The Autism Society Philippines (ASP) is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the well-being of persons with autism spectrum disorder. The ASP has been in the forefront of providing services and training to families living with autism.

28 February 2012

A Very Special Musical Recital

By Gina Bermudo, ASP Trustee.

The Music Therapy classes of Ann Arbor Montessori Learning Center, Inc., Special Education Department under the direction, choreography and musical arrangement of Teacher Boots Flordeliza presented the 2012 Musical Presentation entitled “So They Sang and They Played” last 10 February 2011 at Ann Arbor Montessori Auditorium.


The Musical show was participated by almost 70 children, mostly under the Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is the school’s much anticipated yearly event that showcases the different musical talents of the students based on their capabilities.

Teacher Bob Raneses, Special Education Department Coordinator, mentioned in his welcome address that “Music in SPED is not the usual music class given in regular schools. These are sessions designed for children with special needs, using Music as therapeutic intervention”. For special children, music does not only calm the nerves but it penetrates the areas of the brain that traditional therapy could not reach.

According to R. Rambach and the American Music Therapy Association; “Music Therapy uses music to strengthen non-music areas such as cognitive, behavioral, physical, emotional and social skills; it can stimulate attention and increase motivation to participate more fully in other aspects of the educational setting. Music intervention can provide reassurance and maintain structure for children with special needs”.

Teacher Boots believes in this philosophy that is why she patiently honed the musical talents of these kids until they are ready for their stage debut. The challenge was not to teach the kids how to sing but the constant redirection that was needed during practice when their focus starts to wander. When behavioral challenges hinder the practice session, the training of T. Boots as Masters in Special Education comes in handy. But it is her belief of the children’s capabilities to perform on stage and her passion about her craft are the qualities that endear her to her students.

Today, the children sang and played.They delivered their lines and sang the lyrics of their songs with confidence. It does not matter if they forgot their lines or sang off key, what matters is they were given the chance to perform on stage with pride to a well though of production numbers bringing joy and tears to the audience.

Special children need not only special parents but also a special teacher, like T. Boots, to bring out the best in them. A single note that these special children learn each day might be a symphony waiting to be unraveled. As individuals and collectively, we all can make beautiful songs together if each contributes a note. A Music Teacher who never gave up on our children, gave us a few notes to start the composition, let us help her finish the song.

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