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Special Needs | News

School for Students with Special Needs Opens Music Facility

A private, non-profit institution for students with special needs has added music to its academic and treatment offerings.

The Newmark School, located in Scotch Plains, NJ, recently opened a new music center, fully outfitted with "soundproof rehearsal room, electric and electronic instruments, personal monitoring, and multitrack recording," and Mackie Onyx 1640i 16-channel mixing console, according to a statement from Loud Technologies, a manufacturer of audio and music products. Mackie, a brand of Loud Technologies, provided the equipment for the new center.

Newmark's new system was designed to be easy for teachers to use, according to Cynthia Allman, executive director at the school.

"Because we've got time constraints, and the students have limited attention, keeping them focused is paramount," explained Allman. "If a teacher can't get the lesson started and get them engaged quickly, we lose them. As a small school, we don't have a dedicated music staff, and some of the teachers using the room may have very minimal technical expertise. So it's important that they be able to walk in, get started, and be up and running quickly."

The school is putting the facility to good use. In addition to using the room for music therapy, Allman said the school has also formed a chorus and recently began opening the room for after-school teen nights. At these functions, students can play and record their music. The center includes electric bass and guitars, Roland keyboards, and electric drums.

"It's very therapeutic for the kids, on so many levels," she notes. "These are kids with all kinds of different issues, many of whom struggle with socialization, but they will bond in that room, through the music. It's probably the most popular place in our building now -- our kids love the room."

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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