Professional Development

The Lotus Centre Institute for Professional Development

The Institute is our online school, where we share the knowledge and tools we’ve developed at Lotus Centre with music educators.

Our courses provide the skills needed to equip teachers to help students of all abilities reach their full potential

Visit the Institute home page here. On our home page, you will find more information about our programs, including our webinars, mini courses, and in-depth certification program. You can also register for upcoming events.

At Lotus Centre, we see professional development as an important part of improving access to music education for the special needs community.

The more teachers and other professionals equipped to work with special needs students, the greater the opportunities will be!

About our Professional Development programs:

Certification in Adaptive Music Education

For music educators who want to deep dive into adaptive music education, we offer our certification course. This three level program will provide teachers with the tools and strategies they need to teach any student with exceptionalities. Led by Dr. Erin Parkes, each level is an intensive 10-week course that includes evidence-based approaches and provides the knowledge needed to understand the needs of your students with exceptionalities. More information on our certification program is available on our institute website.

Customized Training Workshops

Lotus Centre offers customized training sessions for your music school, teacher organization, or arts organization. Topics can include pedagogical adaptations for students with exceptionalities, creating an accessible studio or classroom, supporting students with behavioural needs, teaching students with specific diagnoses, and more.

1:1 Consultation

We offer customized consultations to help educators or arts programming professionals adapt for the special needs community. All consultations take place in a virtual format.

We regularly share our work with music education podcasts.

Dr. Erin Parkes has appeared as a guest on podcasts including the Integrated Music Teaching Podcast with Tim Topham, the Elementary Music Teacher Podcast with Jessica Peresta, Loud and Clear with Olivia Adams, and more! Podcast discussions include teaching strategies for students with exceptionalities, including empathy-based approaches, the importance of tuning into students’ sensory needs, and multi-modal teaching. Check out the podcasts here!

Featured Courses

Webinar: Multimodal Teaching Tools for Adaptive Music Education

Students with exceptionalities often require creative lesson planning on the part of music teachers. But where to start? In this webinar, you’ll add to your teaching toolkit by learning some activities that work with special learners by using a multimodal approach. Creative ideas for teaching the basic elements of music like rhythm, pitch, motor coordination, and more will be explored.

Activities for all ages and various learning profiles will be presented.

Mini Course: Empathy-Based Behaviour Support in the Music Studio

Supporting students with behavioural challenges in the music studio or classroom can be challenging.

Shifting our perspective from feeling like the student is causing us distress to seeing that the student is in distress, and then implementing tools to help manage that distress, can not only facilitate learning but can help us to create a strong relationship with our student and become a positive presence for them.

In this course, we’ll explore an empathy-based model for behaviour support. Skills developed will include identifying common triggers for behaviours and how to minimize those triggers, and strategies to manage challenging behaviours when they arise.