The mission of SWFLMEC is to create a world-class music education center where neurodivergent students who have a strong interest in music and low to moderate support needs receive education in music and life skills, preparing them for meaningful growth opportunities that enrich their lives and the community as a whole.
*Additional diagnoses may be considered through the application/enrollment process
Merriam-Webster defines neurodiversity as:neurodiversity (n) – (1) individual differences in brain functioning regarded as normal variations within the human population, (2) the concept that difference in brain functioning within the population are normal and that brain functioning that is not neurotypical should not be stigmatized, (3) the inclusion in a group, organization, etc. of people with different types of brain functioning.
The Southwest Florida Music Education Center brings community access to cutting edge music education programs developed in partnership with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs (BIAESN), including continuing education opportunities for music teachers with a focus on teaching students with disabilities. To learn more about BIAESN, visit college.berklee.edu/biaesn.
In her role as director of mental health, Dr. Teresa Herrero Taylor will provide behavioral and program support to student musicians and staff. Born and raised in Boca Raton, FL, Taylor has practiced as a licensed psychologist and doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst for over 15 years, conducting evaluations and providing individual, group and/or family intervention and therapy working with both children and adults with anxiety, depression, ADHD, executive functioning weaknesses, autism spectrum disorder, social skills weaknesses, behavioral difficulties at home or school, and/or other life adjustment needs. An experienced, independent, motivational leader, she is passionate about mission-driven work and is excited about empowering neurodivergent young adults to be at the center of change through music and the arts. She has been an adjunct assistant professor in the Graduate Psychology Department at Rider University for the past nine years and has worked in New Jersey public education for more than 20 years, overseeing behavioral, social skills, and mental health assessment, intervention, and programming across multiple school districts as a director of special services.