Piano Lessons Have Been A Safe Place For Autistic Student
I have been teaching piano lessons for the last 25 years. For the past six years, I have been working for a non profit organization that provides free instrumental lessons and offers an after-school practice program for inner city children.
One of my students is autistic. He is polite and kind, a pleasure to teach. Most times he does not show any emotion, he usually does not start the conversation and when spoken to he answers with few words.
I have noticed it is best to give him simple directions and songs that have patterns. He gets overwhelmed if I give him too much to practice at one time, so I teach him the song in sections. He will practice for only a few minutes at a time.
My student comes twice a week to the after-school program, which has been a safe place for him. The piano students have accepted him and have interacted with him. It has been rewarding to see the growth in this student.
Most times he does not interact with me but I have had a few times where a connection was made. Once I brought in cookies which he liked and the next week he asked me if I had anymore of those good cookies.
This year this student played at the school recital and played his piece by memory and did well. I could tell he was nervous but he performed and shined. Dana:
Very encouraging story! Thanks for sharing it.