Music Classes for Autistic Kids

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Affordable music class/therapy for autistic son

Jan 2009

Hi! I'm looking for a fun music class for my 4 year old who is mildly autistic. We live in Albany, and we have no car. It would need to be somewhat close to us or close via a short bus ride into Berkeley or another close city. Also, we're on a budget! We found a music therapist, but she's extremely expensive for us. What would be perfect is some sort of collaboration of therapy and music class. He loves to play music, and I think he is quite good with understanding rhythm and instruments (but of course I'm his mom who thinks he's perfect). Also, does anybody know of any resources that we can look into for financial assistance for music therapy? Like I mentioned above, we did find a therapist that seemed quite knowledgeable and convenient as far as where she is, but we certainly can't afford $200 a month. I would appreciate any advice you can give! Thanks!

The International Expressive Arts Therapy Association is located in San Francisco. They have a website, but their referral service is not working yet. You can maybe call them and get the information: 415-522-8959. There are tons of expressive arts therapists in the Bay Area. The California Institute of Integral Studies (in SF) and the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (in Palo Alto) both have strong expressive arts programs, with lots of graduates. I'm sure you can find someone who is interested at a lower fee. Guy

Music for autistic children, 10 and 12

Sept 2007

Hi, I have two autistic children, 10 and 12 years old. I am looking for someone to do music lessons with them, possibly to have a combined lesson. I am interested in having them learn piano, but a variety of instruments would be nice. Thanks.

Although I responded to the original poster privately, I wanted to let the rest of our community know that I specialize in teaching music to children with special needs, particularly those on the autistic spectrum, those with learning disabilities, and children with emotional challenges. I am kind, patient, and experienced. Please email me at [at] and I will send you a brief description of my work and a phone number so that we can talk in person. Wishing you all the best. . Jane Webber, MSW

Len Sherman is a very skilled music teacher who specializes in working with autistic students. He is fine working with two students at a time and has a a lot of skill in this area. He teaches piano, percussion, karaoke, saxophone, etc. Also, Mr. Sherman can make videos and audio recordings of some sessions for the parents. You can call Len directly at 510-684-6382 or you can get some more info and see a video of two autistic students from his website at Nat

My daughter (who is not autistic but has speech delays) takes music from a highly esteemed RMT (registered music therapist) named Susan Rancer in Piedmont. Susan specializes in teaching kids with perfect pitch, which has a high occurrence among autistic people. I think she works with 25 or more autistic cases these days, most of whom have shown unusual musical gifts and several of whom are savants. I am sure you could talk to some of the parents of autistic kids she has worked with. For our part, my 4.11 year old (who has perfect pitch) is reading music and playing the piano with both hands. Susan has developed a wonderful teaching methodology that keeps kids progressing in spite of whatever other limitations they have. If you can get on her schedule give it a try, I think you will be blown away. Because she is an RMT, we are also able to pay for music through our health savings account so at least it's pretax. More info at Montclair Mommy

Music Coach for an Autistic Teen

April 2007

I have a friend who is Autistic. He is 18 years old and fairly low functioning. I have heard that music can be a good way to help communication skills. Anyone know some one in the East Bay who can help? Thanks Nathalie

Susan Rancer is a wonderful music therapist in Piedmont who works with autistic children and teens. I highly recommend her: 510-654-5882 Amy

I recommend Music Therapist Susan Rancer. Her studio is in Piedmont. Her number is 510-654-5882. Cindy

Susan Rancer, in Piedmont, is a music therapist and works with autistic people. She may have her schedule full but try calling - 654-5882. best wishes Laura

Piano teacher for high functioning autistic 5-year-old

Nov 2003

Looking for someone in Berkeley who teaches Piano to special needs children. It can also be someone who simply has the patience to work with a 5 year-old high functioning autistic child. thanks

I do not know anyone in Berkeley, but Susan Rancer in Piedmont has a lot of experience with teaching piano to children with autism. If you are definitely not interested in going to Piedmont she can maybe recommend someone in Berkeley. Her number is 654-5882. My son is only three and has a different diagnosis, but we have been with Susan for about a year and I would be happy to answer any questions. Mary

Susan Rancer specializes in teaching children with disabilities. She is in the Piedmont/Montclair area. Her number is 654-5882. Linda