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Elaine Fauria’s Detailed Guide for Music Teachers Helping Kids on the Autism Spectrum Exhibited at the L.A. Times Festival of Books 2023

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books showcased plenty of new publications aimed towards fostering neurodiversity and helping children on the spectrum. For Elaine Fauria, this was a wonderful opportunity to share her published guide to teaching music to autistic children. Her book covers a lot of the best practices for communicating and encouraging them to nurture their unique talents.

San Diego, California – WEBWIRE

“Enrich the life of children on the spectrum by nurturing their gift for music.”

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books showcased many books dedicated to fostering neurodiversity, helping people understand conditions like autism and helpful guides for teaching children on the spectrum.

These included a book by Elaine Fauria, who has been teaching music to students with disabilities since 2006. Her book, simply titled “Teaching Music to Children on the Autistic Spectrum”, is meant to serve as a handy introduction to best practices when educating autistic kids. With the help of ReadersMagnet, a self-publishing and book marketing company, she got the book an exhibit spot at the L.A. Times Festival of Books 2023.

Asides from being a professional music teacher, Fauria has also been affiliated with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, written as Contributing Editor to the 3rd edition of the NYC Blueprint for the Arts in Music, and participated in Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Band Director’s Academy. She has taught autistic kids showcasing a wide range of talents, including percussion, choir, guitar, and modern band.

In “Teaching Music to Children on the Autistic Spectrum”, Fauria covers all the basics of music progression from K-12, as well as why musical education can be very valuable for kids on the spectrum.

Many children who have been diagnosed are known to have a very different experience of sound (as well as varying sensitivities), and Fauria’s guide offers very helpful tips for overcoming these challenges. A resource list is also provided for those who want to learn more. It is easily readable for anyone in charge of caring for autistic kids, whether it’s parents, relatives, or caregivers.

“Teaching Music to Children on the Autistic Spectrum” by Elaine Fauria is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

“Teaching Music to Children on the Autistic Spectrum”
Author | Elaine Fauria
Published date | September 6, 2022
Publisher | Independently Published
Genre | Education

Author Bio
A California native, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Elaine informally began her teaching career in elementary school, first teaching her little brother to read; then teaching the vocal parts to others in the school Girls’ Choir. In addition to baby-sitting, her first paid job was in 8th grade, as an intern, working with 6th & 7th graders in an Entomology Workshop for children. Elaine also studied Piano and Cello in elementary school, adding Guitar, Percussion & Saxophone in high school while continuing with Chorus and Piano. Having served as High School Choral President, she continued her Choral and Voice studies at Lone Mountain College while enrolled at the University of San Francisco, first in Nursing School, and, then, in Pre-Med.

During her Junior year of college both Elaine’s paternal grandparents were unwell, and she moved in with them to help care for them, eventually impacting her college life. Elaine applied for an official Leave of Absence so she would not lose her scholarship. Her grandparents both passed later in the year, and Elaine spent the rest of that Leave year re-grouping & figuring out what direction to take next. She knew that she did not want to go back to working in hospitals at this time in her life; she was in mourning and wanted joy, inspiration, happiness, and the uplifting of her spirit.

Elaine decided to change both direction and schools, returning to college as a double major in English and Music, the two things she enjoyed most in the world, writing and music. She holds a BA in Honors English, with minors in Vocal Performance, Drama, and Philosophy, from Holy Names College, in Oakland, California, where she graduated with Honors and was nominated Class Valedictorian. Elaine then attended the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco to study Acting, where she was fortunate to study under, then train with the late great Edith Skinner as a Teacher of Speech for Actors.

Graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, was next on Elaine’s agenda where she was mentored by Dunbar Ogden, Hugh Richmond, and Stephen Booth. Her focus was on directing Shakespeare, and she produced and directed six productions of Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, all in different locations, providing the raw material for her MA thesis, Exploration in Shakespearean Production Methodologies: Troilus and Cressida.

Elaine moved to New York City in 1982, to pursue her career as a Voice and Speech Consultant and Teaching Artist at Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School, subsequently also working at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, and Temple University, in addition to teaching as an adjunct professor at Pace University, Mercy College, Iona College and the College of New Rochelle. In 1994, after her son was born, she took 3 1/2 years off work to care for him, as he was critically ill, in the ICU for a month at age 6-10 weeks, with health issues and a disability as a result of his sepsis. When she returned to work in January of 1998, it was to the NYC Board of Education.

Ms. Fauria states that as losing her grandparents had been a major turning point in her life, so also was the near loss of her newborn. She was no longer interested in working in theater, as the drama in her own life had taken center stage, and her priorities had shifted. Having previously loved the excitement, she no longer wanted the roller coaster ride, the ups and downs and the instabilities of working in theater. She now wanted an environment conducive to raising a family; she craved stability, and wanted things she’d always rejected in the past: job security, longevity, benefits, etc. She didn’t want drama on the job; she just wanted to be able to go in, do her job, and then come home, and raise her family.

Elaine was hired to teach Middle School Mixed Chorus at IS93Q for eight years until a new principal closed the program. She then worked for one year as an ATR (Absent Teacher Reserve). Finally, she was hired to teach music to Students with Disabilities at a District 75 school in the Bronx, PS168X, where she has been working since 2006. Elaine has been a Little Kids Rock (Music Will) Modern Band teacher since 2009; she has been affiliated with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute since 2014, as part of the Music Educators Workshops, Link up, and Musical Explorers programs. She was a Contributing Editor to the 3rd edition of the NYC Blueprint for the Arts in Music. Elaine has served on the Arts Achieve Federal Grant, as Liaison for Material for the Arts, on the Executive Board for the Music Educators Association of NYC (MEANYC) as an Advisory Member, as an Office of Arts and Special Projects (OASP) Arts Monday PLC Facilitator & Facilitator’s Institute, OASP Teacher Effectiveness in the Arts Facilitator, OASP Liz Lerman Critical Response Protocol, and participated in Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Band Director’s Academy. Elaine has written grants for Arts Achieve, Mr. Hollands Opus, WQXR Instruments, D75 iPad Technology, and OASP 2022-23 Woodwind & Brass Instruments, and has attended, participated in, and facilitated numerous workshops and professional developments.

In 2012, during Hurricane Sandy, Elaine volunteered as the Intake Supervisor at John Jay College Emergency Shelter, through the Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Active in her church, St. Paul the Apostle, in New York City, Elaine was invited by the Archdiocese of New York to participate in a pilot program at Villanova University, sponsored and paid for by the Archdiocese, to train lay ministers to gain the tools to become parish managers due to the shortage of priests. In 2017 Elaine graduated at the top of her class with an MS in Church Management. She was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society (BGS). In 2021 Elaine was accepted into the 2022 Spiritual Direction Formation Program sponsored by the Church of St. Francis Xavier, but she had to defer participation due to her sudden and unexpected breast cancer diagnosis.
Ms. Fauria is an appointed, tenured New York City Public School Music Teacher of 25 years, working in District 75 with Students with Disabilities for the past 17 years. Elaine works with children on the autistic spectrum teaching General (Core) music, Chorus, Keyboard, Percussion, Xylophone, Guitar, Modern Band, and is rebuilding the Concert Band program which was decimated during the pandemic. Surviving breast cancer in 2022, motivated Elaine to begin writing her series, “Teaching Music to Children on the Autistic Spectrum”, now, rather than waiting till retirement.

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