On Thursday, March 16th the preschool classrooms had a wonderful program visit Lakeview School.  Rock Out Loud New Jersey is a program run by Jack Yocum, his wife Debra, and son Sean.  Jack Yocum is also the drummer in the popular band, The Nerds.  They bring music therapy programs to students in Special Education classrooms to foster social skills by incorporating rock band instruments that also encourage students to find their “inner rockstar.”  Following along with today’s popular music hits, such as “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and “Best Day of my Life,” the students were able to play the drums, guitars, keyboard, and sing into microphones all on their own.

Mrs. Oliver, a third year special education teacher at Lakeview worked diligently with her preschool colleagues Miss Julich and Ms. Zacharychuk and school counselor, Ms. Warner, to present the abilities music therapy would bring to students with disabilities.  With approval from the Board of Education, the program was able to visit the school, and it sure was everything they’d hoped for and more.  Each of the five classrooms had a half hour session to act as rockstars! The teachers were able to watch their shy students come out of their shells, and students with sensitivity to loud noises were the first ones to the microphones.  It was a magical experience for the school, students, and staff.

We cannot thank Jack and Debra enough for all of their hard work and enthusiasm of working with our students!  Our hope is to get the word out there of how successful this program was with our students, and look for grants and fundraising ideas to hopefully have the program visit more frequently.  Any school or educator who can see that music helps students with special needs, should contact Rock Out Loud.  It was truly an amazing experience, and we hope to see them soon!

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Thank you to our Superintendent, Mr. Forte, Director of Special Services, Mrs. Johnson, building Principal Mrs. Baisley, Vice Principal Mr. Scala, and to all of the preschool classroom support staff for all of their help in making our day so great!

http://www.rockoutloud.net/