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 supports 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

Cranford

Cranford H.S. Athletes of the Week: Anna Horne & Phil Marotta

April 17, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ - Due to impressive performances as goalies for varsity lacrosse, Anna Horne and Phil Marotta are Cranford High School's Athletes of the Week.

Horne, a junior, has 408 career saves. Her current total for the season is 84 saves as she helped lead the Cougars to victory in games against Montville and Governor Livingston.

"I like the team dynamic of lacrosse," ...

Video: ‘Sandwichfest’ in Westfield this Weekend Will Benefit Local Charities

April 19, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — This Sunday, from noon until 4 p.m., head to The James Ward Mansion in Downtown Westfield to taste sandwiches from some of the area’s best-loved restaurants and vote for your favorites.

Proceeds from the event will go to Greta’s Run (benefiting people with special needs) and A Birthday Wish (benefiting children in foster care).

Participating restaurants ...

Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless Announces Fundraiser Because There’s No Place Like Home

April 21, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – For the thousands of children who are either homeless or living with its threat, the phrase There’s No Place Like Home has a special, poignant meaning, one the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless knows well.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless will host its annual No Place Like Home to raise funds for its children’s ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

April 17, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity. Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

1. 04/10/2018 10:11 a.m.

North Avenue East and the Garden State Parkway 137 Exchange

Arrested: Manuel Ramos, 20, Newark

Arrested by: Ptl. Thomas ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 9:00 AM

Temple Beth-El Mekor Chayim, Cranford

Rummage Sale

Green Home & Garden

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...

Education

Wed, April 25, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (sponsored by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse

By LIZ KEILL

MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

It must be election season in Garwood

April 17, 2018

It must be election season in Garwood, because we have the inevitable "spin" of Bruce Paterson making its appearance on the editorial page.  I will respond, point by point, with actual facts, to last week’s letter.  

 

Sara Todisco is an elected member of the so called “insider committee” elected every two years by registered Garwood Democrats ...