Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Well Deserved Recognition for Mary Lynn Bennett, Music Therapist at the Madonna School

Mary Lynn Bennett is being honored as an Educator of the Year at the Archbishop's Dinner forEducation on September 20 at the Embassy Suites LaVista Conference Center.

Let me tell you a little bit about why she deserves this award:

Every day she works with the diverse needs of the Madonna School students. This is not the music classroom of every school...

In the special needs environment I have seen some teachers treat music as a time-killer, a distraction for both student and teacher from the grind of teaching “real subjects.” Mrs. Bennett would shudder at that sentiment.

She is not only a talented musician who understands the satisfaction that comes from performing. She is not only a music teacher who believes that music education is part of encouraging the development of the whole child.

She is a certified music therapist who believes in incorporating music as one step on the student’s path to meeting their individual goals.

One dramatic example is her success using music to teach sign language to a teenage student who is non-verbal, further illuminating the important role music plays in the development of the students.

Mrs. Bennett explainsmusic is about connections. Music is about developing the human self. But it is also about creating new cognitive pathways. Music is a tool for challenging students to follow, to count, to move to instructions. She cultivates the underlying habits necessary for a student’s overall learning experience.
She understands the mission of the Madonna school is to enable every child to be as independent as possible. Music therapy facilitates individual growth, decision and appreciation while teaching social harmony. It is a class of finding notes, following cues and counting beats.

I am pleased the Madonna school believes in encouraging and developing the whole child. Music as taught by Ms Bennett is about joy, faith, connections and challenges.

Another recent occasion when a small group of students were in drum practice, they were “on fire”. (This is a technical music term for those moments when performers are both feeling and performing in an electric way.) She thought to quickly record the group of students and burn this session to a disk. The effect of which was my excited son racing to the car after school ready to show off the drum-call disk in hand.

Mary Lynn Bennett is a difference maker to the Madonna School students. She teaches faith the best way possible, she demonstrates it. She is patient and joyful and she uses experience and talent to reach each student in a unique way.  
Our congratulations to Mary Lynn Bennett on receiving recognition for her work with the Madonna Students!
You can read about all of the award winners in the Omaha World Herald article.




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