Written by Rhoda Bernard
The Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs (BIAESN)is a catalyst for the inclusion of individuals with special needs in all aspects of performing and visual arts education. Our mission at BIAESN is threefold. First, we provide arts education programs, including private music lessons, music classes, ensembles, two adaptive dance programs, and a theatre program, all specifically for students with disabilities, ages 3 to 93. These programs provide a safe and nurturing environment that meets the individual needs of our students, providing opportunities for them to express themselves through the arts, and challenging them to become the best artists that they can be. Second, we are home to the only Masters in Music Education with a Concentration in Autism graduate program in the world. This program, offered through the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, seeks to prepare the next generation of music educators to work with students with autism and other special needs. Finally, BIAESN provides Professional Development opportunities for arts educators currently in the field who wish to broaden their skill set and provide a more equitable arts education experience for their students with disabilities.
Through these three initiatives, BIAESN is changing the landscape for students with disabilities both by providing opportunities right here at Berklee, and by helping to train current and future teachers near and far to provide better arts education opportunities for all their students.