Adaptive Music Lessons

Arts for Healing provides adaptive piano and guitar instruction for children and adults who have developmental delays, processing disorders or fine motor issues.

This program, created by Karen Nisenson, teaches children how to play an instrument, while enhancing fine motor development. The adaptive curriculum has been published by Simply Music, a company that has incorporated the adaptive teaching program under the name of Simply Music Gateway.

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 improvisation used in the adaptive teaching program allows for musical exploration, and creates a student-teacher bond that encourages trust and motivation for learning.

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

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Dear Miss Karen, As you know, I auditioned for the play Honk, Jr. at my school. Guess what -- I got the lead role of Ugly! I think all of my work in music and theatre at Arts for Healing really helped me do a good job at the auditions. So thank you for helping me so much over the past 8 years. I'm really excited. Love, Brian "Music can always be there when you need it."

- Zeke, 8 year old boy with Asperger's Syndrome


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