SWFL Music Training Middle goals to assist neurodivergent college students
A world class music education center is coming to Southwest Florida. As 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 to such students in the United States.
“It is well documented that most neurodivergent young adults face major challenges in preparing for higher education and working life,” said Rob Moher, founder and chief executive officer of SWFLMEC. “There are currently few programs in the United States that are designed to fill this void, and we are fortunate enough to be working 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 state-of-the-art holistic music education and mentoring, we prepare students for meaningful growth opportunities and at the same time create a path to social integration, employment and enrichment. “
SWFLMEC has hired Jennifer Clark as vice president of the company to oversee operations, marketing, development and strategic initiatives. Ms. Clark, a graduate of the University of Florida and the Leadership Collier Class of 2021, brings extensive experience from multiple nonprofits in Southwest Florida and excels at community leadership and community engagement.
The nonprofit 501 (c) (3) will provide comprehensive music education for neurodivergent people such as those with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, socially pragmatic communication disorders, and anxiety related disorders related to neurodiversity. At the time of enrollment, the students must be between 16 and 30 years old, have a low to moderate need for support and demonstrate largely independent skills for self-help. Students should also have intermediate or advanced proficiency in music on one or more instruments, including voice, drums, strings, guitar, and piano / keyboard.
“At the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, as a catalyst for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the education of the visual and performing arts, we are excited about our partnership with SWFLMEC,” said Dr. Rhoda Bernard, founding executive director of the Berklee Institute for Art Education and Special Education. “We are particularly excited to make our internationally renowned training programs and initiatives available to local educators in Florida to better prepare and support them, students with autism and related anxiety and language disorders in music classes, in the studio, and in ensembles to reach. ”
Currently, the Southwest Florida Music Education Center offers an integrated program for all interested students through The Creative Group in Naples. In collaboration with the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs, specialized programs are currently being developed that include a two-year high school graduation music certificate and a four-year post-secondary music certificate focusing on core areas of musical skill development. Music education includes ensemble, individual tuition, and performance on one or more instruments; Music theory and ear training; Music history; and electives in areas such as music technology and production, electronic music, and songwriting. The focus on personal wellbeing is an integral part of the SWFLMEC curriculum.
In addition to music education, students acquire life skills such as: coping with fear through tried and tested strategies; adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle and build 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. The educational offerings in the community will start in autumn 2021 and the two- and four-year programs will start in autumn 2023.
Phase two of the project includes an on-site student residential center and dormitory. The Southwest Florida Music Education Center is currently seeking groundbreaking support for the construction of the new music center and dormitory, including land purchase and campus development. For more information or to support the project, contact Jennifer Clark at JenC@SWFLmusic.org or 239-205-8258 or visit swflmusic.org. |