The Noteroom: Where You Can Get in Touch with Your Inner Artist

music lessons

Let’s face it; art is never that big of interest in schools. More often than not, art classes suffer from budget cut time to time. Schools then re-allocate those budgets to other classes that are considered more promising for the future of the students. It is a subjective move, of course; who are they to decide that math or physics are more potential in making a student’s life brighter in the future? Science and art should be treated equally as science itself is a form of art and art requires science in many of the techniques required to master it. So, how is it fair to cut budgets from art classes? However, as much as you would love defending art classes for you your children at school, policy is policy; and unless you have a considerable power over school board, there is not much you can do about this. Still, this does not mean that the doors are closed forever. Education does not strictly come from school and you can try to offer an alternative for you kids to still be able to stay in touch with their inner artist. There is no regulation that says all forms of education are only to be obtained through formal schools, now is there? You can still afford education in art as an alternative to the formal schools so that your kids have options in determining their future. All it takes for you is simply support whatever path it is that your kids choose regarding the direction of their life.

Meet The Noteroom, an art course that cares about your kids’ needs in discovering their artistic potentials. The course is based on Glendale, Arizona so you might want to check it out if you happen to reside in the area. They provide music lessons for your kids so it is possible to teach them how to play piano, drums, guitars, or all of them at the same time. Who knows, maybe your son has this hidden potential to become a music prodigy that is hailed by the country and be one of the things it is proud of. At the very least, it would serve as a way for your kids to have fun and what else is more important for kids but having fun while learning? If you know that your daughter has the potential to own a voice of an angel and you want it to be polished, there is singing class in the course as well. While your daughter may not be cut for being an athlete or a scientist, she could be winning as a songbird and what else could be better than that feeling you have when seeing her stun the audiences?

And what’s even better from the course is that it does not specifically aims at children. There are classes for students of every age. That means you yourself can get in touch with that long-buried talent you have deep inside you. Contact the course now to enroll and learn art lessons from the experts.

Teaching Children with Special Needs

Many experts say that every child is good at something, and the challenge before the parents and the teachers is to find out what that thing is. Finding out the hidden talents in children is more essential in case of those, who have some kind of disabilities. Teaching such children can become easy, if you can identify the qualities in them at the right time. Given below are some tips and guidelines that you can follow, while dealing with such children.

How to teach them?

Interacting with them

Interacting with children needing special attention is very essential in order to speed up their learning process. Lack of proper interaction can hamper their learning and progress. So, as a teacher, you should interact with them in a friendly manner. Also it should be noted that, fulfilling their needs is possible only through planned strategies.

Encouraging them

In many cases, it has been observed that, such students are not confident enough and have an inferiority complex. At this point, it is the duty of the teachers to teach them at their level of understanding. One should totally stop comparing them constantly with other bright students. Few words of encouragement can help in boosting their morale and confidence. Arranging for special classes is indeed a good idea. Try to make the sessions as interactive as possible. Illustrate your point by citing examples, which are relevant and can help them to easily understand the concepts.

Giving opportunities

It is important for you to see to it that, such children get plenty of opportunities to prove themselves. You should stand by them during their failures to make them feel that, they have the ability to perform better. Avoid criticizing them for their bad performances in front of other students. Whenever they do well, you should take notice of their performance, give them suitable awards, certificates, and prizes to encourage and motivate them. It is only through constant motivation that these children will succeed in future.

Teaching practical aspects

Apart from classroom teaching, you should also emphasize on practical learning sessions. This is because, by practical experience, they would be able to learn the concepts well. You can also arrange for outdoor sessions every week. Keeping a tab on their performance, improvements shown by them, and their personal inclination is very essential. The teacher should regularly be in contact with the parents of such children to chalk out plans for their advancement. Personal hygiene, cleanliness habits, ways of interacting with other people are some basic things, which must be a part of the program. Telling them what is right and what is wrong will make them a better person when they grow up. The values learned during childhood will always remain with them throughout their lives.

There are many examples of great people who had learning disabilities in their childhood, but have achieved great heights in their respective careers, due to proper guidance and coaching.

Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities

I totally agreed with Scott Hamilton when he said that the only disability in life is a wrong attitude. I strongly believe that disability is not a curse or punishment from God for some wrongdoings. No, I feel these people can live a normal life just like any normal person. In fact, people with disabilities are more determined to overcome this barrier and do not want to gain sympathy from people. I remember watching a video clip of a differently abled person who didn’t have hands but was writing with the pen held in his mouth. These people really inspire us to work harder and convert the weaknesses into strengths.

While choosing a college there are certain points which a differently abled person should evaluate before applying to the desired college.

Easily accessible campus and 24×7 buses available with special needs.
Offices having full-time staff for answering the queries of differently abled persons.
Help available in form of attendants or nurses for people with severe disabilities.
Course curriculum and extra tutoring for those who lag behind in class.
Extra curricular activities designed for people with disabilities and coaching for these people who are capable of entering into paralympic Olympics.

After considering these factors the next step is choosing from the list of best colleges which have great programs for differently abled persons.

University of Arizona,Tucson

The Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center popularly known as SALT has been the oldest in rendering best programs for people suffering from ADHD and other learning disabilities. This institute offers world-class workshops with well equipped computer labs. The tutors in this program are well experienced and many hold doctorates in their respective fields. The tutors are CRLA (college reading and learning association) certified and render expert services in Maths, Science and other courses. The fee structure for undergraduate lower division and upper division varies from $1000 to $2500 per semester. The tutoring fees is extra $20-25 per hour.

Wayne State University, Detroit

This University located at Detroit offers best facilities in off campus programs, pre – enrollment counseling, ASL interpretors and volunteer note takers. The average tuition fee for undergraduate lower and upper division ranges from $450 to $6000. Known programs like business administration and fine arts are rendered through the campus. The institute also offers excellent placement opportunities and has efficient staff in tutoring and career counseling.

University of Connecticut, Storrs

One of the top ranked public university this institute offers world-class program B.O.L.D (Building Opportunities for students with Learning Disabilities). This program is specifically designed for psychiatric, ADHD and LD disabled students. Through this program students are encouraged to improve their skills in order to gain employment. The average tuition fees for first semester is $1600 and for rest of semesters it is around $1100. The tutoring fees are extra $45 to $51 for a course. The college also provides SEAD program specially designed for autistic students. Through this program the student is encouraged to make transition to college level courses and instill positive attitude among students to achieve their goals.

Curry College, Massachusetts

Located in Milton, a 135 acre campus which is seven miles from Boston offers a suburban setting. The course is designed for students suffering from learning disabilities. The tutors prepare students to participate in group level discussions and provides $10,000 worth of scholarship to a high school senior student who has been successful in overcoming the disability barrier. The average tuition fees for first year per semester is approximately $3300. The curriculum includes using strategies to develop the thinking, reading, writing and listening abilities in students.

Augsburg College, Minneapolis

The CLASS (Center for learning and adaptive student services) provides normal classes and also helps the students by assisting them with scanned exams,extended time exams and recorded textbooks. Assistive technology caters to the students’ needs and the tutors encourage students to excel in their field with working on the underlying weaknesses. The tuition fees are nominal and students are accepted with a grade point average of 2.6. The institute has full-time staff assisting students with disabilities to learn. Individual tutoring is being promoted by the CLASS program.

University of Iowa, Iowa City

This university offers two year program for students suffering from multiple cognitive disabilities. The program termed as REACH (realizing educational and career hopes) helps students to be independent and educate them to fulfill their future dreams. It has community based internships, accessible campus and prepare students for employment. The average tuition fees for one year is approximately $14,100 and need based scholarships are available to the students.

Florida State University, Tallahassee

The Student Disability Resource Center has programs designed for ADHD students. It also helps these students’ transition to college level courses and provides services such as extra exam time, specially designed Math and Reading programs.

Beacon College, Florida

The courses are specially offered for learning disabilities, gifted LD and ADHD students. The average tuition fee for a year is around $14,500 and it also offers full student support in form of extra curricular activities. It also has Travel Abroad Program where students can experience rich cultural diversity.

Landmark College, Vermont

Located in Putney this college is voted the best in offering programs catering to students with learning disabilities. The courses are language intensive and focused on developing intellectual abilities in students. The attractive point about this college is it considers students as partners in learning and strives to achieve excellence through technology based curriculum. The average tuition fees is around $48,000 for the academic year and financial aid is available for need-based students. The college also offers a full-time disability resource office with best career counseling activities.

Northeastern University, Marino Center

This University has been voted as having the best learning disability programs. The college has intensive programs in reading and writing specifically catering to attention deficit disorder. The average costs range from $1200 to $2600 per semester for the program. The USP of this college is individual attention by experienced tutors.

Most of these colleges prepare students to live independently and instill workplace skills. Many colleges also offer many services like mentoring, providing transportation services within campus and providing tutoring services. These institutes with help of the families of students encourage them to be self motivated to achieve their career goals. Disability has not and will never be a hindrance, this motto is what these best institutes endorse.

Teaching Children with Disabilities

Teaching children who are normal and have the capability to grasp things efficiently, can be a daily task for teachers in schools. However, if they are put in a situation where they have to teach those with disabilities, they may have to use a totally different concept. This is one of the most crucial tasks that teachers have to perform. Primarily, there are two types of disabilities found in children ― mental and physical.

Learning (Mental) Disabilities

It is observed that teaching children with disabilities in learning is often more difficult than teaching handicapped children. Here, the teacher has to use different techniques altogether. She has to first understand the mental condition of the student, assess his learning capacities and the rate at which he can learn, and then make use of appropriate techniques. Teachers have to give additional attention to students who have such disabilities. They need to make the students understand using methods, which these students would be comfortable with.

Physical Disabilities

Teaching children with physical disabilities or handicap is a matter of providing motivation. They should in no way be made to feel that they are different. On the other hand, they should be made to realize that they are also like other students and not those who cannot do certain tasks. The instructors do not find it that difficult to teach such children as their grasping power is generally good.

Teaching Strategies

During teaching, the instructors should present the questions in the simplest and clearest manner, so that the children properly understand them. They should also encourage the students to participate in the answering process and guide them to the appropriate answer. Also, the pace of the curriculum should maintained so as to suit the needs of children.

It would be most beneficial if disabled children are taught using figures, slide-shows, and overhead projectors. This would help them better understand the fundamental concepts while teaching. Instructors can focus on the outlines and basics, instead of going deep into the lessons. Moreover, they should use hand techniques, facial expressions, and body language to get the message across.

With motivation, this strategy certainly is very effective. Instructors should consult with school psychologists to come up with more useful methods for letting them understand as to what is being taught. In order to teach them more effectively, assistive methods and devices can also be used.

Assistive Technology in the Classroom

What is assistive technology and what are the devices that are used in the classroom? This technology, in the simplest of terms, consists of those tools, devices, and strategies that help lower and break down the barriers that can be created by disabilities. The use of this technology can help liberate students with disabilities and compensate for their learning problems. In most public schools, this form of technology is used in order to better physical, social, and communicative abilities of the student. Educational reforms have brought about a change in the way classrooms function. In order to make the classroom more inclusive, it is important that children who are challenged physically be provided with assistance to make the learning process simpler.

Assistive Technology in Classrooms

This is one of those technologies that are known by several different names which include rehabilitation devices, adaptive materials, assistive devices, and adaptive technologies. As mentioned earlier, it is used to help children with disabilities cope with the technologies and materials that are an integral part of the classroom today. Assistive technologies are used for different purposes. There are specific devices that are designed for students who are either visually impaired or have a vision problem. There are also devices for the hearing impaired and for those children who have learning disabilities and find it difficult to learn things. For such students, assistive technologies help by improving their learning, behavioral, and cognitive abilities. There are some students who may have a problem in communication or in understanding the information that is being supplied. There are specific devices for such students as well.

While using assistive technologies one uses both access technologies and adaptive technologies. When one talks about access technologies, the reference is to those technologies that are used in order to provide students with technologies better access to the instructional and educational material that they need to use. With such technologies, you try and adapt those technologies that students use normally. Access technologies help by making up for the limitations that are faced by those students who are disabled. Adaptive technologies help students with disabilities to move about and communicate better with others in the classroom. These technologies are specifically developed for people with disabilities. They may not have been created only for educational purposes and can be used outside of the classroom as well.

Assistive Technology Used in Classrooms
Vision Hearing Learning

Slate and Braille stylus
Tape recorders
Voice activated calculators
Braille writer
Braille translation software
Speech output enabled computers
Voice activated and output enabled dictionaries
Voice projectors

Hearing aids
Vibrotactile devices
Photographic equipment
Closed captioned television
Telecaption decoders
TDD/TTY phone services
Audio amplification devices
Communication boards

Pictorial schedule
Graphic organizers
Text scanners
Voice recognition devices
Electronic organizers
Word prediction software
Spelling assistive devices
Concept development devices

For children who have learning problems, the use of computer devices for the physically challenged and tools such as bigger pencils, foot pedals instead of the mouse for a computer, voice recognition software, large pad keyboards are all an integral part of this type of technological devices. For children who have a problem communicating due to limited verbal abilities or skills, there are devices such as voice output devices, text to voice translation software, and pictorial software that are used. With assistive technology, as is true for any other type of technology proper training is important. In order to make the use of this type of technology a success, it is important that the children and the teachers both learn how to use the devices properly and effectively. Without proper training, these devices could end up being a waste of time and energy.