The Crane School of Music, with its strong commitment to educating music teachers, is an ideal setting in which to gain experience in teaching students with special needs. The primary opportunity for this experience comes through the concentration in Special Education - Music. This concentration provides students with the skills and experiences needed to successfully teach students with a variety of disabilities in both the inclusive and self-contained classrooms.
This concentration is open to all Music Education majors. The three-semester sequence begins in the student's sophomore or junior year. The concentration consists of course-work through both Crane and the School of Education and Professional Studies, and practicum experience coordinated between Crane and the local BOCES program. Through the practicum experiences, Crane students have the opportunity to serve as the music teacher to students with special needs for one or two semesters.
Students who have completed this concentration have gone a variety of directions in their careers. Some are full-time music teachers in public schools, doing a splendid job of working in inclusion settings and/or with students that are mainstreamed into the music classes. Others have found opportunities to be the music teacher for a BOCES program where their primary responsibility is to be the music teacher for children with special needs. Others have gone on to pursue Music Therapy, while yet others have continued into the field of Special Education and now have their own class, incorporating music at every opportunity.
Music Education students who may be enrolled in other concentrations but who would still like to have some experience working with children with disabilities also have the option of participating in Practicum in Special Music Education for one or two semesters as their schedule allows. The only prerequisite for this opportunity is completion of Music in Special Education, an upper division elective.