The Creative Group is an ensemble that serves the strengths of its members. We begin each year by determining what talents and gifts are among our neurodivergent students and then design projects based on these gifts. A highly collaborative ensemble, the goal is to help each student to grow in being creative in a group environment while also growing individually in terms of technique, music theory, improvisation, and composition. We arrange, record, and program our concerts based on these works and present them to the public in an incredibly fun, rewarding, and unique bi-annual concert each semester.
The Creative Group will meet in person at Artis-Naples and is available via Zoom for students outside of Southwest Florida, and provides a great preview for students who would like to learn more about SWFLMEC’s 2-year and 4-year certificate programs.
Though we may draw from all the influences above, The Creative Group is an ensemble of musicians that creates its OWN projects. We begin each session by determining what music to arrange and perform, based on the interests and talents of the students. Through collaborative study and music direction, artists learn and practice valuable skills from music performance and music theory that help them to:
Examples of projects we’ve done in the past:
The song is about looking at a soft rain and the experience of remembering memories of the love of friends and family.
The song is about observing a sunset and wanting more of life to be about enjoying and being present in the moment.
The song is about taking a journey through life, observing it and appreciating it.
This is a song with a catchy 7/8 groove that gradually gets more expansive as the piece progresses.
Auditions are required for participation in this ensemble. Students between ages 13 and 20 with at least three years of formal study – such as private lessons, band, orchestra or choir experience – are encouraged to apply.
Students will audition for Music Program Director Dr. Jeff Leigh. A violinist, piano teacher and composer, Dr. Leigh previously taught music at both Wheaton College in Illinois and Hunter College in New York. He performed with Artis-Naples Philharmonic Orchestra from 2005-2018. His current work includes private studio at The Village School Performing Arts, violinist with Gypsy Jazz duo “Gypsy Sojourn,” solo performer/composer in regional recitals/concerts.
All auditions take place through Zoom. Please complete the form below to schedule an audition.
Classes available now!
Our scholarship rate costs $100 per semester. Limited spots are available, so apply today!
The Southwest Florida Music Education Center brings community access to cutting edge music education programs developed in partnership with the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education (BIAAE), including continuing education opportunities for music teachers with a focus on teaching students with disabilities. To learn more about BIAAE, visit college.berklee.edu/biaae.
In her role as consulting 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.