Music Interaction Episodes
This Way In To Music Interaction Program by Singer Alex Smith
Sessions & Segments
Welcome to session information and prices/costs for our Music Interaction Program for children and families living with Special Needs.
This Music Interaction program can create opportunities for more comfort, calm and connection for families with children with social anxiety as well as Autism, Asperger’s, Cerebral Palsy, MND or other cognitive, perceptive, sensory, communication and motor-neurological challenges.
We are publishing our e-learning courses in February 2020.
Online training sessions for THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC will be available online for:
- $29.95 $USD each module per person (there are 8 modules in the 1st years training series)
- 3 modules for $69.00 $USD
- All 8 modules for $149.00 $USD for the family e-learning series
Practitioner Training option (online course series):
$189.95 USD per participant for the Practitioner Music Interaction Training Package of 5 modules including assessments.
NB: Must supply proof of your working with children documentation or other teaching/carer qualifications when ordering the practitioner series.
WHO is the program suitable for?
Who can This Way In To Music help in terms of interests, engagements and interactions?
Music interaction programs can help individuals with various differences in cognition, verbal communication skills, socialisation, physical abilities and other ability differences.
Originally designed for children with Autism, Aspergers or Cerebral Palsy, the program is fully adaptable to a multitude of neuro-diverse conditions. These conditions include, but not limited to:
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
- Autism Spectrum conditions (ASD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down’s Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Motor Neuron Disease (MND)
- Spinal injuries
While there is no guarantee every person or family living with an ability difference can be helped through music interaction, our experience has shown positive impacts in social engagement, non-verbal through verbal communication and family respite times.
And the founder (Musician Alex Smith) has first-hand experience as a parent AND as a music interaction instructor in special needs education for over 20 years; and he’s devoted decades of research, practice and insight into creating this brilliant music interaction learning series program.
Music Interaction Skills for Special Needs Families
We know firsthand that raising children on the spectrum, or with other types of neuro-diversity, has its challenges.
- Some of these challenges include isolation, stress, multiple specialist appointments and family scheduling conflicts.
- With an easy-to-use music interaction program, families can build in times of relaxation, socialisation, connection and playful relaxation.
This Way In To Music was developed to help bring siblings, parents, grandparents, teachers and carers into positive engagement experiences with children who are neuro-diverse or differently-abled.
The program is specifically designed to combat the isolation and challenges facing special needs parents today, and to help special need teachers and carers develop new skills to assist children with neurological differences and learning disorders or communication delays.
How is This Way In To Music delivered?
This Way In To Music is now available as an e-learning program, an online resource for parents, carers, music instructors, music therapists and others working with children with special needs, from pre-verbal to highly communicative individuals.
- It’s delivered online via digital learning episodes
- Can be taken individually or as a series
- Assessments at the end of modules help ensure knowledge of music interaction — the key DOs and DON’Ts of music-themed engagement – are understood in a way that can benefit
- individual(s) with special needs
- their families (parents, step-parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles)
- music instructors who seek to work with children on the spectrum
- other professionals with neuro-diverse conditions/communication challenges.
- who live with children with communication, socialisation and learning challenges due to neuro-diverse conditions.
Release date (estimated): The series first e-learning modules will be available in February 2020 via a digital online learning program.
The series is led by Alex Smith and Writer/Director Connie May MHST with assistance from Education Advisor Ric Davidson and Director/Producer/Sound Engineer, Ron Brown.
Snapshot of the Program founded by Australian Musician, Alex Smith
This Way In To Music for children who are neuro-diverse was founded by Singer Alex Smith, a solo musician (“The Thread”) as well as the lead singer of Moving Pictures, who’s songs are some of the most well-known across the world.
As a lead singer, you’ll remember him from the song “What about me” – a popular hit song still played frequently on radio stations and music devices across the world — as well as his voice on Moving Pictures song(s) on the soundtrack of the movie Footloose.
Alex Smith’s solo album, The Thread, is a beautiful bluesy-folk CD that he’ll be playing while on tour in Australia later this year. Getting rave reviews, this solo work was released in 2019.
About Musician Alex Smith, Founder of This Way In To Music
- Devoted over 20 years to working in special needs education as a music interaction facilitator in the UK
- Created interaction session resources for several years, volunteering his time to work with families of children with special needs (filmed sessions as examples of the music interaction sessions/exercises)
We are currently in the development/publishing stage of our first series of episodes.
We need sponsors to assist us with our first year’s series. For information, phone Connie May on +61 421 99 55 22 or email Connie May or Alex Smith at email@example.com.
- This Way In To Music is a series of educational course modules designed to help families living with disabilities:
- reduce social isolation
- increase moments of joy and relaxation (fun)
- bring more comfort into the life of special needs families
- assist in developing transferable skills
- Guided by science and years of personal and professional experience in special needs education; informed by global experts in Autism and Aspergers (Alex Smith is a huge fan of Tony Atwood, the renowned Queensland Australia based Asperger’s expert and author of numerous Asperger’s books including the Complete Guide to Aspergers Syndrome).
- Real-life examples (filmed sessions of families using the interaction program, including different severity levels of Autism/Asperger’s diagnosis and other atypical-neurological conditions
- Adaptable guidelines and in-home play sessions can be implemented nearly anywhere
It’s also an affordable program, available in single sessions or as a series.
Do you need to buy musical instruments to use Alex Smith’s music interaction program?
No, you don’t need to incur additional expenses, as you have numerous sound-making objects right at home!
Instruments may be helpful for some exercises, but are definitely not a necessity.
Household objects or cheap second-hand musical instruments go a long way, so the only real expense is the course subscription and a second-hand instrument or some shakers or rounded sticks, pots and pans (adapted to your child’s level/special needs).
- Experimentation with different forms of music interaction are strongly encouraged
- Remember, every child is different and a label is simply that — a label
- Labels do not define you or your child, nor what your child is capable of learning (that’s why we prefer to say ‘pre-verbal’ instead of ‘non-verbal’)
- We have seen some amazing developments when music interaction has been implemented on a regular basis in schools or family environments, and we encourage all special needs families to give these sessions a try — on a regular basis — to see what social interaction skills and cognitive transfer abilities might be possible using the power of rhythm and sound
We’re a start up! And we need your help.
Want to sponsor our music interaction program or an online learning session?
Contact us at thiswayintomusic@gmail (dot com) – or phone 0421 99 55 22 to find out about corporate sponsorship or philanthropic opportunities to help us expand the Music Interaction program for individuals with special needs.
Corporate sponsors or support groups and philanthropists interested in helping families living with ability differences (disabilities) are welcomed to get in contact with Connie May MHST and/or Alex Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the joys of This Way In To Music is watching children with neuro-diversity take the INITIATIVE and get the opportunity to LEAD a game of FUN music interaction, whatever way that suits them best. The smiles on their faces lights up the parents and everyone else in the room!
Note our Music Interaction Sessions can be led by carers or teachers, but all of our interaction episodes are fully adaptable.
We film our interaction sessions and examples directly with PARENTS and their CHILDREN, and we highly encourage full family involvement if appropriate and suitable for your family and your child.
- That’s because our program is primarily aimed to help to parents, carers, siblings and grandparents
- Who spend the MOST time with their children and hence, have the greatest opportunity to engage in interactions that could lead to increased comfort in new situations, and cognitive skills transfer including social engagement skills
- It’s also adaptable to being used in school settings or after-school care or by certified music instructors working with special needs children and others with neurodiversity
- And the Practitioner Training Series is ideal for Teachers, Music Therapists and Music Instructors interested in working with children with special needs or in expanding their social engagement repertoire.
BENEFITS of Music Interaction for Neuro-Diversity and Special Needs Families
These music interaction episodes help parents use the power of music to CONNECT with children with neuro-diversity or limited verbal communication skills. So in addition to being ENJOYABLE and FUN, these sessions have potential benefits ranging from increased forms of direct communication to social bonding and reduced isolation.
What we have found in over 20 years of using music interaction with neuro-diverse families:
- Helps children gain COMFORT in new environments including situations when they are learning new skills (research suggests strong cognitive transfer potential)
- Reduces social isolation commonly seen in families with children with neuro-diversity or other special needs
- Gives a reprieve from typical day-to-day stressors of special needs family life (adds a bit of RELAXATION, COMFORT and FUN)
- Alex and his wife are also the parents of two children, and one of their children is on the Spectrum
- You may recognise Alex Smith as the lead singer of the band, Moving Pictures (“What about me?”); Alex Smith also just released a solo album of ballads, called The Thread.
Alex’s music interaction program has one key aim: to reduce social isolation for families living with neuro-diversity.
- Found/Musician Alex Smith of This Way In To Music, and our team, hope that with music interaction, we’ll help increase moments of joy and relaxation (reprieve) for parents raising children with different neuro-abilities such as being on the Spectrum of Autism or with other different ways of communicating, learning and socialising
- The program suits children with a variety of ability differences and neuro-cognition capacities, from CP to ABI to SPECTRUM to MS and MND
Music Socialisation: Bringing SPECIAL Fun into the lives of Special Needs Families
- Digitally-delivered series
- Each session (online learning module) is approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length, but this can vary depending on your comfort with online learning programs and the materials being presented
- You will need to watch the programs on a computer or tablet that has video playing capacity and sound (audio) as this is a multi-media, mixed-media learning program
- Each session builds on the information listed in the preceding session
Implementation of what you’re learning in the courses:
- Uses everyday home objects and/or second-hand instruments
- Follow examples of REAL LIFE scenarios of parents using Music Interaction, based on Alex’s concepts, with children of varying abilities and cognitive capacities.
- Experiment – you know your child better than anyone else – so get on the floor (if safely able to do so and get back up) and play!
The series is particularly designed for parents and others supporting children with neuro-diversity. They aim to help transform families using the EMPOWERING nature of music and social interaction focused on sound, rhythm and music.
We have already spent 4 years filming several different special needs families in Australia, of music interaction examples in real life home settings of using this program with children with different levels of neurodiversity, ability, socialisation, verbalisation,cognition and focus.
Families who used our music interaction/social engagement theories and examples enjoyed:
- reduced isolation / enhanced sense of belonging
- enjoyment of ‘family time’ and sibling participation
- increased sense of connection and new modes of communication (verbal, pre-verbal and in-between)
- relaxation and parental/child stress relief: “taskless fun”!
- bringing social connection where isolation and ostracism otherwise reigns
This Way In To Music by Alex Smith is a Music Program for families living with neurodiverse conditions, e.g. Autism, Aspergers, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) or Motor-Neuron Disease (MND).
The program can help families through the entire range of disability conditions and is fully adaptable and easy to learn to use.
Do I need instruments and musical ability?
- No special skills or music ability is needed
- The program uses FLOOR BASED exercises
- Common household objects work just as well as inexpensive second-hand instruments from sites like Gumtree or in second-hand shops
- Or contact us for some ideas about sourcing some instruments if needed (subscribers only)
- This music interaction program is all about CONNECTION, COMFORT and BELONGING – a chance to communicate using music-themed games
- It’s about INCLUSION and potential SKILLS TRANSFER
- It’s about RELAXATION, JOY and FUN
- And it’s easy to use – an ideal family bonding and socialisation opportunity for parents and families raising children on the Spectrum of Autism, or with an Acquired Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Social Anxiety, Multiple Sclerosis, MND or other neuro-diversity (formerly called disability).
- Remember, a LABEL is simply that – it does not DEFINE you, your child or anyone else living with an ability difference. It’s merely a word.
- So we prefer the words PRE-verbal instead of non-verbal, and neuro-diverse instead and differently abled (diffabled) instead of the outdated words like “disabled”.
Special Needs Music Program — using music interaction exercises and theories — is ideal for parents and teachers of children on the spectrum of Autism or other ability challenges including Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), Spinal Injury and more.
Music Program Details: How is THIS WAY IN TO MUSIC delivered?
- Delivered digitally via the internet (online streaming) so you can watch and listen at your convenience.
- Multi-media – some video, some voice-over text and some downloadable resources.
- Online course options for training sessions in the series — but you can also listen to the audio-only file or to our upcoming podcasts as part of your plan depending on what you purchase.
- Music Packs are also available although you can readily use second-hand items (guitars, shakers) or pots, pans and wooden spoons or other readily-found household objects
Transforming families living with special needs – using music interaction as a form of social inclusion, comfort and connection.
As a special needs parent using Alex Smith’s This Way In To Music program, you’ll learn how to innovate with music interaction strategies. These may help you to:
- connect and engage with your child in the home environment
- reduce tendencies to otherwise withdraw or rely only on habitual comforts and solo activities
- invite other family members into interaction sessions (light-hearted, task-less play sessions using sound and rhythm), e.g. inviting SIBLINGS who may feel left out or disconnected due to the ability differences and your attention sometimes focused on the special needs child due to necessity – in other words, using music to CONNECT the family and ENGAGE in a session bringing fun, belonging and relaxation
- help your child learn to relax or self-regulate in new situations or social situations (cognitive transfer opportunities)
- give you and your family a chance to have some FUN REPRIEVE in an otherwise anxiety-filled week
- FUN! (did we say FUN)?
- learn more about your child and what they are capable of in terms of interaction and learning because it’s TASKLESS yet has potential benefits in cognition and communication improvements
Our program can work for families with children with a wide range of neurological differences (disability) we call NEURO-DIVERSITY (neurodiversity).
Including children with limited verbal abilities (pre-verbal) to non-verbal due to physical conditions such as MND or Cerebral Palsy, to high-communication individuals on the Spectrum of Autism or Asperger’s – to children who are paraplegic or wheelchair bound.
- Each session is applicable and adaptable for nearly ANY form of disability or cognitive communication challenge.
- You’re also encouraged to experiment and adapt these session ideas regularly, to make these music interaction games and taskless sessions your own, to meet the needs of YOUR child.
- It features episodes of REAL families using the This Way In To Music program along with Alex Smith’s insights and recommendations for approaches
- Parents are strongly encouraged to innovate and adapt session content to suit their child’s specific abilities and communication preferences while gently inviting (never forcing) increasing participation levels (connections/inclusion/belonging) through creative game-making and child-led music games
THIS WAY INTO MUSIC by Alex Smith reminds us to remain innovative and experimental with SOUND and MUSIC as a form of socialisation. It’s a potentially new DOOR into the world of a child with different connecting abilities or neuro-diverse brain wiring.
Contact us if you’d like a downloadable catalogue of our products and to be added to our monthly e-newsletters featuring helpful tips for parents, teachers and siblings about using innovative music interaction strategies to help children with disability, special needs, and Autism or other communication differences.
Please contact us for Special Needs Music Program series and/or interviews and products.
CONNECT WITH US – we will be delighted to hear from you and trust that we can assist you using the power of MUSIC when words fail.