Teaching music to students with special needs can open up a wide range of abilities as well as enhance life experiences for students. When children learn to sing songs or play an instrument, they benefit from the seemingly magical experience and also learn to enjoy and appreciate music.
The non profit group, Music on a Mission, has visited Avon High School and worked with students who have multiple disabilities. Students have enjoyed singing Christmas carols and popular tunes from the boy band One Direction.
The leader of the classes is a retired elementary school music teacher, Susan Vance-Koch. She was the choral director at Avon middle and high schools, and teaches students to play instruments. She has even introduced a little dancing. Emily Fabanich, a retired teacher and administrator, also serves as an instructor.
“The most rewarding part of these classes is the amazing miracles that happen each time through the magic of music,” said Vance-Koch. “I became involved with Music on a Mission through my good friend Marilyn Zeidner who founded the non-profit organization. The music classes for the special needs students are funded through the Ohio Arts Council and the Nordson Corporation Foundation. The students show amazing growth and celebrate a multitude of personal victories each class. Whether it is in the area of self-confidence, vocalization, mobility, cognition or social behavior…everything works better with music.”