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Finger Numbers (not finger knots!)

tangled-string
Numbers seem integral to music study, but they can be very problematic for our students with special needs. We use numbers to assist us in our process, but meter and rhythm are beat units that are heard and felt. Our fingers are all different shapes and lengths, and we use them in groupings to manipulate the piano to make sounds. We use numbers as ...
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Vocabulary Effectiveness for Students with Special Needs

Teacher Education Webinar Series  On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at 11am Eastern Time , the Frances Clark Center will launch the Teacher Education Webinar Series. Dr. Scott Price , President of the Frances Clark Board of Trustees, will lead our first webinar, "Autism and Piano Study – A Basic Teaching Vocabulary." Register for this free ...
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Teaching students with visual impairments: Resources

Welcome back to the Inclusive Piano Teaching blog. After a brief rest, we are back sharing information and resources with all of you. Today's post will include information on where to find resources for teaching students with visual impairments. This group of students includes students who are blind and those with partial vision, but can also be ex...
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Teaching reading, part II: Framing instruction

Students with disabilities will come to your studio with all sorts of labels – autism, high/low functioning, visual impairment, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, etc. Although they come with labels, the label does not define the person – it informs the pedagogy. The student is a person capable of learning and doing remarkable things. The label helps us form...
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Teaching reading: Part I

This blog post will be part one of a three-part series focused on teaching reading to students with special needs. As with all of our posts, we invite you to implement what you find useful, disregard what you do not, and email us with any questions you have along the way. Please send all questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . (Side note an...
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Teaching students with visual impairments: Empathy and facilitation

Welcome back to the Inclusive Piano Teaching blog. Today's entry is part two of a discussion on teaching students with visual impairments. I would like talk briefly about some things to think about when bringing a student into the piano studio. Some of these things may sound redundant, but can have a substantive impact on the educational experience...
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Recital preparation and performance

'Tis the season for recitals. To prepare our studios for the recital, it is common to pick the date and venue, decide on the type of recital (duet, theme, holiday), plan the reception, and pick repertoire for our students. Many of these same things occur when preparing for a recital with our students with special needs; however, there are also othe...
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Studio environment: Some keys to success

Studio environment can play an important role in the success of our students with special needs. We don't tend to think of the studio as being more than a tool in the lesson, but the actual environment and the objects present can sometimes be the deciding factors in the success or failure of a lesson. Maintaining a special-needs-friendly environmen...
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When our students walk into our studios for lessons, we often ask them how was their week, are they doing anything fun this week, or ask about something they told as at their previous lesson. Regardless of who the student is or what he or she told us, that person is a student or a child. The same type of thinking refers to our students with disabil...
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Person-first language

When our students walk into our studios for lessons, we often ask them how was their week, are they doing anything fun this week, or ask about something they told as at their previous lesson. Regardless of who the student is or what he or she told us, that person is a student or a child. The same type of thinking refers to our students with disabil...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part III

Dr. Melissa Martiros Melissa Martiros currently holds the position of Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Music at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN where she is also serves as the Director of the CWN Community Arts Academy, a pre-college program she founded in 2015. Prior to her appointment at Martin Methodist College, she served ...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part II

Dr. Beth A. Bauer received her doctorate of music education from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her dissertation is titled "What is an appropriate approach to piano instruction for students with Down syndrome?" Additional degree work includes a Master of Music from Northern Illinois University where she studied with Bill Koehler, an...
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Meet the authors of the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog, Part I

  The next three postings will introduce you to the three authors who will be sharing their expertise. First up, Dr. Scott Price from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Scott Price is the founder and instructor of the Carolina LifeSong Initiative that is dedicated to providing piano lesson and music experiences (including improvisation and ...
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Welcome to the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog!

Welcome to the Inclusive Piano Teaching Blog sponsored by The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. We hope you will join us in the coming months as we share information on teaching learners of all abilities. Check back often for new content! What is the blog? The Inclusive Piano Teaching blog is designed to bring you in-depth and practical i...
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