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Loyola University New Orleans Presents “Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts”

Loyola press release - March 21, 2017

Instructors are noticing increasing numbers of students on the autism spectrum in their classrooms. To address the heightened need for pathways to reach and teach students with autism, Loyola University New Orleans’ College of Music and Fine Arts presents “Reaching Students with Autism Through the Arts,” a lecture and discussion-style presentation led by distinguished instructor and published author, Dr. Ryan Hourigan.

Dr. Ryan Hourigan will discuss how the arts help to improve communication, support cognitive and memory strengthening, and promote positive emotional behavior and socialization. Sensory challenges and practical classroom adaptations for working with students with autism in music, art, theater, and dance classrooms will be shared. The presentation includes discussion, video examples and arts strategies. Educators and the general public alike will gain insights on the science of autism and how it affects people, as well as strategies to help students with autism learn and experience the arts.

This event will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Roussel Hall, 6363 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118. Refreshments will be served at 4:30 p.m. Guests may register and purchase tickets for this event online at http://bit.ly/2nFmzdr.

Hourigan, 2010 Indiana Music Educators Association Outstanding University Music Educator of the Year, joined the faculty at Ball State University in the fall of 2006 after nine years of teaching instrumental and vocal music at the secondary and university level. Dr. Hourigan holds a bachelor of music degree from Eastern Illinois University, a master of music in wind conducting from Michigan State University, and doctorate in music education from the University of Michigan. He currently teaches music education and is the associate director of the School of Music at Ball State University. Dr. Hourigan is the co-author of Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: A Label-free Approach.

“Instructors are acknowledging that one-size-fits-all teaching methods are becoming less and less effective,” said Edward McLellan, Loyola University coordinator of music education and music therapy. “Certain students require a less traditional, more interactive approach to learning. We at Loyola’s College of Music and Fine Arts are happy to sponsor programs that support this ideology.”

Loyola University New Orleans recognizes music as a highly effective artistic tool for promoting wellness, alleviating pain and managing stress. For this reason, the College of Music and Fine Arts is home to one of the nation’s first undergraduate music therapy programs. Loyola music therapy students participate in field studies at health institutions such as Arc of Greater New Orleans, Children’s Hospital and River Oaks Hospital. Whether at the undergraduate or graduate level, Loyola music therapy students are discovering innovative ways to cater to individuals with unique learning needs.

This workshop is sponsored by the Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Fine Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts and the national Any Given Child program. Contact Edward McClellan at 504-865-2085 or emcclell@loyno.edu for more information.