Special Needs Piano Teaching - Top Music Co
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Special Needs Piano Teaching

By Tim Topham | Special Needs Teaching

Sep 02 2016

Special Needs Piano

Have you ever felt a little out of your depth when teaching special needs piano students? Perhaps they are students with learning disorders, behaviourial issues, physical or intellectual disabilities or ADD.

Special needs piano teaching requires patience, flexibility, creativity and lots of love, care and attention.

special needs piao

I’ve definitely felt out of my depth when teaching students with special needs, finding that teaching often becomes a process of trial and error as I try to work out what works for a particular student, what distracts them, what motivates them, what helps them focus and sometimes, just learning how to relate to them.

Throw the pedagogy text books out the window – special needs students need a creative approach.

And sometimes, it going to feel like you’re not getting anywhere! For weeks or even months!

And that’s totally OK.

But what if there were some strategies and ideas that could help your teaching?

special needs piano teaching

Strategies for Special Needs Piano Students

That’s exactly what this month on the blog and podcast is all about: strategies and ideas for teaching piano students with special needs.

While information is improving and courses are now appearing, the amount of information out there for piano teachers looking for help in this area is fairly small.

I am often asked by teachers for help in this area, but I’m not an expert on the subject so this month, I’ve invited a number of people to help me out.

Special guests on the podcast this month include:

  • Scott Price from the University of South Carolina and Frances Clark Centre for Keyboard Pedagogy who gives us a great introduction to the whole area of special needs teaching, focussing on his specialty of autism
  • Susan Bessette of pianoforspecialneeds.com who has teaching videos for students, parents and teachers about special needs teaching
  • Karen Nisenson who will be talking about her amazing music and art therapy courses and teaching

There is heaps more coming up. I look forward to sharing some great resources, strategies and ideas with you.

If you have any questions or suggestions for this month or any of my guests, please leave them in a comment below and if you’d like to contribute an article about your experience or ideas, do let me know.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Do you Struggle with Challenging Behaviours?

If you’re enjoying this article, we’ve got a great free download to support your Special Needs Teaching.

It’s a 5-page guide to managing challenge behaviours in the teaching studio.

From simple stimming, grabbing and mouthing of objects right through to OCD, meltdowns and even aggressive behaviour, this guide will give you the support and confidence to know how to deal with these behaviours effectively and appropriately.

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About the Author

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

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