Piano for Special Needs

is a unique approach that I have created to teach music to Autism Spectrum Disorders and other special needs students. 

All of my courses are family-centered and use research and experience based techniques to address the characteristics of ASD.  I have seen wonderful results and watched parents cry with joy at hearing their special child give to the audience the gift of THEIR music talents.

Since each lesson arrives in your email.   There is no driving, no snow-days, no missed lessons.


Each lesson has 3 video segments of 10-15 minutes, plus all the materials to be printed and put in a 3-ring binder.

  • Part A reviews prior concepts, guides finger exercises for strength and dexterity, conducts counting and rhythm activities, and introduces new ideas with worksheets and a song.
  • Part B teaches new music.  Each composition is introduced slowly, building a piece at a time for understanding and security.  No stress allowed.
  • Part C recaps the lesson.  Activities and music that were presented slowly in Parts A and B will be played a bit faster.  Students are encouraged to "Play along with me" to increase the tempo and give an example for them to mimic.

The student who would be a candidate for this program is a child who 
  • is minimally verbal
  • can read at 1st grade level
  • mimics physical activity like playing designated fingers 
  • can focus for up to 15 minutes

The parent/helper
  assists during the lesson until the student proves to be independent.  For example: 
  • Trace the hand and number the fingers
  • See that the student's hand is in the proper position, using the designated fingers
  • Say all the words if the student is unwilling to repeat as directed
  • Pause the lesson and repeat the instructions if the student needs extra time
  • Stop the lesson to be resumed at a better time if the student appears frustrated or stressed
The parent/helper needs no prior music knowledge.  The pace and level of delivery is appropriate for an ASD or down syndrome student.  Any parent, relative, sibling, or para-educator can fill the role.  It should develop into a very bonding relationship.

Here is all you need:

  • A computer to receive the lessons set up next to the piano/keyboard
  • A piano or keyboard (preferably 61 keys, touch sensitive, with pedal)
  • The Online Piano Lessons series
  • The required books:  "I Can Do It!" Piano Lessons serves both the 4 lessons in the Beginners Course and the four Ready to Read lessons.

Piano for Special Needs addresses the unique needs of the ASD and down syndrome student
  • Agendas tell the student what happens next.  There is no stress from uncertainty or surprises.
  • The pace gives time for auditory processing and execution
  • The segments are 10 - 15 minutes long, allowing for shorter attention spans
  • There are no distractions of flashing lights, peripheral music, or visual gimmicks
  • Lessons can be repeated as often as necessary - no forgetting  what the teacher said
  • Finger exercises develop small muscle control
  • The ritual greeting provides a secure routine and gets the lesson off to a comfortable start
  • Lessons are not competitive or stressful as team sports might be
  • Self-confidence and satisfaction come with family performances.  They can shine before their peers.

Piano for Special Needs is now free.
When everything concerning autism is expensive, this is a pleasant surprise. 
  • Each lesson of 35 - 40 minutes costs nothingCompare that to a typical 30-minute face-to-face lesson. 
  • Plus many studios do not give refunds for missed lessons. 
  • Lessons may be repeated as often as necessary without any cost.
All these advantages make piano lessons the cheapest (and possibly the best) thing you do for your child.     




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