South Shore Conservatory Provides Yoga Classes to Duxbury Students with Special Needs

Macy 1Duxbury Education Foundation (DEF) has paved the way for South Shore Conservatory’s (SSC) Creative Arts Therapies department to pursue an opportunity to work with the Duxbury Public Schools. This DEF grant funds yoga classes for two classrooms of children with special needs at Chandler Elementary School starting in the fall of 2016.

The goal of the twelve-week program, called Yoga for Chandler, is to provide the school with the opportunity to experience the efficacy of a school-based yoga curriculum to promote optimal states for learning readiness.  SSC is hoping that the success of this pilot program will lead to the program being offered more widely throughout Duxbury Public Schools, according to SSC Yoga Department Chair Gita Brown.

“Our goal is to provide access to quality yoga instruction, regardless of student’s age or ability,” shares Brown.  “We are very pleased that Chandler Elementary’s administration and teachers have partnered with the Conservatory and the Duxbury Education Foundation to provide this unique service. We’re looking forward to meeting our new students in the fall, and teaching them how to create a peaceful and healthy classroom through the use of the internationally renowned method created by Yoga for the Special Child.” Yoga Duxbury

Application for this grant was inspired by a mother’s enthusiasm over the results she observed when her daughter began studying yoga with Brown at SSC. Macy Gilbert, a former Chandler student with Down Syndrome, experienced positive benefits with emotional regulation, improved attention, improved muscle tone and an ability to use these techniques independently throughout her day to provide regulation. Her mother, Sarah Gilbert, became so impassioned by the results that she attended the Yoga for the Special Child® Basic training program, offered at SSC in 2015, and is now a licensed Yoga for the Special Child® practitioner. Gilbert is dedicated to bringing these techniques to as many students as possible in Duxbury.

Lead by Brown and Gilbert, each class includes four essential components designed to improve students’ attention, performance, behavior, and learning outcomes. Music prepares the neurological system for learning via entrainment of familiar patterns to induce a state of calm alertness, provides opportunity for peer interaction, and improves breath awareness and lung capacity. Breathing practices offer effective tools for students to use throughout their school day to help with regulation of emotional, physical, and cognitive states. Movement practices enhance physical health, develop concentration, induce relaxation and improve attention. Relaxation practices serve to improve overall classroom harmony.

Yoga for the Special Child logoBrown, a licensed senior practitioner of Yoga for the Special Child®, a Board Certified Music Therapist, and 500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher, has over twenty years of experience in the education field; teaching yoga and music at public and private schools, preschools, colleges, centers for adults with special needs, recreation departments and several community music schools.

South Shore Conservatory offers Yoga for the Special Child® for individuals with special needs of all ages, at both its Duxbury and Hingham campuses.  This style of yoga is gentle, safe, and requires no special equipment. To learn more about SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies Department, visit sscmusic.org or find them on Facebook.

About South Shore Conservatory

ssc-logo-PMS293USouth Shore Conservatory, (SSC) has been providing access to and enriching the lives of South Shore residents through music and the arts for 45 years. Recognized as a national model for arts education by the National Guild for Community Arts Education, SSC is the largest, not-for-profit, community school for the arts in Massachusetts, serving over 3500 students of all ages and abilities at its two beautiful campuses and in partnership with schools, and social service and community agencies throughout the South Shore. Students participate in more than 50 diverse programs in music, dance and drama, with performance playing an important role in overall education. With more than 100 exceptional musicians on faculty, SSC offers 30 professionally produced concerts annually.  Through innovative partnerships, SSC’s Creative Arts Therapies department supports the mental, emotional, and physical health of some of our community’s underserved members, and the ImagineARTS program strengthens pre-reading skills for young learners in Brockton Schools through integrated music and dramatic play. SSC’s campuses are located at One Conservatory Drive, Hingham, (781-749-7565) and 64 St. George Street, Duxbury (781-934-2731). SSC programs are supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. For more information call us, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram or visit www.sscmusic.org.

In keeping with SSC’s inclusive mission to provide access to quality education in the arts for all, the Conservatory offers programs for all segments of the population to enjoy, regardless of age, ability, geography, and financial means.  Furthermore, South Shore Conservatory admits students and families of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.