Since its inception in 2009, TERI’s Performing Arts Program has enabled people with autism and other developmental disabilities to find creative fulfilment while experiencing profound personal growth. Students learn that eloquent communication can be achieved without words, that the grace of a wheelchair dancer can rivet an audience, and that one’s dreams of playing the Mayor of Munchkin City can absolutely come true. The Performance Arts Program currently offers music, theater, dance, and other performance classes and activities. The Performing Arts Program enables our students and adults to explore, transcend, and attain that which they may have never believed possible: The opportunity to shine.
Since Chris was little, he would mimic giving standing ovations. Now he is on the receiving end of those standing ovations. Dreams do come true.
Before coming to the Music and Performance Arts Program, Chris, a young man with autism, was severely limited in speech and interpersonal communication. After three years participating in the music and theater classes, he now sings, reads, and writes music including composing original songs for the theater arts performances. Performance has been an outlet of expression that has been his segue to interacting with the outside world. Chris defines TERl’s mission by stunning audiences singing, acting, and performing at our numerous events and concerts.
Performing is a creative experience that involves verbal and nonverbal communication which helps promote and teach communication and social skills.
Theater and music help enhance teamwork skills, self esteem, and self expression.
Performance provides an opportunity for families and community members to connect around a shared interest.
The act of performing can help students recognize their potential for success and improves their confidence.
Through performance arts, students also learn and interact with movement and dance, stage management, set and costume design, and sound and light engineering.
In addition to our major production during the Holiday season, the TERI Players have initiated a brand new outreach program. Throughout the year, the performers will divide into smaller groups and work on specific skills such as puppetry, script reading, music/vocals, and movement & dance. The smaller groups will create and present performance pieces to take out to the community at schools, nursing homes, retirement homes, and civic organizations/meetings.
The goal of this program is two-fold:
1) educating the community at large about TERI
2) promoting “Abilities Awareness”
This curriculum and guideline was formulated by George Thompson, Performance Arts Director and Terri Wiener, MT-BC in collaboration with our incredible partner and friend Remo, Inc. to provide constructive, stimulating and structured music education and therapeutic activities utilizing drums with Comfort Sound Technology for individuals/groups with moderate to profound developmental disabilities and autism.
See the first lesson in the series below: “See, Feel & Hear” Sensory Integration Introduction
George Thompson is an accomplished professional musician with a recording and performance history nationwide. He has earned two degrees in anthropology and sociology and worked in the music industry for 15 years. He has produced two albums and has collaborated with singer/songwriters in New York and other locales. Adept at playing multiple instruments (guitar, bass, Native American flute, trumpet, piano, vocal, and percussion) he has effectively taught adults with developmental disabilities for the past five years at TERI. George has written developmentally-appropriate curriculum for Music Program participants, and is working to further expand the Music Education Program offerings. Dedicated to his craft, George derives personal and professional satisfaction through opening up the world of music as a means of communication for participants most severely affected by their disability.
Email George: firstname.lastname@example.org