Every Child Needs Music

"A tearful thank you from a mother who thought there would never be a day when she could go to a musical performance with her autistic son touches me more deeply and enduringly than any ovation I may have received in Europe or the States.  For during an Azure performance, for a short period of time, this mother feels like she is not alone but part of a community.  Her child, feeling like any child the need for love, acceptance and success, witnesses on Mom’s face happiness and contentment, rather than pain and disappointment.  And hopefully the power of music, perhaps through the slow movement of Debussy’s Quartet or by way of a Beethoven Moonlight, can allow both to be transported together to a place of peace and beauty, free from fear and worry." - Stephen Prutsman

Tips for a Combative Teen

When a student is "combative," she's trying to communicate with you.

Though everyone is under many different pressures in their lives, teenage students are under a complex and changing set of influences, which make their experience unique. Actions, body language, and other behaviors are simply alternate forms of communication that we all use throughout our lives when we are somehow unable to communicate through language. 

Ten Tips for Interviewing a Prospective Student

1. Be yourself.

Fill your studio with students who like you and what you have to offer. Trust your intuition. 

2. Pay close attention to the relationship between parent and child.

You will become a part of this family system. Does this relationship seem healthy?  Is this a family you feel comfortable with? Do you like the parents? Do the parents let their child speak for herself? Do they interrupt or speak on their behalf? 

Here are some of the things I like to do at interviews. Obviously, there isn't time for every one at every first meeting. These are all things I've done and found useful.

Peek-A-Boo Window

"Just close your eyes."

Hmmm. Now that she has her eyes closed I had to think of something fast. I grabbed some pink Post-Its and stickers and made a Peek-a-Book Window.

"OK, you can open your eyes now."

She saw the Puppy and Lizard. Huge smile.