Music students work with local special education children

Brianna Marshall

Writer

Students and faculty in the music department will continue providing music education to special education programs in the greater Lewisburg area.

Associate Professor of Music Kim Councill founded the program, known as Musical Universe in Special Education (MUSE), to create an opportunity for students to do important, charitable work.

“The satisfaction is immediate–as soon as you see these children’s faces light up when they are making and participating in music, you can’t help but be blown away with how wonderful it is to be a part of this,” Councill said.

MUSE participants from the University visit classrooms in both Selinsgrove and Mifflinburg school districts to work with 60 special education students ranging from ages eight to 21. The students have various special needs, including Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, and other conditions.

Sophomore and junior music education majors participate in MUSE in conjunction with Music for the Exceptional Child, a major-related course taught by Councill. The course includes the planning and teaching of music lessons in special education classrooms and assisting the children in participation, such as playing musical instruments. University students also observe Councill’s lessons in order to gain expertise in instructing special education children.

Volunteers from any major or area of interest can volunteer for the program. Special education children are extremely receptive to the involvement of college students, Councill said.

“College kids are cool and these children just eat up all of their attention,” Councill said.  “Bucknell students walk away from this experience really feeling like they’ve made a positive difference.”

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