When working with autism, there is always the nagging question "am I getting through?"  How do you teach without words?  (see blog "words, words, words")  Yesterday's lesson with an ASD piano student was very affirming.

Student Ami played a song with the correct notes, but no rhythm.  She can count quarter notes as 1, and half notes as 1, 2, but with no understanding how that applies to songs.  So I played the first line of the piece in correct rhythm and tempo and said, "now you play."  After about 4 repetitions, Ami heard the differences and began mimicking my sound.

We made connection!

Then I opened her hymn book to her favorite, "God is So Good" and I played the opening phrase (without words, words, words).  Ami played the whole song with improved rhythm.  And so it went for 3 or 4 more songs.

Ami seemed to be in tune with the idea of making the notes SOUND LIKE SINGING THE SONG.  After only 7 months of lessons, Ami plays dozens of songs in the pre-reading "I Can Do It!" music book, plus another 10 or more songs written in notation on the staff.  The doors have opened.  The world of music is before us.

Indeed, God is So Good!