SWFL Music Education Center Aims To Help Neurodivergent Students

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Above: A render of the Southwest Florida Music Education Center project. COURTESY PHOTOS

A world-class music education center is coming to Southwest Florida. A partnership initiative with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, the Southwest Florida Music Education Center provides music education and life skills development for neurodivergent young adults. SWFLMEC will be one of the few music education programs available for these students in the United States.

“It is well established that most neurodivergent young adults face significant challenges as they prepare for higher education and the workforce,” said Rob Moher, Founder and Chairman of the Board of SWFLMEC. . “Currently, there are few programs designed to fill this gap in the United States, and we are fortunate to partner with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs to develop a high quality music education program for young adults. neurodivergent from 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.

Left: The nonprofit organization plans to provide comprehensive <a class=music education for neurodivergent people such as people with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, social pragmatic communication disorders, and disorders related to l ‘anxiety.” width=”722″ data-srcset=”https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2.jpg 722w, https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2-300×197.jpg 300w, https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2-150×100.jpg 150w, https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2-200×133.jpg 200w, https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2-400×263.jpg 400w, https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2-152×100.jpg 152w” data-src=”https://fortmyers.floridaweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/images/2021-08-11/3p2.jpg” data-sizes=”(max-width: 722px) 100vw, 722px” class=”wp-image-295334 size-large lazyload”/>

Left: The nonprofit organization plans to provide comprehensive music education for neurodivergent people such as people with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, social pragmatic communication disorders, and disorders related to l ‘anxiety.

SWFLMEC hired Jennifer Clark as the organization’s vice president to oversee operations, marketing, development and strategic initiatives. Ms. Clark, a University of Florida and Collier Leadership Class graduate of 2021, brings extensive experience from several Southwest Florida nonprofits and excels in nonprofit leadership and impact. community.

The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit will provide comprehensive music education for neurodivergent people such as those with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, social pragmatic communication disorders and related disorders. 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 independent self-care skills. Students are also expected to have intermediate or higher level musical skills on one or more instruments, including voice, percussion, strings, guitar, and piano / keyboard.

CLARK

CLARK

“As 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,” 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. In partnership with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, specialist programs currently in development include a two-year transitional music certificate in high school and a four-year post-secondary music certificate focusing on key areas of musical skill development. . Music education will include ensemble lessons, 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. The emphasis on personal well-being is an integral part of the SWFLMEC program.

In addition to music education, students will learn life skills such as: managing anxiety through proven strategies; adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle and create meaningful relationships; soft skills, including self-advocacy, time management, executive functioning and personal safety; professional skills, including business planning, branding and entrepreneurship; and peer mentoring opportunities and experiences 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. ??


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