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Strength is Knowing When to Ask For Help

When teaching students with exceptionalities, piano teachers need to be open and flexible working through learning obstacles that face students with special needs. If you are a teacher interested in teaching students with disabilities or working with a student who has obstacles to playing (learning, behavioral or processing), and are interested in improving yourself and your service, Dee provides online mentoring. This is perfect for providing answers for both you and your student in real time, eliminating worry and frustration.

If you are a teacher who is passionate about teaching the piano but needs tools and effective strategies utilizing your student’s unique strengths and needs for successful lessons, mentoring is an excellent solution that provides long term results. Mentoring will provide the support you need to motivate and inspire your students. Some of the topics covered in our mentoring sessions can be:

  • First lessons with a new student: how to have win/win experiences
  • Speaking with parents about their child’s disability
  • Student anxiety – crying, yelling
  • Students with transition issues (new books, new techniques for practicing or playing the piano)
  • Student impulsivity
  • Students who have difficulty focusing or attending
  • How to work with students that process differently
  • Memory issues – recall and short term memory
  • How to prepare your student for their first recital performance
  • How to teach students who have sensory issues that require the teacher to sit at a distance when teaching
  • Separation anxiety – how to help a student be comfortable from the first lesson
  • Students who don’t seem to comprehend (process) what you say (looking at you and focused but still not understanding when you speak to them).
  • Students with weak social cues (start speaking when you speak, speaking in the middle of playing, playing while you speak, etc.)
  • Students who have difficulty with note learning
  • How to set up routines in the lesson room and for practicing at home
  • Successful preparation for recitals and other performances
  • Any issue you might have that is impeding your student’s growth during piano lessons.

If you are ready to invest in yourself and your students for a more positive, productive, and motivating teaching and learning experience, contact us today!

About Dee

Dee Cucinotta is an award-winning piano instructor, active community participant, and one of the very first music instructors within NY’s Capital District to offer specialized piano lessons backed by education and experience to individuals with disabilities. She holds a BA in Music and an MS in Special Education, and was the recipient of the 2016 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award.

Dee has taught private piano lessons since 2003 and continues to teach students of all ages, abilities and skill levels. Her education supports expert piano instruction for individuals who may benefit from additional attention, including students with Down Syndrome, Autism, ADD/ADHD, TBI, SPD, learning disabilities and students with anxiety, focusing, fine motor skill and executive functioning deficits. She is also sensitive to the diverse needs of all students, and welcomes those with communicative, sensory, behavioral, or physical challenges.

For almost 20 years, Dee has been a highly-recommended instructor with a reputation as an exceptional music educator, with students demonstrating proficiency in musicality, technique, and theory in their performance settings. She is known for her unique approach to lessons, teaching the whole individual and treating music as not only a skill for performance, but also as an activity for lifelong enjoyment and fulfillment. Before relocating to NY’s Capital District, Dee worked both as an aide and Special Education Music teacher for BOCES on Long Island, NY, teaching children with emotional and behavioral disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDD and Down Syndrome.  She was also a Special Education teacher for the New York City Board of Education and taught children with learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

Dee has received multiple awards for her excellence in teaching and community outreach:

  • Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award 2016
  • The Arc of Rensselaer County Community Partners Award 2010

Professional Associations include:

  • CEC (Council for Exceptional Children)
  • MTNA (Music Teachers National Association)
  • NYSMTA (New York State Music Teachers Association)

Dee is the parent of two adult children, one of which is diagnosed with ADHD.

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