Tag Archives: Music Lessons and Autism

Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness Month at Nashville Music Academy

April is Autism Awareness Month. At Nashville Music Academy, we are an advocate and ally of the Autism community. Many of our students are affected by Autism. While the challenges of being on the spectrum are demanding, our autistic students show an aptitude and gift for music. We have committed to making the music education experience at NMA socially inclusive. This is our way of bringing awareness to other individuals who may not have experienced a person with Autism. Our annual recitals are an excellent example of the moving and inspirational musical moments that these children and adults provide.

Autism is a topic we as an American community need to address. One in 68 children have a place on the spectrum, with an increased incidence in male children (One in 42) – per CNN and their statistics from the CDC. There is no definitive cause or cure for Autism, which is what makes the diagnosis staggering for parents. However, organizations like Autism Speaks are doing great work in raising awareness and funds to get us closer to an understanding of how to combat this disorder.

In our experience here at the Academy, we have often noticed the beneficial effects of music lessons for individuals on the spectrum. These include increased vocabulary, emotional expression, and improved social skills. However, many of these children and adults come to us with very elevated skill levels in the area of music. It is not uncommon to find an Autistic student with perfect pitch, or an incredibly memorization ability. An excellent article which highlights the benefits of music lessons can be found here.

If you know someone with Autism who could benefit from music lessons, please have them call our director, Tatia Rose, at 615-521-1937. In addition to being a fundraiser for Autism Speaks, Ms. Rose has over a decade of experience as an educator with Autistic children and adults. During Autism Awareness Month we will offering a 5% discount on all lessons for special needs children and adults.

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The Benefit of Music Lessons for People with Special Needs

A personal letter from owner and piano instructor, Tatia Rose… As a music instructor, I have been working with people who have special needs (predominantly autism) for almost 10 years now. The most important thing I have learned is that music is indeed the universal language, even for those who are non-verbal. The connection between vibration and sound allows all of us (even those with severe disabilities), to participate and create in a method of expression.

In addition, the confidence that is born from self-expression, enhances the social interaction of people who have difficulty connecting with others. The recitals we have every year are a great example of this. A parent of one of my autistic students relayed a great story to me…

“I picked up John from school, and the teacher pulled me aside and said, “Who is this Tatia that he keeps talking about today. And he said something about playing for people.”

She relayed that I was his teacher, and he had just done a great job at his recital and was very proud of himself. The best part of this though, is that John was communicating. I consider him a prodigy given his aural and theory skills, but John lacks the ability to use words like you and I. Since starting piano lessons, John has started singing along with some of his songs, and he’s using clumps of words as opposed to sign language and out of context, one-word responses.

This is the power of music. It is healing, connecting, and divine. It enables us individually and collectively to do amazing things. If you or someone you know could benefit from music lessons, please contact us info@nashvillemusicacademy. If you would like to know more about autism or programs for individuals with special needs, please visit http://autismspeaks.org.