Setting Up a Singing/Music Group

by Speech and Language Therapy Student

Hello. I am a Speech and Language Therapy student in my third year of study. I am also a singer and a piano player and have been struck by the extent to which the Autistic children I have worked with respond to singing.

I have an idea to begin a singing/music class for children with Autism but don't know where to begin. Will I need to apply to the council to do this? Or can I just go ahead and do it?! I should say that I have experience teaching children (without Autism) music before in groups so lesson planning isn't the issue. Just how I get started!!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you :)

This is a wonderful thing you wish to do, and many parents will bless you for it!

If you are in the United States, there is no council to whom you need appeal or make request to hold music classes.

If I were you, I'd start generating interest by word of mouth -- talking to parents and telling them what you're thinking of doing (offering a singing and music class for autistic children). I'd plan a class (initially) that lasts only a pre-determined amount of time; say, 6 weeks. Then toward the end of the session you can do some re-evaluating and make changes, and offer another 6 weeks.

Then I'd start calling all the normal venues and asking if it would be possible for them to host such a class... the local Boys and Girls Club, the local Parks and Recreation, the local library, the local churches, even the local schools. Talk to and meet the public school music teachers and tell them what you want to do.
Figure what it is worth to you (in terms of money) and aim a little LOW initially, while you work the kinks out of your program and learn-on-the-job. (Check to see what other groups are charging for teaching kids, whether it's art or gym classes -- that will tell you if you're totally out-of-line.

This is really a great idea you have, and I would like to hear back from you to know how it is going!


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