I’ll elaborate further on this in later reflections but for now I wanted to reflect on the immediate success of using a music-themed book in my music class today for the 2nd graders. There’s an autistic child who can sometimes get quite overwhelmed by the noise that happens during the course of the music class. He then excludes himself from the activity and it’s something that bothered me in our last class together. Well today when I read this book “Be Quiet, Mike!” it was the first moment in the class where I don’t think an outside observer would’ve been able to tell which child was autistic or felt excluded. He was so engaged and participated in all of the call and response activities that this book naturally provides. Perhaps books are a less intimidating language for him because it’s something that he’s familiar with, or perhaps it was just a great book… All I know is when he yelled “Be quiet Mike!” with all the other kids, I know he felt included.
Integrating literacy with music was my wife’s idea, and I’m so glad I have the chance to use it as a strategy for teaching all students.