A Heightened Response

Enhancing Special Needs Students' Communication Skills Using Music

By infusing music into the curriculum of special needs, autistic students in Mount Olive Middle School (Morris County), educators Ryan McCrea, Tammy Wagner, and Anthony Boccitto will demonstrate that American music is a critical element of communication by using an $8,500 grant from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Fifteen student service-learning volunteers (age 12-14), will research the role of American music as a communication vehicle in society, the nature of autism, and the ability of music to enhance effective communication skills in autistic, special needs students in a self-contained classroom. They will work with the teacher to develop a series of multi-sensory/multi-modal lesson activities for the special needs students.

With the assistance of a guitarist, the service learning volunteers will work with students to create and perform their own song which will be videotaped and recorded on a CD.

For further information contact:

Ryan L. McCrea
(908) 852-8002