Teaching Students with Special Needs

Teaching Students with Special Needs

Ryan Hourigan, Ball State University

MUSED 505- Special Topics
Class 73281, Section 203
Moore 2058

This workshop will focus on the Music Teaching and Learning and Children with Special Needs. Specifically, the aim of the week will be on the following aspects of teaching music to children with disabilities: (a) Navigating the Special Education System (Including Special Education Law); (b) Adapting, Accommodating, and modifying music content for Children with Special Needs at all levels of instruction; (c) Issues associated with mainstreaming and inclusion. All of the topics will be explored through learning domains (e.g. communication, cognition, behavior, sensory, etc.) in order for participants to gain skills and understandings for all children with learning differences. This workshop is targeted for music educators at all levels of instruction as well as both ensemble and general music teachers.

Ryan Hourigan (2010 Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year) joined the faculty at Ball State University in the fall of 2006 after nine years of teaching music at the secondary and university level. Dr. Hourigan holds degrees from Eastern Illinois University (B.M.), Michigan State University (M.M. Wind Conducting) and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The University of Michigan. Dr. Hourigan currently teaches music education and is the Director of the School of Music at Ball State University.

Currently in its fifth printing, Hourigan is the co-author (Alice Hammel) of Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach. This is a comprehensive text written by practicing music educators, music teacher educators and researchers in the field of teaching music to children with special needs. Hourigan and Hammel’s second book Teaching Music to Students with Autism was released in the fall 2013.

In 2009, Hourigan co-founded the Prism Project. This program provides an opportunity for Ball State students to gain skills in the area of teaching students with special needs. In 2013, Dr. Hourigan, along with Families Helping Families of Greater New Orleans expanded the Prism Project to the city of New Orleans and will be expanding to other cities around the United States in 2015.

Starting in 2012, Dr. Hourigan provided a series of presentations for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His workshop: Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts: Implications for Inclusive Arts Classrooms is now on the National Roster of presentations through the Kennedy Center. He has since been added to the National Speaker’s Bureau for the John F. Kennedy Center.

Dr. Hourigan has been published or is in press in most of the major music education journals. His article (along with Amy Hourigan) entitled Teaching Music to Children with Autism was the most downloaded article for the Music Educators Journal for 2012.