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Melodic Connections

Music in Education

Put a guitar and proven music therapy interventions in a teacher’s hands and watch the magic happen! For 10 years, the team of board certified music therapists at Melodic Connections has been working directly with educators and students, demonstrating a profound impact on student success. Melodic Connections is bringing together education and music through four programs – Music in Schools, Musical Books, Books in Action and the ArtsWave STEAM Initiative.

Music in Schools

Our Music in Schools program brings evidence-based music therapy interventions to hundreds of students in special education classrooms.  The goal of our program is to impact academic and social skills through music, and create confident teachers who can assist their students to learn through music on a daily basis.  Read how this program is impacting students in an autism classroom at Riverview East Academy.

Students participating in this program learn through music an average of 89% of their academic days in the classroom,and have demonstrated an average of 91% maintenance/improvement in academic and social skills addressed.

What teachers say:

We have seen students improving in the area of turn taking, eye contact and responses to greetings.  Working with the therapist allows us to teach in new and exciting ways. Through the use of instruments and their engagement through music I have seen great strides, especially in turn taking, that I’m not sure we would have seen without the music therapy.”    

“Now I know the extent that music-based instruction can reach students in the classroom. My understanding of the potential for music-based instruction has changed, and my knowledge is much deeper.“

Musical Books

Musical Books is a program in which musicians from Melodic Connections conservatory team up with another teaching musician, and together they lead music and literacy sessions in underserved preschool classrooms. Sessions promote learning through the intentional use of music, and promote inclusion and acceptance of individuals of varied learning needs and abilities.

Musical Books is designed to show student improvement in  Step Up to Quality standards such as regulating attention and phonological awareness. For example, children are taught to clap or take a step with each word in a sentence (Bob sold his bike. The ball is red and round.) Phonological awareness is an important early literacy skill. With modeling and support, our goal is for 75 percent of students to demonstrate phonological awareness.

The pilot program kicked off in fall of 2017 at a local elementary school, reaching 32 students. With funding from ArtsWave, we are continuing the program,with plans to extend Musical Books to more schools within the community. It’s exciting to see our conservatory musicians and the students engage with music and each other.

Books in Action

Kindergarten readiness is a critical need in the greater Cincinnati region, a challenge which requires unique approaches and new collaborations. Books in Action is designed to impact predictors of academic success such as engagement, following directions, and taking turns.

Developed in conjunction with The Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and area special education classrooms, Melodic Connections has refined these practices and is now partnering with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) to bring this proven model into underserved early childhood classrooms

We are currently in seven CPS classrooms and provide monthly educator in-service training. Our goal is for 75 percent of students to demonstrate improvement in one or more Step Up to Quality standards.

ArtsWave STEAM Initiative

A playground that comes to life with music is the vision of ArtsWave STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) Initiative at Hyde Park Elementary School.   With Melodic Connections’ help, a student team will design, prototype and help build a community project to build a musical instrument installation in the school playground.  Once complete, students will showcase the instruments to the community through a public performance.

During the project, students will explore the science of sound by completing a variety of hands-on, minds-on activities, taught by Melodic Connections

music in playgorund

Example of a drum installation.

staff and musicians. They will explore pitch, volume, timbre, rhythm, and how sound is produced. Students will design, build and play instruments that demonstrate their new understanding of sound – with the playground installation being the final project. In addition, Melodic Connections musicians will develop leadership skills by contributing to the teaching team for this project.



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