Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Local music educators working with people with disabilities receive national attention

An ongoing collaboration between two local music educators to bring the pleasures and benefits of music to adults with disabilities recently was recognized nationally when Lyn Schraer-Joiner of Kean University and Marguerite Modero of the Community Access Unlimited's Academy of Continuing Education (ACE) presented at the 2018 Research Conference of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) in Atlanta.

Schraer-Joiner is the coordinator for Music Education and an associate professor at Kean. Modero is the music director at ACE, a school created to allow adults with disabilities to continue their education after turning 21. ACE is part of Community Access Unlimited, which supports people with disabilities and at-risk youth.

Modero and Schraer-Joiner have been collaborating for three years on a continually evolving program that teams ACE students with music education students at Kean, with the Kean students teaching the CAU members how to play musical instruments and create musical composition.

Sign Up for E-News

"Music is the great unifier," Schraer-Joiner said. "It connects all people equally and brings them together. Music bonds and that's what happened to us."

Added Modero, "Music is the great equalizer in that it gives our students the chance to achieve what everyone else can achieve and be judged for their abilities and not their disabilities."

What began as an effort to introduce music to people with disabilities has blossomed into a growing formal program. Several years ago the CAU members and Kean students began staging a collaborative concert, held at the Wilkins Theater at Kean University and drawing more than 500 attendees. Last year the Kean and ACE students formed bands called CAU Rocks and The Keaniacs.

"We saw how music impacted the ACE members' lives, how working with others in a music setting could make them feel better about themselves," Schraer-Joiner said. "Their outlook and how they carried themselves changed for the better."

Last fall Schraer-Joiner and Modero took the next step, creating a three-day music composition class in which CAU members collectively wrote a song titled, "Peaceful Mind," which was performed at this year's collaborative concert.

All this caught the attention of NAfME and Schraer-Joiner and Modero were asked to present at the association's national conference, speaking to an audience of music educators and researchers.

"Our presentation was well-received by the music educators in attendance who represent all levels and areas of research in the field," Schraer-Joiner said. "We were there to deliver a message that these populations should not be ignored, that there are many voices and they should be given the opportunity."

As a result of the NAfME presentation, Schraer-Joiner and Modero have been invited to present at the Teacher Symposium at Columbia University in New York at the end of May.

"This is a validation of the time and effort we put into promoting the arts for people with disabilities," said Modero. "Every time I do these presentations I'm brought back to the feeling of pride I have for the members of CAU. They overcome so many obstacles and always surpass our goals."

Community Access Unlimited (CAU) is a statewide Union County-based nonprofit providing support programs and services to adults with disabilities as well as at-risk youth to enable them to live independently in the community, providing support in areas including housing, vocational skills, and life-skills training, education, advocacy, and recreation.

About Community Access Unlimited

Community Access Unlimited (CAU), celebrating its 39th year in 2018, supports people with special needs in achieving real lives in the community. CAU provides support and gives voice to adults and youth who traditionally have little support and no voice in society. CAU helps people with housing, life skills, employment, money management, socialization and civic activities. CAU also supports opportunities for advocacy through training in assertiveness, decision-making and civil right. CAU currently serves more than 6,000 individuals and families, with the number served growing each year. For more information about CAU and its services, contact us by phone at 908.354.3040, online at www.caunj.org or by mail at 80 West Grand Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Free Living History Event Showcases World War I Centennial

April 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders invites residents and visitors to experience battlefield life as a World War I American Salvation Army volunteer, featuring Ms. Laurie MacDonald-Gaulke, actress and storyteller, in a special free presentation of “Doughnuts for Doughboys: A Salvation Army Lassie in France.”

Doughnuts for Doughboys takes place on Tuesday, April 25 at ...

Softball: Justina Benvenuto Named Union Catholic's Girls Conference Athlete of Week

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- After bursting on the scene with a fabulous freshman softball season at Union Catholic last year, there was a lot of hype surrounding Justina Benvenuto as she entered her sophomore season.

Benvenuto has more than lived up to all the lofty expectations, both on the mound and at the plate as she has sparked the Vikings to a 6-1 record this spring.

Benvenuto has been ...

Lunch & Learn: 'Israel at 70: Its Meaning and Value in Jewish Identity' with Professor Kenneth W. Stein Apr. 22

SUMMIT, NJ - For four decades, Kenneth W. Stein has taught Middle Eastern History and Political Science at Emory University. His scholarship focuses on the politics of the modern Arab world, American foreign policy toward the Middle East, modern Israel, and the Arab-Israeli negotiating process. Stein earned awards at Emory for excellence in teaching and life-long mentorship of ...

Thank You, St. Joseph's Volunteers

April 16, 2018

Thank You from St. Joseph Social Service Center

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we would like to express our gratitude to the countless volunteers that serve the poor and homeless at St. Joseph Social Service Center in Elizabeth (http://www.sjeliz.org).  Whether you make a sandwich, collect toiletries, tutor in the job program, make soup, wrap Christmas gifts, donate food, ...

New Providence Borough Council to Cultivate Relationships with County Officials

April 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Robert Robinson touted the importance of personal relationships with Union County representatives at the Monday, April 9 council meeting.

Union County Freeholders Angel Estrada and Bette Jane Kowalski attended the Street Smart campaign kick-off event prior to the meeting providing the council members with the opportunity to chat face-to-face with the two ...

Chatham Township Committee Unanimously Adopts Ordinance to Ban Marijuana Retail Sales; Cannabis Advocates Disagree

April 13, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham Township Mayor Curt Ritter began the new year by pledging to oppose Gov. Phil Murphy's plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and Thursday night he followed through by voting to adopt an ordinance that prohibits "marijuana cultivation, production testing, manufacturing facilities and retail stores' in the township.

The Chatham Township Committee ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, April 19, 10:00 AM

American Legion Post 433, New Providence

Summit College Club Book Donations

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Thu, April 19, 10:00 AM

American Legion Post 433, New Providence

Summit College Club Book Donations

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back

Thu, April 19, 10:00 AM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Thursday Morning Book Group @NPML

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Think globally, act locally: What you can do to ...

Education Green

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison

METC hosting Travelers and Taverns: An Evening ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Food & Drink

Thu, April 19, 7:00 PM

summit free public library, summit

Celebrate Earth Day at Summit Public Library

Education Green Other

Getting Real About Retirement – Will You Have Enough Money to Remain Comfortable?

Let’s get real about retirement. Will you have enough to remain comfortable in retirement for 30 years or more?  Studies show this is a recurring fear many Americans have - and for good reason. Many Americans are completely unprepared to fund a comfortable retirement, and remain naive about the actual costs involved.  As a Fee-Only financial advisor, my number one priority is ...