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

County of Union to Fly Rainbow Flag for the First Time on June 4

May 24, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - A rainbow flag will fly for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced they are holding a public Pride Flag Raising Ceremony for Monday, June 4 at 1 p.m. on the steps of the historic Union County Courthouse on Broad Street in Elizabeth.

“Raising the rainbow flag ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Free Family Movie Night at Hanson Park featuring the Movie Coco

May 26, 2018

Bring your blankets and chairs and join us for a Movie in the Park on Saturday, July 14th at Hanson Park, 38 Springfield Ave. in Cranford.  The feature presentation will be Coco, a 2017 animated fantasy film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The story follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel Rivera who is accidentally transported ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

May 22, 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. 05/17/2018 @ 2012 hrs.

North Avenue East and the Garden State Parkway 137 Exchange

Arrested: Charles McKoy, 19, North Plainfield

Arrested by: Ptl. James ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 1, 8:00 AM

Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough Township

Liam's Room 5th Annual Charity Golf Outing

Giving Back Sports

Carousel_image_1da61d9690df0a4b2374_264c0972082c640e3c33_20180411_093814

Fri, June 1, 5:00 PM

Cranford Elks, Cranford

Spaghetti Dinner and Tricky Tray to Benefit Relay ...

Food & Drink

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...

I'm Excited To See What Sara Todisco Will Do As Mayor.

May 25, 2018

My first time hearing the name Sara Todisco was when reading about her in a newspaper article during her first year on Council. A couple citizens made comments about her age and how they thought she was too young on an anonymous online forum. I responded that here was a young person eager to get involved in our town. We should give her a chance and if we weren't satisfied, we could ...