Posts Tagged ‘special needs music NYC’

How Music Lessons Helped

September 24, 2017 Leave a comment


The picture is old, but the content is recent on, featuring my latest story about James’ favorite place to rock out. Click here for the full article.

Start Your Week Off Right – Here’s A Free Smile!

If you were not fortunate enough to attend the DMF Spring concert today, I have a special treat for you this evening. My husband has been out of town for the last few days and by the end of this third day I was in need of a little pick-me-up (and pregnant, stiff drinks are not an option). When this video arrived in my inbox it was like a little pat on the back directly from God, telling me, the weekend couldn’t have been as hard as you thought – look at this!

I know it was a gorgeous day today, and I hate spending days like this indoors as much as the next person. But there was a lot of beauty to behold inside The Dalton School too, and I don’t feel that a minute of my inside time was wasted (except for all of the minutes I spent wrestling my 19 month old in and out of the auditorium).

CLICK HERE to watch a short clip from today’s concert on youtube. James is in the back left in a striped shirt, jamming along with the best of them (3 years ago he was crying his way through these things, so watching him rock out is miracle alone). But equally uplifting and touching to me is the genuine enthusiasm and support pouring from the audience. I’ve said it before, but I can’t repeat enough how amazing and inspiring these events are. It’s hard not to leave them feeling like you were right next to the sun, no matter what the weather outside.

Congrats to the Trush family, DMF members, teachers and volunteers for another successful performance!

You’re Invited To A Special Musical Event on May 20, 2012 – Reserve Tickets Now!

Once again, DMF concert season is upon us. I cannot recommend this event enough, and whether or not you have a special needs loved one in your life, this is a “must attend” at least once if you live in the city. Details on tickets and concert times (two to choose from) can be found below in a message from the Trush family.

**Please make sure to reserve the tickets via email or through the link provided as space to these events is limited and fills up fast.**

To our friends,

We hope all is well and that you are enjoying the beautiful spring weather!

It’s that time of year again, and you are cordially invited to join us on Sunday, May 20th for our free concert, “We Will Rock You – A Musical Celebration.” It will be a high energy performance and will have you singing, dancing and “rockin out” in your seats with performances like – I Love Rock N Roll, Aquarius, This Love, a song medley from Elvis, Born To Be Wild, Bohemian Rhapsody, among many others! So please mark your calendars and join us (for either one or both of our 2 different shows):

The Dalton School
108 East 89th St. (between Lexington and Park Ave.)
1:00PM-2:30PM and/or 4:00PM-5:30PM.

Please RSVP if you will be able to attend by using Eventbrite – or if you prefer, contact us at or 212-289-8912.

As always, many thanks for being part of the DMF Community! We hope to see you on the 20th!
Warm regards,

Daniel, Ken, Nancy and Mike

Daniel’s Music Foundation
DMF Blog –
(212) 289-8912

Top Ten: Favorite Extracurricular and Social Activities For Special Needs Kids in NYC

January 25, 2012 1 comment

Disclaimer: This “Tuesday Top Ten” was bumped (rudely shoved) to Wednesday for the first time ever thanks to Beth Israel Medical Center, where we spent 5 hours in transit/waiting and 10 minutes with an actual doctor yesterday.

Moving on…

I’m almost hesitant in posting this week’s Top Ten because I don’t want people crowding up all of my favorite activities, but my altruistic nature has won so you are about to benefit from my experience, trials and errors, hours spent googling “special needs activities NYC” and not least of all my frugality (a fancy word we like to use for cheapness). In fact, many of the activities listed below are among my favorites because they are quality programs at low or no cost, though the ones that do cost a few more dollars are certainly worth it if they’re on the list!

There are obviously a bunch of other amazing activities and experiences in the city that didn’t make my Top Ten, but IMO it’s a pretty good problem to have such a large pool of choices! To clarify, the programs on this list are all extracurricular activities that include social interaction and meet regularly (so one-time events, general public venues and private lessons were not considered).


1. Daniel’s Music Foundation: Take it from a music teacher, this one is far and away the best introduction to music you can make for your special needs child (or adult). Not surprisingly, there is a waiting list and altruistic though I may be, I’m not giving up my spot! This amazing program runs from September through May, offering music classes for all ages and abilities. If you haven’t already, read one of my many admiring posts about the Trush family (founders) and their fantastic foundation. Cost, free.

2. West Side Baseball (Registration ends on Tuesday, January 31st!) The Challengers division is open to children with any disability, ages 5-18. This program runs April through June and meets in Riverside Park – we’ve enjoyed 3 seasons and are looking forward to our fourth! Cost, $150 (scholarships available).

3. Safe Haven Hoops: for children 5-18. This program runs December through March. **Though the season is underway, special needs players can register anytime during the season for the Champions division. Cost $120, scholarships available. Thanks to this wonderful program, James has shown remarkable improvement in shooting baskets and not crying when others shoot baskets.

4. WSSL: Special needs soccer for ages 5-18. The VIP division meets September through November at the North Meadows in Central Park. Cost, $150, scholarships available.

5. Fitness For Focus: Special needs martial arts classes for kids ages 4 and up. Sessions available year round at 2 locations. There are free trial classes being offered January 29th and 30th! Email for more details or to register for a free trial. Cost, varies (early bird registration discounts offered).

6. Adaptive Swim Lessons provided by NYC Parks – though we have only participated during the summer, there are opportunities year round throughout the city. In fact, free adaptive swim lessons and aquatic exercise therapy (for up to 12 people at a time) are being offered this Winter/Spring for anyone interested, including special needs school or adult groups, at locations in all five boroughs. For more information please call 718-760-6969 or email

7. Achilles Kids –  offers a school program and an extracurricular year round program that meets every other Saturday. Saturday sessions include training activities that integrate free-play, games, and nutritious snacks to make the experience fun and provide racing opportunities. Even better, the entire family can participate.

8. Adaptive Track and Field program provided by NYC Parks –  for kids ages 5-16 with (and without) physical and developmental disabilities, offered in multiple locations citywide. What’s really neat is the big integrated track meet at the end of the summer at Icahn Stadium (with many adaptive events), which was a really great experience for James to participate in (except for the starting gun). Even more appealing, the schedule is very flexible – we did once a week but could have done more. All of the equipment and t-shirts are provided. And, it’s free! Go to for last year’s information – I’ll post 2012 info when I get it!

9. Special Needs Aquatic, Cultural and Athletic Programs at Riverbank State Park. To me, this one is such a hidden gem, not just for the special needs population but for anyone with young children who doesn’t want to pay Manhattan prices for Manhattan classes. As noted in their program guide, “the physically challenged can participate in most of the free programs, activities, and classes. They may receive daily discounts or free admission.” However, there is a plethora of activities and classes for “special populations,” no matter what the disability (or age). Costs are low or free. Click the link to browse the Riverbank State Park Fall/Winter Program Guide 2011-2012.

10. KEEN – a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. Neither income nor the severity of a child’s disability is a barrier to joining a KEEN program. This program meets on select Saturdays around the city and is open to athletes 4 to 21 years of age. For more info call 212.768.6785 or email


Okay, now don’t all go register for everything at once!

Did I miss your favorite? Did I get someone’s contact info wrong? Please leave it in the comments section.

Free Demo-New Class: Preschool Music and Movement

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment


The Quad
Developmental Music and Movement
3 and 4 year-olds 
Mondays, 12:15-1 pm

Monday, September 26th 12:15 pm

Music is a language for children, a language that they can speak even before they can use many words. When you think back to your own memories of early childhood, what do you remember more clearly than the songs yousang? Music not only touches children’s emotion, but nurtures their spirit and brings friends together to share in a creative act. Educational thinkers like Howard Gardner, Eliot Eisner, and Maxine Greene, have pointed out for years that when we provide children with musical experiences, we are giving them an opportunity to learn more about themselves and the world around them.


This music and enrichment program provides unique opportunity to integrate the various forms of expression that comes naturally to children. Together we will sing, dance, play instruments, and listen to each other’sideas about how to make songs and move our bodies. This is a wonderful opportunity for your child to make friends, nurture their sprit, and enjoy an exciting creative experience.
Elana Steltzer, who has a Masters in Early Childhood Special Education From Bank Street, has worked as a Preschool teacher as well as a SEIT.As a classroom teacher,  Elana noticed how the power of music and the
arts allows children to explore their feelings and use it as a means of
effective expression like no other medium and eventually setup a
successful music program throughout her school.  Elana now runs music
programs and workshop for teachers and students all over Manhattan.

The Class will be Co taught by The Quad’s  very own Preschool Director Emily Andrews!


Go to The Quad Website 

Come See DMF Sing the National Anthem Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that if it doesn’t rain too much, DMF will be singing at the Brooklyn Cyclones in Coney Island tomorrow. I plan to bring the kids and my dad a little early to enjoy what should be an empty beach beforehand.

For those of you who missed my previous invitation, the Brooklyn Cyclones play in Coney Island and their stadium has an ocean view. Add to that the beach, aquarium, boardwalk and even a circus nearby and you could make a day of it – it’s a Wednesday with a 50% chance of rain, so not a crowded day, either. The stadium is an easy subway ride so no rush hour traffic to worry about. The game is at 7:05pm on a school night, so we may have to miss a little bit of school that day (or sleep in the next day) but I’m sure the kids will forgive me.

DMF sings the anthem on the field before the game and then we’ll stay and have a blast in a section together. There are only a few tickets left at the price listed below, but I’m sure you could get tickets at the box office tomorrow too. If you would like to order tickets or find out more, see the email copied below:

To our friends,

Hope all is well!

Just a reminder that Daniel’s Music Foundation will be singing the National Anthem again at the June 22nd Brooklyn Cyclones game (starts at 7:00PM). Last year was a memorable evening and we decided to do it again and the Cyclones agreed!

The cost of each ticket is $16.One of our members, Artie Elefant is coordinating this effort. Please contact him directly or on his cell phone at (917) 328-1352 if you are interested in joining us. And of course, you can always contact us at

We look forward to to seeing you there! Play ball!

Warm regards,

Daniel, Ken, Nancy and Mike

Hope you can make it to this unique, fun opportunity!

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