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Certification in Special Music Education
Level 2

Further develop your skills to help students of all abilities reach their full potential!

In this follow-up course to Certification Level 1, you will go deeper in understanding how to support the cognitive, sensory and behavioural needs of students with exceptionalities in studio and classroom music learning. 

Led by Dr. Erin Parkes, a renowned expert with 25 years experience in special music education, participants will benefit from both classroom learning and individual mentorship. This course will be presented in a small group blended online format, with both synchronous and asynchronous components. This will allow both the flexibility of online study and the benefits of collaborative learning. 

Course elements include:
  • Weekly recorded lectures and readings
  • Weekly synchronous discussion group
  • Opportunities for 1:1 mentorship
  • Online discussion and Q&A
  • Teaching resources 

Scheduling of synchronous components will be done on a group by group basis.
Our goal is for all participants to feel supported in their learning and equipped to teach students of all abilities. Ongoing mentorship and support will be provided to all participants. Successful completion of all three levels of certification courses will lead to certification in special music education.


Starting date

January 8, 2024


10 weeks



What you are going to learn

Help students of all abilities reach their full potential!

This course will continue the learning from Certification Level 1 and allow you to deepen your skills and teach students with a wider variety of needs with confidence.
Throughout this course, you'll learn about:
  • The science of behaviour and how it manifests in music education settings
  • Empathy-based approaches to behaviour support
  • Teaching twice exceptional students
  • Trauma-informed educational practices
  • Incorporating a "sensory diet" in music education to support optimal learning
  • Teaching students with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays
  • Supporting students with FASD
  • Avoiding teacher burnout and teacher self-care
  • Teaching students with Down syndrome
  • Preparing students for performances and exams
  • Expanded teacher toolkit and resources

Erin Parkes, PhD

Director of Research and Professional Development

Lotus Centre for Special Music Education
Dr. Erin Parkes received her Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts in Musicology, and Graduate Certificate in Piano Pedagogy Research from the University of Ottawa. She completed a PhD in Music Education from McGill University in 2015, where she researched how to effectively train studio music teachers to work with students with autism. Erin has been teaching music since 1996 and has worked with students of all ages in a variety of settings. She presents at conference and guest lectures throughout North America and internationally on teaching music to students with special needs and other issues in music education.
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