Free monthly sessions through April help arts educators work with students who learn differently
The Southwest Florida Music Education Center (SWFLMEC) offers teacher trainings monthly in February, March and April. The sessions, led by SWFLMEC’s partner, the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education (BIAAE), teach best practices for arts educators for students who learn differently.
Sessions will be held virtually from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday Feb. 16, March 30 and April 27. The training is free, but registration is required in order to receive the meeting link.
“In addition to reaching neurodivergent students through our certificate programs, we understand the important impact we can have on arts education overall as ambassadors of inclusive teaching approaches for students with disabilities,” said Jennifer Clark, SWFLMEC executive director. “Through our partnerships, we can bring the community access to cutting-edge arts education programs.”
In the fall, the BIAAE and SWFLMEC offered a free two-day intensive training for local music educators. The purpose of this training was to cultivate inclusivity and improved learning for neurodivergent musicians at every age. Teachers gathered virtually and were led by Berklee professionals.
The BIAAE training equips educators with a combination of evidence-based practices in special education and pedagogical approaches in music education. Sessions help educators meet each student where they are by employing adaptations, accommodations and modifications in their teaching approaches and classroom activities. BIAAE is an international leader in professional development and pre-service music educator training in accessible music education.
The two-hour sessions are open to local educators of children in pre-K through adult learners in instrumental and vocal music, visual art, dance, theater and musical theater and tactile art. The sessions are also designed for teachers working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, speech and language disorders, Down syndrome, students who have been affected by trauma and more.
This fall, SWFLMEC began offering two-year and four-year post-secondary music certificates at Artis-Naples’ Toni Stabile Education Building, focusing on core areas of musical skill development for neurodivergent students. The program is a partnership initiative with the Berklee Institute for Accessible Arts Education of the Berklee College of Music in Boston.