School of Music student Erika St. Denis to present independent research

02/17/2013

Contributed by Jenny Stockdale

Senior Music Education major Erika St. Denis ('13) will be presenting independent research at the 2013 New Jersey Music Educators Association Conference in East Brunswick, NJ later this week.

The presentation, titled "Using the Savant Syndrome to Work with Non-Savant Students with Special Educational Needs," will take place on Friday, Feb. 22, on the fifth floor of the Hilton Hotel in the Hillsborough Room from 2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

The culmination of an independent study project and a summer Dana Internship (both under the supervision of Dr. Emily Mason of the School of Music), St. Denis' presentation will draw on research and observations at a music school that specializes in working with special educational needs students. 

Her abstract reads, "The savant syndrome is a condition in which an individual has both a neurodevelopmental disorder as well as a gifted ability, often in music. Though the music educator may never directly work with a music savant, the syndrome can inform teachers about how to work with all students who have a special educational need. This presentation will define the savant syndrome, investigate the relationship between savants and non-savant special educational needs students, address methods of identification, consider achievement in the classroom, and analyze appropriate lesson ideas."

Not able to come to New Jersey to see the presentation? As part of the National Association for Music Education, Chapter 219 lecture series, St. Denis will be giving the same presentation to the Ithaca College Community on Monday, February 18 at 8:15 p.m. in the Whalen Center for Music, Room 1207.

For more information about the New Jersey Music Educators Association Conference, go to: http://www.njmea.org.

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