The Music Studio will start a new chapter in January: for the first time it will offer classes designed for children with special needs.
“Everyone should have access to the joys of making music and the benefits of music education,” says Noel Liberty, founder and director of The Music Studio. “We are thrilled to be able to include more students in our community.”
The Music Studio invited Beth McLaughlin, a board-certified music therapist and a state-certified music teacher, to develop new classes that would suit students with autism spectrum disorders, neurological impairments, and complex learning disabilities. Ms. McLaughlin recently retired from her position as coordinator of music therapy services at Schenectady’s Wildwood School.
“I am honored to join The Music Studio, which I have long admired for its musical integrity and commitment to excellence,” says Ms. McLaughlin. “Since I met Noel in the mid 80’s, I have felt a kinship with her approach to teaching, which is inherently supportive and inclusive, much like my own.” Ms. McLaughlin adds that the classes she will offer “will give families a unique opportunity to interact with their child through the elements of music in a nurturing environment.”
Beginning January 23, Ms. McLaughlin will teach “Circle of Friends” with three options: for students ages 4 to 5, for students ages 6 to 7, and for family groups to include one or more siblings. The class will include singing, movement, and instrument play in a supportive small-group environment. It will focus on music as a way of building a connection between parent and child; it is also suitable for the child who may not be ready for The Foundation but enjoys and is engaged by music. As with all beginning classes at The Music Studio, parents attend each class and are active participants in the learning.
Ms. McLaughlin will also offer one-on-one “Adapted Piano Instruction,” focusing on the development of both musical and non-musical skills. Students in these private lessons will also have the opportunity to participate in recitals, field trips, and other extra curricular activities offered by The Music Studio.
Parents and children are invited to learn more about this program at an Open House at The Music Studio on January 8 at 1 p.m. Call 518-459-7799 for more information or to sign up.