ABLE Day 2

Sunday, April 10, 2022

- EDT
Keynote Presentation: Adrian Anantawan - Music Inclusion for All: Evolution and Adaptation
Adrian Anantawan
Adrian Anantawan
Violinist, Disability Advocate


Oftentimes, people with disabilities find the greatest challenges they face are the preconceived attitudes and biases of those around them. In an educative setting, this can lead to passive forms of discrimination, such as exclusionary practices, lowered expectations, and even unwanted sympathy. Not only do these practices limit the ceiling of development for the individual of a disability, they also limit an individual’s contributions to society. Attitudes of inclusion can also be challenged within a classroom setting—critics propose that students with disabilities are not adequately served unless they are separated from the classroom, working with specialists who are able to attend to their specific needs.

Adrian Anantawan, who was born missing his right hand, faced many of these exclusionary practices growing up, not only in the music classroom but in society at large. However, through the support of unique individuals across multiple disciplines, he was able to play the violin, beginning a journey that would lead him to perform at the White House, for the Dalai Lama, and at the Olympics. Anantawan will share the lessons he learned along the way of how to create inclusive practices at the intersections of music, education and disability, with the goal of lifting the ceiling of human potential for all.


Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Pre-Recorded Musical Performance: Sonata in A Major (II. Allegro)
Adrian Anantawan
Adrian Anantawan
Violinist, Disability Advocate

A performance of a piano/violin piece, "Sonata in A Major (II. Allegro)" by French composer Cesar Frank, interpreted by Adrian Anantawan.



- EDT
"Verbatim Bodies": for a theater that emerges from the physicality of the performers
Tra Nguyen
Tra Nguyen
Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Georgetown University, Global Fellow


“Verbatim Bodies” is a working hypothesis in theater-making. Comparable to the view of Alain Badiou that a being contains its multitude, it posits that the performing bodies already embed a multitude of characters. In conventional theater, a character implies a distance between it and the actor, and the movement from the latter to the former called acting. This impose of the character on the performer practically negates the performer’s actual physicality, resulting in the expulsion of performers of differently-able physicality's. “Verbatim Bodies” look to let-see the imaginative/fictional characters without moving towards a character, letting-seen the imaginative/fictional spaces around the actual performing bodies. When these spaces collide, a play happens. Drawing from the rich intertextual critical thinking of philosophy, performance, and visual art, this method is essential nowadays, considering the increasing urgency of “diversity” in theater-making.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Collaborative initiatives for mindful education through the arts in inclusive classroom environments
Sheila J. Scott
Sheila J. Scott
School of Music at Brandon University, Professor; Author


Many children with exceptionalities are challenged to grow academically, emotionally, and socially in typical school environments. Rather than require students to conform to traditional notions of school, it behooves leaders in education to transform learning environments to the needs of these learners. Our presenters share how approaches grounded in artistic experiences in music, movement, and visual art may create mindful environments for learning. The session opens with an explanation of how this collaboration emerged. Sheila Scott describes facets of an emerging mindfulness program for children in elementary schools, including an overview of weekly 30 minute classroom experiences. Shannon Vogel and Bobbi Schaminee describe how they integrate these activities in mindfulness into the daily routines in their classrooms, highlighting how the activities and resulting classroom environments benefit exceptional learners in these inclusive educational settings.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Creating Accessibility in Classical Music Institutions
Erin Parkes
Erin Parkes
McGill University; University of Ottowa; Lotus Centre, Researcher; Adjuct Professor; Founder


There is a longstanding tradition of “gatekeeping” in the classical music world. It is designed to only allow those who are dedicated and talented enough reach the upper levels of music education. Built into that culture of high achievement is a fundamental lack of accessibility for many. Traditional Western classical music education institutions are rife with barriers that create a culture of exclusion, rather than inclusion. In this presentation, we will take a hard look at the barriers that exist in our classical music institutions. What are the policies and practices that contribute to exclusion? What cultural conditions exist in classical music that create barriers to accessibility? What systemic and cultural changes need to take place to allow people of all abilities to access music learning at all levels? This is a call to action for music educators and policy makers.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Inclusive Bands: Creating Music Together
Shirley Winner
Shirley Winner
IMAGINE, Founder & CEO


IMAGINE believes that true social change and diversity tolerance grows out of common experiences.

This concept inspired us to establish and operate inclusive bands with musicians with and without special needs. These bands offer participants musical knowledge of classical music instruments alongside technological, opportunity to create and compose musical works, empowering experiences, development of personal skills, teamwork and life skills.

IMAGINE uses a unique pedagogy developed for these bands using innovative teaching methods and incorporates psychological and educational approaches that focus on inclusion and accessibility. Our bands focus on the ability and strengths of each participant and create empowering experience to all participants. This project is working yearly with over 1000 participants nationwide in both schools and afternoon programs. This pedagogy works with full collaboration with the ministry of education and has won 2 international education awards.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Linking music, language, and literacy: using research to create an inclusive music classroom accessible to diverse learners.
Jessica Wyton
Jessica Wyton
The Southport School, Musical Director
Jennifer Zuk
Jennifer Zuk
Boston University, Assistant Professor, Director of the Communication and Neurodevelopment Lab (BU)
Kathleen Gallagher
Kathleen Gallagher
The Southport School, Head of Lower School


The Southport School, an independent day school for students with dyslexia and ADHD collaborated with a cognitive neuroscience researcher from Boston University to create a universally designed, general education music program that targets the domains of language and literacy for students with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. There have been many studies investigating engagement in music in relation to language and learning abilities among students with learning disabilities and ADHD. The presenters will provide an overview of key research linking music, language, and domains related to reading, and demonstrate how to use this research to target non-musical effects of music instruction and its applications in rhythm and timing, pitch, and music notation. Participants will learn how to create a multi-modal, engaging, and inclusive music education classroom that speaks to finding music in the world, allowing students access to a music education that incorporates a variety of learning styles.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Music for All: Developing Music Instruction for Students with Higher Support Needs
Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
Brian J. Wagner-Yeung
New York State Special Music Association; NYC Department of Education; CUNY Brooklyn College, Special Learners Chair; Special Education Music Educator; Adjunct Instructor


Music education is a foundational, educational and experiential right for every student. Nevertheless, many music teachers might feel challenged when working with students who require more support in the music classroom. Nevertheless, music teachers can find creative and innovative ways to engage all levels of students as independently as possible. This session will focus on engaging students with limited verbal ability, students who may require hand-over-hand assistance, and students with limited ambulatory access. Music educators will leave with strategies that focus on utilizing a strength-based model, utilizing universal design and assistive technology to give all students access to music-making, and bettering the lives overall of all students through music.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Using Design Examples in Arts Courses as On-Going Advocacy for Inclusion in Art and Design Teaching and Projects
Samantha Goss
Samantha Goss
University of Northern Iowa, Assistant Professor


Inclusive design and teaching both consider function and specific audiences. In order to help my students better understand benefits can extend beyond the target audience and to advocate inclusive design, I use DeafSpace as an example in a History of Design class to consider how specific design solutions from that project are beneficial for everyone’s contemporary daily life, as well as questioning why there is still much left to address 31 years after the ADA going into effect. In this presentation, I will use this example to speak to the relationship between a design perspective and the strategic thinking of being an inclusive arts educator. I will share design examples and their problem-solving perspectives that I use when teaching arts and arts education courses to encourage mindsets of possibility as well as seeing how the solutions for exceptional individuals are often beneficial for all.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
What are we Teaching Teachers? A call to reimagine inclusivity in art education
Chris Hanson
Chris Hanson
Seattle Pacific University, Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Music Education and Orchestral Activities


In this session, Dr. Hanson will discuss what and how we are educating pre-service teachers about inclusivity and the arts. Hanson will offer an informal autoethnography detailing his experiences preparing for and teaching courses focused on serving special populations through music. The session will address specific elements of teacher pedagogy and present strategies and resources for designing and facilitating courses on the topic of inclusive teaching in the arts.

Looking to dive deeper into the content of the session? Check out these supporting materials:

- EDT
Day-Ending Synthesis Session

This session previously occurred live and synchronously.

- EDT
Live Open Networking Session

This session previously occurred live and synchronously.