Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Teacher Brings Music to Special Education Students
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When Donald DeVito arrived at the Sidney Lanier Center School, music classes were held in a portable with only seven instruments.
Today, the disabled students at the school take music classes in a large, colorful room filled with instruments, uniforms and music.
About one-third of DeVito's 60 students are unable to speak, and the others have disabilities like autism, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. They use music to express themselves, he said.
"Music really helps students to transcend their challenges through creative self-expression," he said. "I believe that there is really only one ability needed to participate in music education, and that is the ability to feel. As long as the music can reach you through an effective response, then everything else is just accommodation."