After four years of teaching elementary music, I still felt unsatisfied by my lack of knowledge in music and special education, my two areas of interest and passion. During my Sistema fellowship year, I spent the vast majority of my time exploring and questioning “inclusion.” What does inclusion mean? What does it look like? How feasible is inclusion here in the United States especially in regards to policy and practice?
With unanswered questions continually emerging, I decided to attend the Harvard Graduate School of Education for my Masters in Arts in Education to strengthen my knowledge around the intersectionality of these two fields.
My continual exposure to new materials prompted me to consider how to disseminate a portion of my findings to the El Sistema-inspired field. I decided to create a document that addressed the topic of neurodiversity in the music classroom. I asked Andrea Landin [Sistema Fellow ‘13] to provide a typical music lesson on the basis that I would redesign this lesson to meet the needs of learners.
The purpose of this document is to introduce Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and how this framework can be applied to music settings. I chose to present this information through drafts, so that you can experience the transformation from a typical lesson to a UDL lesson. This is simply supposed to act as a guide to begin the conversation around how to meet the needs of learners.
Please continue reading here.
Elise Seymour, Sistema Fellow '13