special educators one of their closest allies. Consequently, it is important for music therapists to understand concepts and initiatives in the field of special education, as well as to know and use the associated appropriate terminology when communicating with IEP team members, parents, and school or site administrators. While much of the following information mainly pertains to school settings and children above the age of five, it is important for music therapists to understand issues that young children and their families will face in the child’s next educational environment. A shared core vocabulary is helpful in establishing a common framework through which music therapists, early interventionists and special educators can best meet the needs of children with disabilities. Being able to converse about current topics in special education also demonstrates professional awareness, an understanding of recent developments in the field, and a willingness to work collaboratively with other professionals. A number of initiatives in special education have occurred over the past 15 years, with some being mandated by amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Having working knowledge of these current perspectives in special education is necessary for music therapists to have informed discussions with colleagues and to participate more fully in IEP meetings. Some initiatives in special education, or certain elements of initiatives, are already a part of music therapy practice, though terms may be identified by diﬀerent names. Knowing what elements of special education and music therapy practices are shared or diﬀerent, allows for more consistent and coordinated eﬀorts on behalf of students with disabilities. Following are brief reflections on and summaries of special education concepts for music educators and therapists working in schools who would like a basic understanding of these important initiatives. We present below brief summaries for five special education concepts for music therapists as well as music educators who would like a basic understanding of these important initiatives. We begin with one in arts education that is closely aligned with the Common Core Standards, the National Core Arts Standards. National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) Most US educators are aware of the Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts. This
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national initiative describes what students should know in these content areas at the completion of specific grade levels. The purpose of the Common Core initiative is to establish consistent educational benchmarks for all states, and to ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared for the next level of educational experiences. The majority of the states have adopted these voluntary standards, while a few states have chosen not to adopt the national standards. The National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) is a new initiative currently being developed to provide a platform for excellence in delivery and outcomes of arts education in PreK-12 education. Music, Visual Art, Dance, Theater and Media Arts are included in the standards document. These voluntary arts standards are designed to promote thinking, learning and creating as processes of arts education. These standards provide comprehensive expectations and equitable opportunities for all students. Experts in arts in special education assisted the development team to ensure that the standards were written in an inclusive manner with opportunities for success at varied levels of abilities. This conceptual framework for arts learning is based on philosophical foundations and lifelong goals related to 1) the arts as communication, 2) the arts as creative and personal realization, 3) the arts as culture, history and connectors, 4) the arts as means to well-being, and 5) the arts as community engagement. Based on this foundation, artistic literacy is developed through the artistic processes of creating, responding, performing/ presenting/producing (based on the art form), and connecting. Anchor standards and Performance standards describe the general knowledge and skills that students are expected to demonstrate as evidence of their artistic literacy, both generally across the arts and in discipline specific language. Measurable learning goals are created through grade level achievement outcomes PK-8, and through Arts standards are proficiency levels in high school (proficient, designed to promote accomplished and thinking, learning and advanced) (NCCAS, 2013). creating as processes of arts education.
The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...