other families and building strong relationships. Also consider the importance of a developmentally appropriate approach to learning for your child. A developmentally appropriate approach in early childhood music-making accepts and includes all members of the community and creates necessary access points into music-making through teaching practices that incorporate children (and adults) in community music-making. Communication There are several ways that early childhood music providers communicate information. While it may seem to go without saying, checking a program’s online presence is a great first step to get a feel for how they welcome families with children with special needs. Keep in mind that centers that oﬀer pre-designed curricula often have links to the national (or international) organization that authored the program. Taking a look at the national site allows you to determine the company’s depth of commitment to serving families of children who have special needs. Speaking directly with the owner of the early childhood music program in which you are considering enrolling your child is the best way
imagine 7(1), 2016
to determine if that program is a good fit for your family. The provider’s responses to your questions should be considered an invitation to continue the conversation. Table 1 list some questions that you might want to ask. Community Support A family music class should be a supportive community that honors the musical journey of each child and adult. Early childhood music therapists and music educators understand the importance of creating community. Each center director will have his/ her own way of doing this. (S)he might use email or social media. Whatever the means, you should feel like your family is part of a community of music makers that focuses on family engagement and child development.
Conclusion Accessing community activities can be challenging for families with children who have special needs or disabilities. Your community’s early childhood music program may be a good choice for a welcoming and inclusive experience. Music therapists are uniquely qualified to
provide music interventions for addressing individualized goals, which can occur in an individual or group setting. Early childhood music educators are uniquely qualified to provide a welcoming, multisensory, and musically rich environment in which to experience the joy of music-making with others as well. The information presented may help you decide what your family needs from a music-making experience and how to get the information you require in order to make the best decision for your family. About the Author Carol Ann Blank, LCAT, LPC, MMT, MTBC is the Manager of Special Needs Services at Music Together LLC where she also oversees the Music Together Within Therapy program. Carol is currently completing her dissertation research on clinical decisionmaking at Drexel University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....