APN began a pilot program in the summer of 2012. Since then, APN has served approximately 195 youth in our workshops, semester sessions, and outreach programs. Our semester sessions have a high retention – nearly all from the first session currently attend. Semester age group is 12 to young adult. Summer workshop sessions serve younger children.
APN students have the opportunity to:
- Explore music in an accessible and joyful way
- Learn the basic elements of rhythms, piano, and string instruments
- Dance, Move and Sing – Select an instrument and learn to play
- Participate in public performance outreach programs
Discovery of and respect for each person’s strengths and individuality is primary. Everybody contributes to the music! A wide variety of special needs and disabilities are represented in the students who participate in APN. Some include Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, physical and cognitive impairments, learning disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, and social challenges.
But in APN classes, it’s more common to identify an individual according to his/her musical interest (Hip-Hop, Taylor Swift, Elvis, Motown, Classical, Hair Guitar, Folk Rock, and Jordy’s favorite, the Blues), or maybe their favorite instrument or dance move (drums, keyboard, “the Robot”, rap.)
According to a recent survey, parents report that their students:
- Enjoy participating in APN
- Are empowered to explore self-expression
- Improve cognitive function through engagement in a group music-based activity
- Experience physical exercise and stress reduction
- Are at ease in a group and are empowered to take leadership roles
- Move past perceived boundaries of capabilities
- Share new skills in other social settings and in other relationships