Music Always Crosses Bridges

, , , , , , | Learning | September 20, 2020

I am a teaching assistant for students on the autism spectrum. I am assigned to one specific student. She is nonverbal, but she loves music, and part of our daily schedule is to sit in on one of the chorus rehearsals. She gets excited, stims by flapping her hands, and sometimes approaches soloists to hear their voices.

That summer, I spend some more time with her, including taking her out to the local mall for lunch and window-shopping. While we are eating lunch, she suddenly smiles and starts to stim. I look up and see one of the chorus students who has just graduated approaching.

Chorus Student: “Hi! I hope I’m not interrupting anything, but I wanted to say hello to [My Student].”

Me: “Well, I can tell she’s happy to see you.”

Chorus Student: “I’m glad she enjoyed our rehearsals! Even on the days when it felt like we weren’t making any progress, [My Student] was there smiling and having a good time. Knowing someone liked listening to us was really encouraging. It was great that she and her parents were able to attend the end-of-year concert.”

She talked to [My Student] for a few minutes before leaving, and [My Student] was delighted for the rest of the day. I am glad to this day that they both made a difference to each other.


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