I teach a wonderful special education class of students in grades 4-6.
These very special children have moderate to severe disabilities that impact their ability to learn or communicate in the same manner or rate as their age level peers.
Students work on a variety of different goals from matching shapes to learning to count, and others are learning addition and subtraction concepts. Some students are able to write their names and others are working on grasping and holding objects due to the nature of their disabilities. Their communication may be verbal, through assistive technology, or sign language.
Each afternoon my students and I make music together, we have a jam. I play my mountain dulcimer and the children use a variety of different instruments to keep rhythm and melody in sync. They practice functional and social skills as they sing, count, take turns, share, imitate, listen, and communicate. It has come to be a favorite time of day for us and something I want to continue.
Between learning on my own, jamming with students in the classroom and the knowledge I gained from a mountain dulcimer workshop I attended two years ago my playing has increased significantly and I still have more to learn.
I want to renew my subscription to Dulcimer School in order to increase my skill and knowledge with this unique instrument so that I can better support my students during our afternoon music sessions.
Stephen Seifert is a nationally known mountain dulcimer player and Dulcimer School instructor who led that DonorsChoose funded workshop I attended two years ago. I can use his play-along videos, improve my technique, and ask questions and learn. It is a terrific program that will ultimately benefit my students and our music time.
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