Circle of Friends, a class we offer for 4–5-year-olds and 6–8-year-olds. Ms. McLaughlin is also offering Adapted Piano Instruction, private piano lessons for children, adolescents, and young adults with special needs. We have regular Open Houses dedicated to our Music for Children with Special Needs; call 518-459-7799 for more information.


Circle of Friends is a 50-minute music class (once a week for six weeks) for children with special needs and their parents. This class can help parents connect to their child through music or it can serve the child who may not be ready for The Foundation but enjoys and is easily engaged by music. Participants take part in singing, movement, and instrument play in an individualized and supportive environment. Music activities are specifically designed to promote social interaction, communication, and motor skill development, while helping children experience the joy of making music with friends and family.

Note for families with siblings: Ms. McLaughlin is adept at teaching children at a range of developmental levels. We will happily accommodate siblings who wish to enroll in this class along with a child who has special needs. Music is a wonderful way to bond as a family.
Tuition for each student, for the six-week class: $147.
Circle of Friends for 4–6-Year-Olds
Circle of Friends for 6–10-Year-Olds


Circle of Friends Family Group is a four-week music class for children with special needs and their siblings. Children between the ages of 5 and 10, with or without a sibling, are invited to enroll. The class size will be limited to 6 students, including one parent for each family.  Music activities for this group are specifically designed to provide opportunities for modeling and social interaction while strengthening relationships through the joy of making music with family and friends.
Tuition for each student:  $88.
Circle of Friends Family Group


Adapted Piano Instruction is an individualized approach to teaching piano that focuses on the development of both musical and non-musical skills. The content and structure of these lessons will be developed according to the student’s musical interests and skill level, with a focus on increasing the following: attention to task, visual sequencing, musical literacy, bilateral communication, fine motor skills, balance and posture, music repertoire, independence, and skill generalization. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in recitals, field trips, and other extracurricular activities offered by The Music Studio.