Special needs and music? Advice welcome!

Marina said: Oct 30, 2013
 1 posts

I’m a mom of a 25-month old boy with special needs. He was born very early and had very complicated medical issues at birth. Right now he has some developmental delays, including speech and movement. He is not walking just yet, but his fine motor skills are alright.

However, he loves music, all types of it and has a very keen sense of what he considers “good” music, including classic piano, violin and vocal pieces as well as modern ones (Lindsey Stirling type) that he can listen to again and again for hours. He likes music toys and he can play with our electronic keyboard for quite some time, changing the instruments and experimenting with sounds.

I’ve studied music when I was a child (violin and piano) but was never especially good at it and whatever I knew, I’ve forgotten by now. But I would really like to get him involved, as it seems to be particularly good for him developmentally and I can appreciate how much he likes it. However, he is medically fragile as well, so any sort of a group class can be dangerous for him for the next couple years.

So, any advice as to how to help him learn more and enjoy it will be welcome. :) We live in Englewood, CO and I hope to find a teacher who might be willing to work with him (perhaps when he is 3 or older? not sure)…

thank you!


Kathleen Spring said: Nov 6, 2013
Kathleen SpringTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Denver, CO
26 posts

Hello Marina,

I read you message and would love to meet with you. I currently teach the Suzuki Violin Pedagogy at the University of Denver and have a studio as well. Though I am fairly full at this time, perhaps we could get together and discuss options. I think that it is wonderful for you to want to nurture your son’s interest in music and could be life-changing and enhancing for him.

Feel free to email me back if you are interested in a meeting and we would perhaps talk on the phone as well.

Best Wishes,
Kathleen Spring

Kathleen Spring

Rose Costello said: Jan 18, 2015
Suzuki Association Member
De Pere, WI
6 posts

Hi. Here I am catching up on discussions!
Kathleen, you no doubt got Marina on her way—so delighted to see that. I would be interested to hear from both of you how things develop(ed) with Marina’s son.

My curiosity is two-fold. I work with many ’special-needs’ students, sort of specializing in it in our area, many who need brain focus, many with fine-motor issues, many with a strong, stron ear for picking up melodies, etc. All unique, of course, but with similar responses and benefits in working through Suzuki piano songs.

I have also become acutely aware of music’s therapeutic and healing values in terms of sound and vibration, vocalizing, and so on, beyond music therapy. People can benefit from listening to CDs composed with specific wavelengths to, for instance, bring the brain into alignment or bring specific cells into alignment. Vocalizing—singing, humming, toning, even graoning,—is even more powerful in its effects that move from within. I would like learn more in this field and connect with others as such and make it part of my career offerings….if you might have any suggestions. I would be happy to share further if that would help, too.

Thank you. I hope that Marina’s son is finding value, in many ways, through music!

~ Rose Costello, Suzuki &Therapeutic Piano

Elizabeth Friedman said: Feb 10, 2015
Elizabeth Friedman
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
49 posts

I know this is really late, but for those who are looking for inspiration for children with special needs, Adrian Anantawan is an amazing violinist who was born without a right hand and works to introduce kids to music who otherwise wouldn’t be introduced—kids with special needs, and kids in areas where classical music just isn’t a thing.

Check out his site: www.adriananantawan.com

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