In this episode, I discuss ways to create meaningful relationships with your special needs students and their families of your choir program. You will also learn ways to accommodate these students moving forward both in class and in performance without depriving the rest of your choir of the attention they deserve.

Technique Tuesday NEW 1 1

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I recommend…

Calend.ly

My notes…

  • Reach out to the family
    • Phone is best
    • If necessary, email requesting a phone call
    • PRO TIP: Use a scheduler like Calend.ly to find a common call time
  • Find out their goals
    • “How can I serve [Student} better?”
    • LISTEN and take notes.
    • Restate parent’s goals for [Student] in your own words so they know you’re listening.
    • Filter all commentary through an “I want [Student] to be successful and show him/her in the best light possible.”
    • After conversation, log the contact.
  • Speak to the student, if possible
    • What are your goals for being in choir?
      • Suggest options if he/she needs help, i.e. to make friends, sing better, be on stage and perform, learn to read music, have fun, etc?
      • “What else?” to encourage deeper thought.
      • After conversation, log the contact.
  • Speak to special ed department/music therapist about your notes.
    • Could easily be added to the IEP for future teachers/you to reference later.
  • Put together a plan that includes participation in a meaningful way
    • Class participation
      • Assign a choir buddy to help guide student success, because you can’t be everywhere and you have many students who need you.
      • Give them a job that make them feel integral to the success of your class and show appreciation.
      • Make sure that student leaders in your class are cheerleaders for this (and all) students. It may be obvious that a special needs student is in the class, but sometime it may not. *Be careful with this one, as you may not disclose confidential information about a special needs student.*
    • Concert participation
      • Potentially the parent only wants to see their son/daughter in one number in the concert.
      • Choose repertoire where student can be successful and plan it in the program strategically.
      • Be aware of the rest of your choir too.
    • Non-singing participation (if singing is not a goal of the child)
      • Non-pitched percussion, ushering at concerts, is an example
  • Delight in the fact that you did something AMAZING for a child.

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