Music therapist Ahjay Stelino, who publishes as ahjaystelino, explains how he uses music in the classroom to help students who have learning difficulties
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I work as a music therapist with students who have learning needs in Auckland, New Zealand. I have over 10 years’ experience in this field and have worked with students who have a wide range of disabilities.
I’m also a professional musician, guitar tutor and own a music studio. I play a range of musical instruments, but focus mostly on guitar. I like to spend time recording, mixing and mastering music of all types of genres.
Why did you decide to join TES and share your resources?
Throughout my years of teaching, I have created a range of resources that teachers I work with have always found useful. I was keen to share these tried-and-tested resources with the wider community and TES seemed like the ideal platform to do so!
What do you think makes a good resource?
Good resources are focused and ensure that students reach a targeted goal. I think these resources should be tested with groups of students, and tweaked if necessary, before being shared with the wider public.
How does the use of songs enhance teaching?
They enhance teaching in two ways. Firstly, songs are easy to remember and catchy lyrics can help students to learn and recall new concepts. Secondly, music is a familiar social activity and that can make digesting new information more enjoyable for learners.
How does music support students with learning difficulties?
Music has the power to help learners reach a range of social, emotional, physical, communication and cultural needs. It is a language that does not require words, therefore bypassing cognitive impairments and connecting to a person at a primal level.
What tip would you give to a teacher who is considering publishing their resources on TES?
Give it a go! It's great to see resource ideas that were developed in my head now being used all over the world!
Ahjay Stelino’s songs for learning shop
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