The Music Therapy Institute at Music Conservatory of Westchester Receives Grant from
Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism for $6,510
White Plains, NY (April 22, 2019) – The Music Therapy Institute at Music Conservatory of Westchester is pleased to announce it has received a $6,510 grant from the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. These funds will support the Music Therapy Institute’s initiative to provide accessible music technology resources for children with autism to encourage communication and self-expression through music.
The Music Therapy Institute is the largest comprehensive program in the greater Westchester County region to provide professional music therapy for children on the autism spectrum. Through onsite programs at the Conservatory and partnerships with eleven public school districts and three therapeutic preschools in Westchester County, the Institute’s ten Board Certified music therapists will serve more than 1,400 children this school year. One third of these students have autism spectrum disorders. This funding will assist the Conservatory’s music therapists in their efforts to expand opportunities that will continue to positively impact children and teens in the region. The inclusion of these devices will offer the students access to music technology and will help them develop skills to use these resources independently for creative self-expression.
It has been documented that music therapy helps children with autism develop language and communication skills, and in some cases enables the child to eventually enter integrated and mainstream classrooms in school. This has a significant impact on outcomes for children on the autism spectrum as they progress to high school, college or vocational training, and future careers. By incorporating technology-based music activities within each session, the music therapist further inspires children to develop life skills supporting a brighter future.
“Technology has become a vitally important component in every child’s education,” says Jean Newton, Executive Director of the Music Conservatory of Westchester. “Thanks to the Flutie Foundation’s Allison Keller Education Technology Grant, the Conservatory will be able to incorporate technology into the educational and therapeutic music experiences we provide for kids on the autism spectrum.”
“The Flutie Foundation Allison Keller Education Technology Grants help our partner agencies address a variety of significant needs in the autism community,” says Nick Savarese, Executive Director of The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism. “Programs like the Music Therapy Institute are helping people on the autism spectrum live life to the fullest and we are proud to support their efforts.”
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, based in Framingham, MA, awards grants annually through a competitive application and review process. The Allison Keller Education Technology grants that the Flutie Foundation distributes each year help to support family-focused programs in three key areas: promoting active lifestyles, improving access to services, and enhancing the independence of adults with autism.
About the Music Conservatory of Westchester and Music Therapy Institute
Founded in 1929 and celebrating its 90th anniversary, The Music Conservatory of Westchester is a not-for-profit community music school dedicated to providing the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community. We serve 2,800 students of all ages and abilities with individual instrumental and vocal instruction, Suzuki and early childhood programs, theory, ensembles, adult programs, and free community performances. The Conservatory has inspired generations of students, and contributed to a vibrant musical life in the county, the region, and beyond.
The Music Therapy Institute at Music Conservatory of Westchester is the largest music therapy program in the greater Westchester County region having touched the lives of more than 20,000 children and adults with disabilities since its inception in 1986. Onsite at the Conservatory, the Institute offers individual music therapy and adapted instrumental instruction for students with disabilities, and provides scholarships for those with financial need. The Institute also provides group therapy on an outreach basis in partnership with 35 organizations including public school districts, special education programs, medical facilities and social service agencies. Through full tuition scholarships, the Institute’s Healing Our Heroes program offers U.S. military veterans specialized music therapy individual and group sessions to help with recovery after their service. For more information about programs at the Music Conservatory of Westchester, visit www.musicconservatory.org.
About the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism
The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism (DFJFA) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation helping families affected by autism live life to the fullest. Through programs and partnerships, DFJF helps people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence. NFL Quarterback Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie, whose personal experience raising a son on the autism spectrum inspired their passion to help other families, established the Foundation in 1998. DFJFA primarily serves families throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, and Central Florida. For more information on The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, visit www.flutiefoundation.org.