Adaptive Music Lessons

Arts for Healing is now offering alternative style piano, violin, guitar and clarinet instruction for children and adults having developmental delays or processing disorders.

This ground-breaking process, taken from Book One of "Crossing the Improvisation Bridge" developed and written by Karen Nisenson, M.M., M.A., MT-BC, teaches the keyboard, the basics of rhythm, and finger coordination to both developmentally challenged and typical learners.

AFH’s adaptive method gives all children the opportunity and ability to play an instrument, and to experience music making before they actually acquire the necessary skills to do so. In combination with structured improvisation, visual processing, physical development and auditory training are separated, and only when appropriate, integrated with motor skills to allow for an easier, more enjoyable learning experience. Current research into “Brain Based learning” has shown that a teaching approach utilizing all of the senses creates a more complete understanding and enhanced memory of the information presented.

All minds accept and process information differently. For mainstream learners, these differences still fall within a range of developmental processes that are sufficiently similar, allowing for fairly standardized teaching methods and learning expectations. Reaching children with processing issues requires the isolation of different sensory stimuli. Visual processing, physical development and auditory training must be separated into their individual components and taught as individual tracks prior to being integrated. When the child is no longer over-stimulated by one sensory element, another sensory element can be introduced and, ultimately integrated. This process continues until all sensory elements and motor skills utilized for playing the piano begin to work together, allowing for a simultaneous learning process to take place.

The structured improvisations in Book One take black and white note patterns that easily fit into simple chord progressions to make any combination of sounds "work." This open ended form of expression creates a student-teacher bond that encourages trust and establishes motivation for learning.

To schedule an appointment or get further information please email us or call 203-972-2982.

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What parents are saying

Dear Karen, you have been able to bring out Harold's smile and his joy of life. He can open up and let us know more of what he is feeling and thinking. What a gift for a parent!
From a parent
Thank you for your music and for all the joy and learning you've brought to Jeremy. All the musical intelligence you've encouraged will thrive! He'll always remember you.
From a parent
I've seen Manny move from being isolated and in his own world to being able to join his peers in school and even at home with his younger sister.
Jason, Manny's father
Her awareness of others and her ability to use her language has improved tremendously in the past few years. I think the music has been a real key in her development.
Heidi's mother
Daniel has grown in so many ways through the art and music sessions. He is expressing himself so much more clearly and fully. He seems to be so much more comfortable with who he is.
Cheryl, Daniel's mother
Her awareness of others and her ability to use her language has improved tremendously in the past few years. I think the music has been a real key in her development.
From a Mother

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