Adaptive Music

Music at the Franklin Learning Center is not the traditional “open-your-book-andturn-to page 22 to sing a song” class. The majority of students are limited in speech; therefore, Music Appreciation is adapted to be an interactive and sensory experience. Each musical activity is paired with the individual student’s ability and interest. Movements are tailored for each student so they can be successful. The song activities are modified to teach curriculum concepts as well as different styles of music. Opportunities to communicate are encouraged through the use of picture boards, attainment devices, and other body styles of answering. Gross and fine motor skills are developed or reinforced through many of the song activities using manipulatives such as puppets, scarves, balls, rhythm instruments, or a parachute.

For the older students, exploring the elements of music history, music theatre, and the orchestra are included in instruction. Classroom work has included learning about being a Pop singer, the skills and talents necessary to perform as an artist, and culminated with the critiquing of the popular television show American Idol. Eye contact, poise, appropriate song choice, and pitch are all important elements needed in becoming a Pop singer. During the past two years, the students were able to select the top three contestants based on the criteria they studied. In additional to weekly classroom instruction, all students have the opportunity to participate in many extra activities. The FLC Chorus is open to any student who is interested in learning additional songs and rhythmic movements to the drum beat of an electric keyboard. In addition to school activities, they have presented their music to various nursing homes and other community events. The FLC Show Choir is a smaller group that meets once a week to learn special songs and more difficult movements. They have performed in venues such as the FLC Graduation, the Franklin County Community Forum Holiday Meeting. and the Professional Business Women’s Association. Finally, Sing-Alongs take place in the auditorium several times a year. Students and staff come prepared for early dismissals with all of their belongings. Songs, motions, pictures, instruments, projected computerized words, and even dance are incorporated in the assemblies as a send-off to the holiday or the end of the school year.

The highlight of Music Appreciation at the FLC is the Christmas musical which is performed twice for the public during the month of December. In addition, a dress-rehearsal is presented to several local student groups who travel to the center for entertainment. Thru the writing, adaptation, choreography, and direction of the annual event, Ms. Salisbury, FLC Music Teacher, assures that every student has a role and that no part is too small. With the aid of staff, each child is able to “shine” much to the delight of parents, family, and community members.