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Special needs make a special music school!

Teaching Special Needs Kids

Each week we make lots of music with dozens of babies, toddlers, preschoolers and big kids, from newborns through adults.  To our delight, children with special needs are becoming much more prominant in our community! We enjoy kids who live with autism and blindness, and many various neurologic challenges.  Just today two young teen buddies, both with Downs Syndrome, came together to lessons. They mostly wanted to play Zac Brown. (John was funny trying to sing Chicken Fried!) Additionally, we are enhanced by economically at-risk children with scholarships through Lutheran Family Services. Now a long time friend, Lucas, who lives with Osteogenisis Imperfecta or brittle bone disease, has returned. Many of these  special needs kids are becoming some of our most brilliant musicians, especially as improvisers.

 As most of us know,  making music is a powerful catalyst in human development. This is largely because our entire brain is involved when we are being musical. Listening to music is great too, but it is active music making that fosters such growth.  This growth happens right before our eyes as music teachers and with special needs kids, it can feel like a miracle.  Here is one miracle too wonderful to keep to ourselves!

 First Drum Lesson

Lucas and music.4.life!

Thirty five pound Lucas has battled disease Osteogenesis Imperfecta for the 12 years of his life. Overcoming countless hospitalizations and painful setbacks, he is the perfect example of the OI Foundation’s motto: “an unbreakable spirit.” His personality is unlike anyone I’ve ever known with patience and commitment to a task well beyond his years. Lucas has a subtle humor that I love and an emotional intelligence  that draws others to him.

Lucas’ mom Paula brought him to us for Kindermusik at only a few months of age and parents in class were in awe of Lucas. The empathy in the group was palpable and  I think everyone felt more in touch with their own fragile humanity just being near his tiny stature.  The process of him learning to speak was complex, with so much delicate bone structure supporting the tiny muscles in and around his mouth. Now he speaks with perfect articulation and the wisdom of a sage! There was a special joy for me in introducing tiny Lucas to my own young kids. I knew this was a rare opportunity that would reveal compassion and wonder in them!
Fast forward 12 years, we are so thrilled that Lucas is taking up DRUMS with us! Without a doubt, his conviction and strength is unusual. John has found a friend at Ludwig drums that is planning to help customize a drum set that will fit him perfectly. I can’t wait to see his skills and stamina develop. Since Mom reports she’s heard him on his practice pad at 3:15 in the morning, I can guarantee he will be flying like the wind!
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Music Therapy comes to music.4.life!

 For many years, we have planned to add music therapy to our services. Music.4.life is thrilled to welcome Gillian Zambor  MT-BC, NMT  to our staff!  Having explored this career path all of my undergraduate years, it continues to inspire me.  Throughout my many years as a Kindermusik educator,... READ MORE

School of Rock, music.4.life style

Music.4.life is fortunate to be located on the beautiful Ascension Lutheran Church campus. As some of you who are customers may have noticed,  we share space with Lutheran Services Carolinas. One of their many missions is supporting foster care children who are unable to live with their biologi... READ MORE

Happy Birthday ImaginOn!

Happy 10th birthday to ImaginOn, Charlotte's premiere venue for children.We are delighted to be participating in the event, this Saturday, October 10th by featuring one of our special students, Will Thames, age 14. Will is an 8th grader at Alexander Graham Middle School and plays in our jazz jam ba... READ MORE

Back to Music Open House!

Join us this Saturday from 2:00-5:00. Drop in anytime! Our jam bands will be entertaining and there will be plenty of fun for the little ones. Check out new Apple TV in our Kindermusik room to help parents incorporate technology into their take home play. Fall enrollment specials include $10 off fro... READ MORE

A beloved leader in music education retires

Last week I had an invigorating few days with 100 other Kindermusik educators from around the world. We celebrated the career of Carol Denning Penney, beloved leader of a community of over 5000 educators world wide. [caption id="attachment_1017" align="alignleft" width="260"] Betsy Gurske with ... READ MORE

Riley Methner preforms “No Such Thing”

Our 2015 school year ended with a memorable performance by Riley Methner. He is off to minor in music and major in engineering at NC State this Fall. Riley performed "No Such Thing" by John Mayer as a thank you to John who has given Riley guitar lessons since he was in sixth grade . It was a bitters... READ MORE

Special Holiday Event

December 14 marked a wonderful day of fabulous music, food, fun, and families! Our video montage captures some wonderful highlights of six different jam band performances. Student groups ranged in age from 4th -12th graders. Several have been music.4.life students their entire lives. Literally, sinc... READ MORE

Winter Mini-Camp “Frozen!”

Give yourself some elf prepping time while your child imagines ice skating with Elsa, galloping with Sven and reindeer, and many other musical holiday delights! December 22 and 23 2:00-5:00 $75 per child (includes snack) Register here... READ MORE

Wiggle and Grow

Thank you Gillian Baxter, for capturing this video from Wiggle and Grow! Children are enjoying expressive movement to an instrumental piece they have learned from their monthly Kindermusik album. With repetition, they have become so familiar with the "Robin Story" they can bring their imagination to... READ MORE

What age should my child begin music lessons?

It's important to look at the prime time to start private lessons! Children will be more successful and more likely to continue. Here's an in depth article Betsy wrote in Charlotte Parent answering this question. Read Charlotte Parent article here... READ MORE

Music.4.Life Connects With the Community

Music.4.life looks for opportunities in the community for students to connect in a meaningful way. Being located on the campus of Ascension Lutheran Church gives us a chance to make these connections easily. Students have performed at fund raisers for mission trips and also for the weekly soup kitch... READ MORE

Special holiday event – Sunday, December 14

Special holiday event coming soon!' Sunday, December 14 at 2:00 Ascension Lutheran Fellowship Hall Jam Bands and individual students will perform All ages invited!... READ MORE
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