Committee on Teaching Students with Special Needs
Beth Bauer, Co-Chair, Melissa Martiros, Co-Chair, Scott Price, Richard Simensen, and Derek Kealli Polischuk.

Teaching Students with Special Needs
Pre-Conference Seminar, Wednesday, July 26

2:30: Integrating Technology in the Piano Studio for Children with Special Needs
This presentation is designed to give piano instructors strategies for integrating technology into lessons in order to increase student engagement and facilitate skill development.  Ideas shared will be appropriate for students with a wide range of learning needs.  Topics addressed will include note reading fluency, rhythm reading and performance, ear training, and other skills.


Kaitlin Cooper is an instructor in the Beethoven's Buddies program at Wheaton College, where she has been teaching students with developmental delays for nine years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and completed her student teaching at Little Friends’ Krejci Academy.  



3:30: Preventing and Managing Challenging Behavior in the Piano Studio
Common behaviors that challenge piano teachers of children special needs will be discussed.  A presentation of preventative and behavior management strategies will be presented.


Michelle Bastien holds the position of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for the East Brookfield School District.  She has previously served as a Graduate Research Assistant and Advanced Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Teacher at the New England Center for Children and as the ABA Coordinator at Webster Middle School.




Melissa Martiros currently holds the position of Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Music at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN where she is also serves as the Founding Director of OpporTUNEity, an award winning program for underserved youth and children with special needs.



4:30: To Diagnose or Not To Diagnose: What is the role of the piano teacher in this process
Labels and diagnoses can help individuals, families, and piano teachers who are experiencing developmental differences understand pathways to intervention, and these can provoke various emotions, from fear to acceptance. The purpose of this talk is to describe the diagnostic process as well as ongoing care from a developmental pediatrician’s perspective. It is also intended to understand the myths and the facts behind labels and diagnoses and what is the role of the piano teacher in this process


Dr. Sarah C. Bauer is a developmental pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She has published in academic journals and also contributed to various news outlets including CNN, Scientific American, and The Huffington Post.



5:30 Dinner break

6:45 Wrap up panel with all the above speakers and the addition of Scott Price and Beth Bauer