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Music & the Arts

From its beginning in 1866, music has had a strong tradition at MSAB.  School programs, ensembles (band, orchestra, choir) and a piano tuning vocational program are all part of its history.  Today MSAB offers various music opportunities to meet student needs of all abilities and interests.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is the systematic, applied use of music to learn skills emphasized in the expanded core curriculum, such as:

  • academic & cognitive skills
  • social skills
  • communication skills
  • physical/motor skills
  • orientation skills
  • sensory integration
  • independence skills

All our multiply challenged (MC) classes and elementary students engage in music therapy group opportunities.  Besides learning the functional skills described above, students also explore the elements of music, composers, different genres, and a variety of instruments.  Using adaptations as needed, students create, sing, play, move, improvise, and work together based on individual needs and objectives.  There are also opportunities for individual music therapy, with goals based on a music therapy assessment and IEP objectives.

Recording Studio

Our recording studio is available to any student interested in learning about music and technology.  With Sonar 8.5 and Cake Talking (JAWS compatible) software, the studio provides an opportunity for students to explore recording, editing, and production skills.  Recording both music and podcasts are often favorite projects.

Arts Residencies and Arts Field Trips

MSAB participates in Artist in Residency programs which introduce students to the world of creative arts.   Visiting artists provide hands-on experiences encompassing music, theater, creative writing, visual/tactile art music and dance.  These experiences are enhanced through arts field trips.  Recent trips include the MN Children’s Theater, Minnesota Orchestra, and a collaboration with the University of Minnesota Marching Band.

Performance Ensembles and Music Extracurriculars

Several MSAB music ensembles perform at school and in the community.  They include a West African drumming ensemble, a rock band, and choir.  Through these ensembles, students learn about world music, performance techniques, and many different low and high-tech approaches to making music.

The Music Listening Contest focuses on Classical music and culminates with a regional music history/theory competition. 

For more information visit music extracurriculars.