Every day for about an hour, Mrs. Amy Ortiz’s music class produces special musical sounds for special students.  These are students in moderate special needs classes at Bonita Vista Middle School, with limited speech and little interaction with other students.
Special Musical Sounds for Special StudentsWhen the Music Honors Society at the school searched for ways to improve school and community through music, they came up with the Exploring Arts Program, teaching music to special needs students who did not have access to music.
“It was just the neatest thing to see this bridge happen between the general education students and the special education students,” Ortiz said. “And it’s great for the special needs kids to have music because there’s all these studies about what music does for the brain and for learning. But really the lives of the general education students, their lives are changed forever having worked with these kids.”

The class started as a volunteer program.  With the help of four instructional assistants, Ortiz teaches special needs students how to keep up with rhythm, play the recorder, and make beats.

An additional motivator for the special education students is the credit they receive when the class is completed.  These special education students will not get a diploma when they leave high school. “So for them to get the same credit as anyone else is huge for them,” said Ortiz.

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