Music for Children with Special Needs

Circle of Friends 

Call 518-459-7799 for more information 

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 an on-staff faculty member highly trained to meet these challenges. Beth McLaughlin is a music therapist and music teacher who came to us after a long tenure at Wildwood School in Schenectady and has created an innovative program for us, including Circle of Friends and Circle of Friends Family Group. Ms. McLaughlin also teaches 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 four 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. These activities promote social interaction, communication, and motor skill development. They enhance and encourage a child’s natural love of music and give him or her the tools to make music as well.

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.


For 5–7-year-olds

August 22, 24, 29, 31 ⎢Tues./ Thur. 4:00–4:50 p.m.

Cost: $116.

Click here to apply or call us at 518-459-7799.


Join music therapist and music teacher Beth McLaughlin for one-on-one instruction designed for students with special needs. These lessons focus on the development of both musical and non-musical skills. The content and structure of the instruction is individualized for each student based on their musical interests and skill level with a focus on increasing: attention to task, visual sequencing, musical literacy, bilateral coordination, fine motor skills, balance and posture, music repertoire, independence, and skill generalization across learning environments. Lessons can be held in-person at The Music Studio (learn about our safety protocols here) or using any of a variety of online meeting platforms, including FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Meet.