Pioneering Music Education Comes to Southwest Florida
Southwest Florida will soon have a music education center for singing. Developed in partnership with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, the Southwest Florida Music Education Center (SWFLMEC) will provide music education and life skills development for neurodivergent young adults.
âIt is well established that most neurodivergent young adults face significant challenges as they prepare for higher education and the workforce,â said Rob Moher, Founder and Chairman of the Board of SWFLMEC. . âCurrently, there are few programs designed to fill this gap in the United States. We are fortunate to partner with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs to develop a high quality music education program for neurodivergent young adults in Southwest Florida. By providing holistic music education and cutting-edge mentoring, we prepare students for meaningful growth opportunities while creating a pathway to social inclusion, employment and enrichment.
SWFLMEC has hired Jennifer Clark as the Vice President of the Organization to oversee operations, marketing, development and strategic initiatives. Clark, a graduate of the University of Florida and the Collier Leadership Class of 2021, brings extensive experience from several Southwest Florida nonprofits and excels in nonprofit leadership and community impact. .
The 501 (c) 3 nonprofit will provide comprehensive music education for neurodivergent individuals such as those with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, pragmatic social communication disorders, and disorders related to anxiety in the context of neurodiversity. At the time of enrollment, students must be between the ages of 16 and 30, have low to moderate support needs, and must demonstrate mostly self-sufficient support skills. Students should also have intermediate or higher level musical skills on one or more instruments including voice, percussion, strings, guitar, and piano / keyboard.
âAs a catalyst for the inclusion of people with disabilities in visual and performing arts education, we at the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs are excited about our partnership with SWFLMEC,â said Dr Rhoda Bernard , founding CEO of Berklee. Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs. “We are particularly eager to bring our internationally renowned professional development programs and initiatives to local educators in Florida to better prepare them and help them reach students with autism and related anxiety and language disorders in class.” of music, studios and ensembles. “
Currently, the Southwest Florida Music Education Center offers integrated programming to all interested students through the Creative Group of Naples. Specialty programs currently in development include a two-year high school transitional music certificate and a four-year post-secondary music certificate focusing on key areas of musical skill development. Music education will include an ensemble, individual lessons and performances on one or more instruments; music theory and hearing training; history of music; and elective courses in areas such as music technology and production, electronic music, and songwriting. In addition to music education, students will learn how to manage anxiety, adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, create meaningful relationships, self-representation, time management, executive functioning, personal safety, business planning, branding and entrepreneurship. Students will also have peer mentoring opportunities to connect students with other students and professional musicians. Community education opportunities will begin in fall 2021 and the two- and four-year programs will launch by fall 2023.
Phase two of the project will include a student life center and an on-site dormitory. The Southwest Florida Music Education Center is currently seeking unprecedented support to build the new music center and dormitory, including land purchase and campus development. For more information or to support the project, contact Jennifer Clark at [email protected] or 239-205-8258 or visit swflmusic.org.