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#62163 - 02/23/13 01:08 PM Special needs certification???
DebK Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 128
Loc: Bc, Canada
Hi All, Been teaching for 16years, I am a Registered Music teacher, I am thinking of getting some sort of certification for teaching students with special needs. I have a diploma in music - I have taught one student with high functioning autism and a couple with ADHD, just wondering if any of you have gotten some certificate somewhere along the lines to work with special needs? I have contacted my local university and in order to get a special needs certificate I either need to get ECE or child and youth care first before I can take the special needs... Two more years of schooling makes no sense financially for me - neither does one year, but I could consider one year if it would open up my demand... I could easily transfer into bachelor of music therapy, but that would mean two more years... Thinking perhaps Orff? Any ideas appreciated.... oh, and online learning would be IDEAL!

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#62165 - 02/23/13 04:37 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: DebK]
xstitch4me Offline
Star Member

Registered: 08/15/04
Posts: 2167
Loc: Idaho
Is there a high demand for special needs music students?

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#62167 - 02/23/13 05:10 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: xstitch4me]
DebK Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 128
Loc: Bc, Canada
I'd have to generally say no not really. I have gotten a few recent enquiries and that's why I would like to gain some experience... I should have mentioned that I teach piano all ages and also general music for preschoolers. I have found a niche in my area by offering piano to preschoolers and want that to be my specialty. I guess I have probably answered my own question that it would be good to go the ece route- and then do special needs but this is 2 years again... I'll have to see about transfer credits and look into it further.. I have imagined for years now about developing a fine arts preschool.... I would like to teach music to preschoolers with special needs in small groups of 3-4..... Perhaps I need to look into this further.... My kids are 10&9 and I miss them- at school all day, then I teach from 3-8 pm 3 days a week. I teach homeschoolers and preschoolers (one on one and in groups) during the day but only have 10 of them... Just trying to open more doors for myself during the day so I can cut my evenings down to 2 days a week for next year..... I should also say there is music garten and kinder music and music together here already- that is not what I am looking for.

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#62168 - 02/23/13 06:29 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: DebK]
DonnaH Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 121
Loc: Canada
I recently went to a seminar on teaching music to special needs children given by Dr. Scott Price. There was also an article in the Royal Conservatory's Music Matters written by him entitled, "Teaching Students with Special Needs? They Can Do It! (and So Can You!)". (You can access the article at rcmusic.ca/musicmattersblog) What I took away is that there is a real need for teachers, and parents are grateful for anyone who will give their child a chance/try. I like this quote the best from Dr. Price, "Music does not discriminate, and neither should teachers. Music study is for everyone." I also liked, "The student is "typical" and the teacher is the one with the special need. By changing the instructional dynamic, a teacher may observe the student, do their best to imagine what it is like to have the special need, and begin to modify the pedagogy to fit the situation."

My understanding is that you do not need to get certification, unless you want to do it for your own benefit. Parents will be thrilled to find someone (anyone!) who is willing to give their child a chance as there is not an abundance of teachers willing to take on a special needs child.

I currently have an autistic boy in my (group) preschool class and I have had nothing but praise from his parents. I have not had special needs training, although I homeschooled my severe ADHD son (who is now 20). These parents just want their child to be exposed to an adult other than a parent and be part of a group of children. Each week we are all thrilled at any progress we see such as Week 1 he turned and watched what we were doing, Week 2 he got off a stool to watch, etc. None of us have any "expectations" and so are free to enjoy the process.

Good luck DebK - I hope you don't wait until you are "certified" before offering this much needed service! You will learn as you go :o)

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#62169 - 02/23/13 06:42 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: DonnaH]
DebK Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 128
Loc: Bc, Canada
Thanks so much for your advice Donna! Funny I totally forgot about that article- gonna go grab my copy right now and read. I do remember seeing the article but didnt get a chance to read it and totally forgot about it till now! Yes, for my own reasons I would like the certification- I do beleive that it will enable me to become a better teacher for all of my students!

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#62173 - 02/24/13 02:20 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: xstitch4me]
Lilla Offline
Star Member

Registered: 10/30/00
Posts: 1573
Loc: Chicago
In our community the special needs district provides music instruction. They are always looking for music teachers so you might check in your area. Any additional experience or certification in special needs would definitely be a plus for teaching these kids. Plus they will provide the students and most likely pay you with a weekly paycheck. In addition, our local district provided annual seminars with instructions specific to the needs of these students. It was valuable instruction well worth the time spent. fyi

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#62208 - 03/01/13 07:02 PM Re: Special needs certification??? [Re: Lilla]
DebK Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/12/08
Posts: 128
Loc: Bc, Canada
Thanks all for responding. I have found a 15 credit course that I might look into further and it can be taken online! it is called the behavior intervention certificate. It is part-time over 3 semesters and costs about $1500 plus books. At this point I am still not sure if I'm going to do it - seems that my preschool classes are going so well right now, that I certainly do not want to cut back on any teaching especially the daytime stuff!!! I am also going to contact my special needs center like Lilla suggested -- that is a very good idea!

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