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The Light of Claude Debussy

Watch this film by Anthony Tobin, celebrating the genius of Debussy. It was shown by G. Henle Verlag during the Frankfurt Musik Messe, 2012, in connection with their release of three volumes of the complete piano works of Debussy. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Teaching Autistic Children  (Read 5653 times)
mcdiddy1
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« on: August 12, 2009, 01:48:54 AM »

I have had many experiences where I have had to teach Autistic children and I just want to hear your opinions ands experiences teaching autistic children.
In my past experience autistic children tend to be some of the brightest kids I have every taught although they typically have problems communicating with others.
Also have you have experiences teaching kids with ADD (attention deficit disorder) and how did you overcome the difficulties?
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braintist
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2009, 05:38:33 PM »

For autism, the child needs to feel more comfortable with you. Tendency, an autistic child ignores a person out of embarrassment or out of fear. In order to relate to the autistic child you require the same relationship the child has towards its parents. The toughest experience (not teaching) I had with a autistic child was to have him feel comfortable with me, I was afraid that he might cry and it would look like I abused him :S.

For ADD, try teaching in a room w/o florescent lighting, research has shown that florescent lighting cause the ADD to be more active than in room w/o florescent lighting. If all else fails, try sedatives Cheesy 
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tanaz piano street
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2009, 05:48:53 AM »

Hello,
 I do not have an autistic child. But I have a girl who has learning disability..she has a decent ear, but I have a really hard time teaching her how to read music. Reading is the biggest problem confronting us at the moment. Please help. Any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks
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mhon
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2009, 09:34:02 AM »

Hi!  My only child has this condition.  He is 4 yrs. old now but has difficulty in his speech.  As a parent, we continuously help him of his words if not through actions if he can't say it in words.  He's not slow but I think that if my child is cured or has survived this condition, he'd turn to be a gifted child.  Teaching kids with the same condition , you must be patient and understanding.  They want to feel secured about someone and being firm also helps especially in teaching him of his chores and in doing his activities.  His very sweet and very loving, and am still hoping for my baby to grow and act like a normal kid.  florida piano teachers
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forestlakemusic
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 11:36:42 AM »

My son has Aspergers (on the autistic spectrum) and I have also had 3 autistic students over the last 5 years.  I am by no means an authority but these techniques have helped me foster a love of music in these children.

*  Mother tongue technique (I like suzuki and yamaha technique - you may prefer something different)
*  Use a variety of resources - percussion instruments, games, flash cards, pc time, auralia, electronic piano, acoustic piano, voice.
*  Try to keep a routine to your lesson eg. start with tech warmup, review last weeks assignments, introduce a new song(s), game time etc - so they know what to expect and when.  Autistic children can be very concrete in their approach.

These very bright and lovely kids need to win (like all kids).  They need to be taught that music is about love and sound and emotions.  Repetition, games, rewards.  DO NOT STRESS THEM OUT WITH UNREALISTIC CHALLENGES.  Let their education develop naturally. 

I use my pc for games - Ms Garrets site www.musictechteacher.com is amazing.  All my students love spending 5 minutes playing the games which develop reading skills, theory, musicianship etc. 

Autistic kids can have meltdowns (I know mine does Smiley  )  Be kind.  Support them gently through the learning process and they will flourish and grow in no time.  My little guys are all reading and playing with confidence.  If they are too shy to come in, bring out some instruments for them to play with to break the ice. 
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go12_3
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 12:32:51 PM »

A year ago I taught an Autistic child of 10 years old.  He was doing great but he had to quit because his mother told me "school activities".   I was saddened to hear about that because he had that ability to play very well and I had grown to know his sweet personality too. Plus, he had such a love of music within his heart!

I wish that parents can realize the importance of music in their Autistic children because they need to express themselves through a creative channel instead of doing the regular activities.  But,what was I to do?   Well, it has been since March of this year since he stopped taking lessons. Perhaps one day he'll return for lessons...

best wishes,

go12_3
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rachelj
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2009, 09:13:37 PM »

I have one autistic student (8 year old boy) and 2 others around the same age diagnosed with severe ADHD. I find that with these kinds of students, patience and a good attitude are even more important than usual. If you can be understanding and show you care when they are having a tough moment, they will work really hard for you when they are feeling up to it. I feel very lucky because the parents of these kids all tell me that the kids really love their piano lessons and seem to do very well with me compared to how they usually do with strangers. It may be because I really focus on being very calm around them and also smiling a lot and giving them lots of encouragement.
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Rachel Jimenez, piano teacher in Brooklyn, NY
Author of the Fundamental Keys piano method
Website: fundamentalkeys.com
loonbohol
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« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2009, 05:49:43 AM »


A year ago I taught an Autistic child of 10 years old.  He was doing great but he had to quit because his mother told me "school activities".   I was saddened to hear about that because he had that ability to play very well and I had grown to know his sweet personality too. Plus, he had such a love of music within his heart!

I wish that parents can realize the importance of music in their Autistic children because they need to express themselves through a creative channel instead of doing the regular activities.  But,what was I to do?   Well, it has been since March of this year since he stopped taking lessons. Perhaps one day he'll return for lessons...

best wishes,

go12_3


What a coincidence?
I think you should be the one to HELP me.

To be HONEST, I have been diagnosed of Autism disorder and It is also MY PROBLEM.
Or EVEN Worst, My I.Q. is 149 (Genius level) at the age of 15 but I am not academically superior in my school.  Sad

I am forcing my self to be a talented composer and performer.
When I was a child, My parents used to call me a Child Progidy because I know how to play the piano and I had a really fast progress.

I started to dislike the piano and I stop playing piano anymore.
And My piano skills degraded.

I halted playing the piano until one anime named "La Corda D'oro Primo Passo".
I made a really good progress but my piano playing abilities are very distorted anre not clean.
Although I cannot play Each Etude Cleanly.

I am nothing but a failure Child Progidy.
If I only heard the word "ETUDE", 5 years before I heard it.  I would have been famous in the Philippines or perhaps, the whole world.

I REGRET , I REGRET , I REGRET...........

lksdjkfkgjfkg'sdadf;glnas dflk;fglSKDfdkfl;dbva;lafdkjsl;gdjkl;kjfsadl;skm,cl;,dkjdbvs;lfkbc,m.dl;fskfjc,k

I regret my whole life,  Angry
I tell you that, It is your responsibility to let your students love music continually. 




RIGHT NOW, I want to be a composer and I am really doing it in application.
I borrowed a lot of song books from my classmates and improvise each of the songs.
I force myself to be a composer and I spend one hour in average per day trying ot listen to new songs, Listening to BEATLES.

This is what I have been doing right now and Nobody is going to believe me anymore.
Nobody will believe me even If I posted a lot of composition in Pianostreet in MIDI format.

An Etude , an unfinished symphony (2 movements) , An Impromptu , a waltz.

Well nobody remembers them anymore.
I still compose right now but I just cannot put them in MIDI format.
I have to compose another one.....

BTW, I do not think I want to be a composer anymore.
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All Hail Kajiura
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go12_3
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« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2009, 12:51:25 PM »

To loonbohol:

I wish my Autistic student would and could continue his lessons!  I have regrets that his
parents did not see how important his music would be in his life.  It isn't my fault that
he quit, I cannot make parents have their child take lessons....He was doing very well and
would be a fine pianist.  I hate it when the parents cannot realize how helpful piano playing
would be for their son.  But, the economy has affected many people in my hometown and
therefore, students has stopped taking lessons. 

best wishes,

go12_3
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loonbohol
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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 01:53:19 AM »

I fell pity on myself too.
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All Hail Kajiura
All Hail Nilsjohan
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Land of Utopia
andreahumphreys
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2009, 06:57:32 AM »

I have taught many children with a range of learning disorders including ADHD, dyslexia and autism.  This is a very specialised area of teaching as it requires using different techniques to those we employ for "regular" students.  Understanding your child's disorder and how they view the universe is fundamental to finding them the right teacher with the right technique.  I have written extensively on this subject and would be happy to discuss this in more detail but hasten to add it is a complex area and probably too involved to go into on this forum.  Students with these types of problems respond best to two-handed teaching techniques, particularly Hungarian teaching methods, and there needs to be a fair degree of experimentation with a number of helpful tools (such as colour transparencies, watermark lines etc) in lessons to find what works best for each student.  Again, this is highly specialised and technical and whilst any competent piano teacher can introduce your child to the joy of hearing and enjoying music, it will take someone with special skills to actually teach piano successfully.  For a regular teacher to learn these techniques takes as much work as teaching the student, as the teacher often has to rethink their approach and remain very flexible in the lessons.  Good luck.
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db05
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2009, 12:01:16 PM »


To be HONEST, I have been diagnosed of Autism disorder and It is also MY PROBLEM.
Or EVEN Worst, My I.Q. is 149 (Genius level) at the age of 15 but I am not academically superior in my school.  Sad

I REGRET , I REGRET , I REGRET...........

lksdjkfkgjfkg'sdadf;glnas dflk;fglSKDfdkfl;dbva;lafdkjsl;gdjkl;kjfsadl;skm,cl;,dkjdbvs;lfkbc,m.dl;fskfjc,k

I regret my whole life,  Angry
I tell you that, It is your responsibility to let your students love music continually. 

RIGHT NOW, I want to be a composer and I am really doing it in application.
I borrowed a lot of song books from my classmates and improvise each of the songs.
I force myself to be a composer and I spend one hour in average per day trying ot listen to new songs, Listening to BEATLES.

This is what I have been doing right now and Nobody is going to believe me anymore.
Nobody will believe me even If I posted a lot of composition in Pianostreet in MIDI format.

An Etude , an unfinished symphony (2 movements) , An Impromptu , a waltz.

Well nobody remembers them anymore.
I still compose right now but I just cannot put them in MIDI format.
I have to compose another one.....

BTW, I do not think I want to be a composer anymore.


Sorry to butt in a teaching forum, but I remember you!

And I can relate... I have Aspergers and I was found to have superior IQ when we were given the test in Grade 3. I remember doing well at school only up to Grade 6. Then everything went downhill! I don't know what happened exactly, maybe I was at the wrong place at the wrong time (science high). I regret that whole experience.

Maybe my strength isn't music, but it's definitely yours. Please don't quit. We'll figure something out.

Music-wise, I only started at 18, 2 years ago... I made good progress but was not able to appreciate it then, comparing myself to more talented classmates. Then early this year I just lost it. I lost all the will to practice. I would still play my finished pieces but not polish them. My goal was to be a piano teacher and I was losing interest in piano itself. Now I don't know what I'll do in the future... I'm going to college taking Information Technology but it's not what I want either.

I feel like I have a learning and coordination disorder. I cannot sight read both hands. I do not have good pitch so I cannot play by ear either. But I think I would like teaching. Because it is one-on-one, I can concentrate. And I like to listen to music. How can I still learn and/or teach piano?
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t317
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« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 07:16:54 AM »

A year ago I taught an Autistic child of 10 years old.  He was doing great but he had to quit because his mother told me "school activities".   I was saddened to hear about that because he had that ability to play very well and I had grown to know his sweet personality too. Plus, he had such a love of music within his heart!

I wish that parents can realize the importance of music in their Autistic children because they need to express themselves through a creative channel instead of doing the regular activities.  But,what was I to do?   Well, it has been since March of this year since he stopped taking lessons. Perhaps one day he'll return for lessons...

best wishes,

go12_3

First off I have to tell you that this is in no way about your love of music as I have played piano since I was 6 and have been in countless choirs. Music was my entire life til I had my son.

But I have to tell you that as a parent of 2 children with Autism I was very offended by the remark that the parents don't realize the importance of music in their child's life. When you have an Autistic child they are your life. They are the focus of your entire family sometimes to the point of other children feeling neglected. You are the one who did not realize what the child needed. Just because an Autistic child is doing well in his/her music lesson's doesn't mean they are necessarily enjoying it. I will also have you know that regular activities are very very helpful to a child with autism. They are actually essential to an Autistic child being a functional member of society. What parent doesn't want that for their child, Autistic or not?  Since when is playing piano or any other instrument not a regular activity? Or were you just referring to things like sports. By the way having social interactions with peers of their own age is extremely important for a child with autism without it they are never able to form relationships. So school activities are more important than sitting learning the piano for the sole reason of the health of the Autistic Child and them having the ability to form relationships later in life. You really don't understand Autism at all do you. Your just upset at the fact that you lost a student whom you liked and felt connected to. Yes Music "can" be very important in their lives but please don't ever ever again assume that a parent doesn't realize what is good for their Special Needs child. They know and understand that child far better than you could ever even hope to comprehend. The only way you will ever comprehend it is if you have a Special Needs child of your own.

-T317
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