How Music Benefits People with Special Needs

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Music has been proven to have numerous benefits for people of all ages and backgrounds, including those with special needs and autism spectrum disorders. At Music Works Academy, we believe in the power of music to transform lives and improve the well-being of individuals, especially those with unique challenges. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of music for special needs children and autism spectrum children.

Improved Communication and Social Skills

One of the primary challenges for children with special needs and autism is communication and socialization. Music has been shown to improve these skills by providing a nonverbal and creative outlet for self-expression. Playing music with others can also promote social interaction and cooperation, and music therapy can help children learn to recognize and respond to social cues.

Enhanced Cognitive Function

Research has shown that music can enhance cognitive function in children with special needs and autism, including memory, attention, and problem-solving skills. Learning music can also improve executive functioning skills such as planning, organizing, and multitasking.

Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence

Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing can be a rewarding experience that can boost self-esteem and confidence in children with special needs and autism. Music provides a safe and supportive environment for children to express themselves and to feel a sense of accomplishment. Performing in front of others can also help children overcome shyness and anxiety.

Emotional Regulation and Stress Reduction

Music has a powerful effect on the brain and can help regulate emotions and reduce stress levels. Listening to calming music or playing a musical instrument can be a soothing and therapeutic experience for children with special needs and autism, helping them to manage emotions and reduce anxiety.

Improved Motor Skills and Coordination

Playing a musical instrument requires precise motor skills and coordination, which can be beneficial for children with special needs and autism who may struggle with these skills. Learning to play an instrument or to sing can help improve fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Overall, music has the potential to be a transformative experience for children with special needs and autism spectrum disorders. At Music Works Academy, we offer specialized music programs and lessons that are tailored to the unique needs and abilities of each child. Our experienced teachers are trained in working with children with special needs and are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

We believe that music can play a critical role in improving the quality of life for children with special needs and autism. By providing opportunities for self-expression, social interaction, cognitive development, and emotional regulation, music can help children with special needs and autism reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

If you have a child with special needs or autism spectrum disorder, we encourage you to consider the benefits of music education and to explore the music programs and lessons available at our music school. We have a class called “Little Explorers” for children grades 1 -3 that meets once a month. We are here to support you and your child on your musical journey and to help you discover the transformative power of music.

music works academy beatrice Heather Korn director

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

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Welcome to Music Works Academy

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a boy playing guitar

As a new student or family embarking on the journey of music education, Music Works Academy is delighted to welcome you to our community of musicians and music lovers. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, we are here to support and guide you every step of the way.

Learning to play a musical instrument or to sing is an incredibly rewarding experience that can enhance your life in countless ways. Not only does it improve cognitive skills such as memory, attention, and coordination, but it also fosters creativity, self-expression, and emotional well-being. Music can bring people together, connect us to our cultural heritage, and inspire us to achieve our goals.

At Music Works Academy, we believe that everyone can learn and enjoy music, regardless of age, background, or ability. Our highly qualified teachers are passionate about teaching and have years of experience in a variety of musical genres and styles. They are committed to tailoring their lessons to meet the individual needs and goals of each student, whether they want to learn classical piano, rock guitar, jazz vocals, or any other instrument or style.

We offer a comprehensive music education program that covers all aspects of music learning, including theory, technique, ear training, sight-reading, ensemble playing, and performance skills. Our curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation in music fundamentals while also allowing students to explore their personal interests and develop their unique musical voice. We use a variety of teaching methods and resources to keep our lessons engaging, fun, and effective.

In addition to private lessons, we also offer group classes, workshops, and performances that allow students to interact with their peers and showcase their talents. We believe that music is a social activity that thrives on collaboration and communication, and we encourage our students to participate in various musical activities both inside and outside of the academy. We also provide opportunities for students to participate in exams, competitions, and festivals that can further enhance their skills and confidence.

At Music Works Academy, we are committed to providing a safe, supportive, and inclusive learning environment where all students feel valued and respected. We believe that music has the power to bring people together and to promote understanding and harmony in our community. We welcome students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities and strive to create a diverse and vibrant musical community.

We are thrilled to welcome you to Music Works Academy and to share our passion for music with you. We believe that music is an essential part of life and that learning to play an instrument or to sing can be a transformative experience that can enrich your life in many ways. We are committed to providing you with the best possible music education and to helping you achieve your musical goals. Whether you want to become a professional musician or simply enjoy playing music for your own pleasure, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Let’s make music together!

music works academy beatrice Heather Korn director

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Want to get our newsletters, blog post and enrollment information? Sign up for our mailing list here:

The Benefits of Preschool Music & Movement Classes

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preschool music and movement classes music works academy

Music and movement classes are a great way to introduce young children to the world of music and help them develop various skills that are essential for their overall growth and development. Preschool children, in particular, can greatly benefit from participating in music and movement classes as it helps them get ready to start school and build a strong foundation for their future academic success.

Take our Preschool Summer Music Class Survey Here

Here are some of the key benefits of starting preschool children in music and movement classes:

  1. Improves motor skills: Music and movement classes are designed to help children develop their gross and fine motor skills. Through various activities such as dancing, marching, and clapping, children learn to coordinate their movements and improve their balance, strength, and flexibility. These skills are essential for various activities that children will encounter in school, such as playing sports and participating in physical education classes.
  2. Enhances cognitive development: Participating in music and movement classes can also enhance children’s cognitive development. Music has been shown to stimulate various areas of the brain, including those responsible for language, memory, and attention. Through music activities such as singing, listening, and playing instruments, children can develop their cognitive skills, such as language and literacy, math, and problem-solving.
  3. Boosts social skills: Music and movement classes provide an excellent opportunity for children to socialize with their peers and develop their social skills. By participating in group activities and working together, children learn important social skills such as cooperation, communication, and empathy. These skills are essential for success in school and in life.
  4. Fosters creativity: Music and movement classes also foster creativity in children. By exploring different rhythms, melodies, and movements, children can develop their imagination and creativity. They learn to express themselves through music and movement, which can help them become more confident and self-assured.
  5. Helps with self-regulation: Music and movement classes can also help children develop their self-regulation skills. By learning to control their movements and actions, children can develop their self-discipline and self-control. These skills are essential for success in school, as children need to be able to sit still and focus for extended periods of time.

In addition to these benefits, music and movement classes can also help preschool children get ready to start school. By participating in these classes, children can develop the skills and behaviors that are essential for success in school. For example, they learn to follow instructions, take turns, and work together with their peers. They also learn to listen and respond to verbal cues, which is an important skill for classroom learning.

In conclusion, music and movement classes can provide numerous benefits to preschool children. By developing their motor skills, enhancing their cognitive development, boosting their social skills, fostering creativity, and helping with self-regulation, children can build a strong foundation for their future academic success. If you are a parent or caregiver of a preschooler, consider enrolling them in a music and movement class today to give them the best possible start in life.

If you’re ready to start your child on their journey in music you can easily ENROLL here or Contact us for more information.

music works academy beatrice Heather Korn director

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

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Why We’re a Music School that Offers Yoga Classes

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Music and yoga are two art forms that have been cherished by cultures around the world for centuries. Both practices involve connecting with oneself, channeling energy, and creating harmony. While music is the art of sound, yoga is the art of mindful movement and breath. Despite their differences, they share many similarities in their approach to healing and self-expression.

It is no surprise then that many music schools are now incorporating yoga into their curriculum. At the intersection of music and yoga lies a powerful practice that can benefit both musicians and the wider community in numerous ways. Let us explore some of the benefits of yoga for musicians and how it can enrich the lives of all people.

Benefits of Yoga for Musicians

  1. Improved Posture and Breath Control

As musicians, posture and breath control are crucial to their performance. A hunched back or shallow breath can affect the quality of sound produced. Yoga can help musicians improve their posture and breathing techniques through various asanas and pranayama exercises. These exercises help increase lung capacity, improve diaphragmatic control, and enhance the overall quality of sound.

  1. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

The life of a musician can be stressful, with constant rehearsals, performances, and tours. This can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, which can affect their mental health. Yoga is a great way to manage stress and anxiety levels. Practicing yoga regularly can help reduce cortisol levels and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, inducing a state of relaxation and calmness.

  1. Increased Body Awareness and Flexibility

Playing an instrument requires a high level of physical coordination and dexterity. Yoga can help improve body awareness, balance, and flexibility, which are essential for any musician. Various yoga asanas target specific muscle groups, which can help musicians develop strength, stability, and agility.

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Benefits of Yoga for the Wider Community

  1. Improved Physical Health

Yoga is an excellent way to improve overall physical health. It can help prevent and manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. It can also help alleviate back pain, improve joint mobility, and increase flexibility. Incorporating yoga into one’s routine can lead to a healthier and more active lifestyle.

  1. Increased Mental Well-being

In addition to physical health, yoga can also improve mental health. It is a great way to manage stress and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance cognitive function. Practicing yoga regularly can help promote a sense of inner calm and reduce the symptoms of depression.

  1. Sense of Community

Yoga is not just a personal practice but also a communal one. Practicing yoga with others can create a sense of community and belonging. It is an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, build relationships, and share experiences. This can help foster a sense of social support and enhance overall well-being.

Yoga is a powerful practice that can benefit both musicians and the wider community. Its ability to improve posture, breath control, reduce stress, and increase body awareness can enhance the performance of musicians. It can also lead to improved physical and mental health and foster a sense of community among individuals. Incorporating yoga into a music school’s curriculum can provide students with a holistic approach to learning and help them become well-rounded artists. Furthermore, offering yoga classes to the wider community can promote a healthier and more connected society. It can also have positive impacts on our youth and their ability to learn and become contributing members of our community.

Our teacher, Ginger Hunt, has many yoga teaching certifications to work with all ages and types of yoga and meditation. Take our Summer Yoga Series Survey to let us know what kind of yoga and meditation classes you are interested in and we will design a yoga class series for you! Take our survey here: Summer Yoga Series Survey

music works academy beatrice Heather Korn director

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Want to get our newsletters, blog post and enrollment information? Sign up for our mailing list here:

Summer is the Best Time to Start Music Lessons

Summer is upon us, and with it comes the promise of sunny days, warm weather, and plenty of time for relaxation and fun. But did you know that summer is also the perfect time of year to start learning a new instrument? Here are just a few reasons why signing up for music lessons this summer could be the best decision you make all year.

First and foremost, Summer offers a more relaxed and flexible schedule. With school out of session and many extracurricular activities on hiatus, students have more free time to devote to learning an instrument. This means they can take longer lessons, practice more frequently, and progress more quickly. Additionally, the lack of academic pressure and deadlines can make for a more enjoyable and fulfilling learning experience.

Another benefit of learning an instrument in the Summer is the opportunity to participate in music camps and workshops. Summer provides students with a chance to immerse themselves in their instrument of choice giving students a chance to showcase their newfound skills and gain confidence in their abilities.

You might be surprised at how much progress a student can make in the 8 – 10 weeks of Summer lessons that we offer for private and group lesson students. We invite you to experience the Summer with Us! Our Summer Lessons and Classes are enrolling now!

Summer is the best time for learning a new instrument! Our Summer lessons and classes are enrolling now!

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Studio and Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Want to get our newsletters, blog post and enrollment information? Sign up for our mailing list here:

Learn about Music: How Playing An Instrument Benefits Your Brain

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Teaching Kids to Practice: 3 Things Parents Can Do…Today!

Music lessons are an investment into your child’s future. The benefits of learning music and playing instruments will help your child succeed in all aspects of their lives. What is the number ONE reason kids stop music lessons? PRACTICE!!

How’s it going over there with your music students’ at home Practice? I’ve been doing this a long time and I know that there are always times during the course or music lessons when at home practice starts to fall by the wayside.  

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The biggest “reason” is time management (also known as “we’ve been too busy“). Who are the biggest players in making sure practice is happening outside of lessons? PARENTS!!

Let’s formulate a plan TODAY to get your music student back on the track of making more progress in their weekly music lessons.

In my full time career as a professional private music educator for over 25 years I have taught hundreds of kids and parents how to achieve success in music lessons and how to successfully practice at home. It’s not a magic formula but it does require one piece of magic which I like to call “CONSISTENCY“.

The number one question I get from parents about lessons is “How much should he/she be practicing?” I expect from my beginning private students 15 minutes a day 5 – 6 days a week. That amounts to a MINIMUM  of 1 HOUR a week of at home practice between lessons. 15 minutes seems like a long time to kids especially today when they have so many “fast” distractions. Starting with a 15 minute time block is achievable and helps kids to establish daily consistency.

Think about the time and money “investment” you are making in lessons. An “investment” in lessons mean you should be seeing a return on your investment and in music lessons a “return” on the “investment” means steady forward progress, EVERY week so that the next “building block” of music can be put in place.

3 things you can Do today that will immediately IMprove your child’s at home practice routine

music works academy beatrice music students practice tips

FIRST…

MAKE A SCHEDULE:
Kids in music lessons are building new brain neural pathways when they learn music. To make these pathways “stick” so that they can continue to move forward they must be looking at their lesson materials everyday.

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Choose 1 or 2 days when you know that it’s not going to be a great day to get it in as your “OFF” days. This can vary each week or stay the same, it’s up to you! On school days, practice ideally should be as soon as possible after school.

Practicing music is a TERRIFIC “brain break” from school work and will engage your child’s brain with high firing neurological activity which will help with attitude, focus and attention, finishing homework, reading and memorizing.

Keep a spare calendar set aside just for recording practice time if that is helpful for your child. Some kids really love to keep “track” as they go.

PRACTICE PITFALLS:
*Avoid saving music practice until the last thing of the day – this is very unproductive. Try to schedule it as a “break” activity from other studying earlier in the day – you might really be surprised at how it improves other things.


Second…

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USE A TIMER!

Younger kids especially have a hard time with “TIME”. If you say “practice for 15 minutes” that is hard for them to understand. The best way to solve that problem is with the TIMER.

The “Practice Log Timer” in your student portal is a great tool to use because you can use the timer feature or enter the time manually. Using the Practice Log will also give you a running total and stats as you go. There’s no “so-so” guessing, your Student Portal Practice Log will keep track of it for you and all you have to do is log in and use it.

It’s really that EASY!! and Before you know it that 15 minutes is going to be turning into 20, 25, 30 minutes because it becomes “do-able!”


THIRD…

SET UP A REWARD SYSTEM!

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Yes parents, you heard me correctly – we have to implement SOME kind of rewards plan. Kids NEED to work towards something – that is how they operate (but you already know this!)  

If your child is having a hard time with daily at home practice, it’s time to bring in the BIG CARROT!! Set up a rewards plan. This needs to be something your child loves and will work for and it HAS to be attainable. Aim for every 10 – 14 days to achieve the reward – 30 days to a kid is TOO LONG!  Finally, you’re going to have to change the reward system as they grow. One thing may work for 6 months and then it starts to fizzle. Be prepared for changing things up! It has to be a goal that they can view as easily reached if they just put in a little bit of work every day. 
BE FUN! BE CREATIVE PARENTS!

Some ideas:  
Every 14 days of practice goals met receives:

  • Ice Cream treats
  • Trip to the Dollar Store
  • Activity with Friends
  • OTHER Special rewards – you know what your child loves and what motivates them!

Let me know how it worked for you in the comments!


music works academy beatrice Heather Korn director

Heather Korn is a master teaching artist with a career of over 25 years teaching music students full time and preparing students for professional careers in music and the arts. She owns and operates Music Works Studio and Music Works Academy in Beatrice, Nebraska.

Want to get our newsletters, blog post and enrollment information? Sign up for our mailing list here:

Music Works Expands to a NEW Location in Beatrice – NOW OPEN!

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Music Works Academy Beatrice 2920 E Court Street - Music Lessons and Classes.

Heather Korn has expanded her Music Works Studio to a NEW Location in Beatrice to meet the needs of the Southeast Nebraska Corner of the State.

he Mission of the Music Works Academy is to provide Music and Performing Arts Education to our community in Southeast Nebraska.

We strive to provide services that help all ages of people to bring music and performing arts into their lives. We aim to provide positive educational experiences for our students and instructors. We focus on connecting great students with great teachers. Some of our classes and lessons will be traditional but we also offer more creative options if you are looking for fun music activities or if you want to try out an instrument and see how goes!

Music Works Academy – 2920 E. Court Street – Beatrice is now open and enrolling for group classes and private lessons!