Tag Archives: MAR AMTA

Public Schools, Thinking Based Curriculum and The Common Core

19 Dec

Gil, Glacial River, Mt RanierKatheryn GrossarthBarb Festa

Rachel Leeper

This week, I interview three special educators successfully using an appropriate, developmental, sensory sensitive approach in public and private education settings for kids with neuro-developmental disorders of relating and communicating. The discussion ranges from the tremendous success of a couple of Vermont public school teachers very early on in their use of the DIR/Floortime model, through our success at the Rebecca School in our Fairytale Literacy curriculum, and even touches on the complications of the Common Core Standards, and what it means for our children.

Kathryn Byrne Grossarth is a Special Educator in a small public school in Wells, VT. She attended a conference in Vermont this past summer that Rae Leeper and I put on, explaining how to do a relationship based model in a public school setting. She has implemented DIR in her public school with tremendous success. She is using Rae’s literacy suggestions and is finding that it is really working. She is working on creating curriculum and texts, and is passionate about the tremendous change she has seen in her kids, and herself in just the first four months of this school year.

Barbara Festa is a Special Education Supervisor in Wells, VT. She did not attend the training, but Kathryn’s enthusiasm has been so infectious that she began to use the model in her math curriculum, to great results. She sees that DIR/Floortime is directly in line with the Common Core Standards.

Rae Leeper is the Education Supervisor at the Rebecca School, and did the training with me that inspired these two Vermont Special Educators. She has been at the Rebecca School from the very beginning, and instrumental in creating and supervising our classroom curriculum.

If you hit play on this media player, you will hear the intro music for the radio show. It is a really cool jazz improv between a kid and a music therapist at the Rebecca School. Trust me, it’s worth your 43 second investment.

Click on the logo below, at 9:00 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, 12/22/13, or anytime after that, to hear the show.


Dr. Tippy on Empowering Parents in Autism Interventions

1 Nov

I got a chance to talk to a group of parents the other day at the ICDL conference where the subject was the developmentally appropriate intervention of DIR/Floortime. What a great group of folks came to my presentation! I was talking about how we could help to make developmental, relationship-based, sensory appropriate interventions the norm in Autism intervention, and during that talk, I spoke about parent empowerment. This clip is from that section of my presentation.

I also told the folks in the room that I would give them a form on this blog where they could get in touch, and get the slides from the talk. That form is below.

If you want to see the beginning of the revolution, you can go to RespectingAutism.org, and see what we are planning to do to change the way the world relates to all kids and young adults!

Rebecca School Music Therapists Teach at MAR AMTA

4 Apr


I’m at the conference for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association with the brilliant Music Therapists, Stacey Hensel, Anne DeWan, Zachary Kandler and Kenji Takeda, where we presented for five hours this morning on DIR/Floortime and Improvisational, Interactive Music therapy.  I promised the folks in the training that I would send them the slides, and Kenji promised them a bibliography, and so the form below is to give me the information necessary to send those two things.  Anyone else can get my powerpoint and the bibliography as well, just identify whether you were at the training or not.  I will be posting video and other things from our presentations from this conference soon, so watch for updates.

4/5/13- Just a quick update:  We also gave a concurrent session today about how to bridge the abstraction gap in Autism treatment.  If you want the slides from that, you can ask for them in the comment section of the form below, and I will send you the whole set, slides, and bibliography.

Gil and the Rebecca School Music Therapists at MAR AMTA in Scranton April 4th–6th

14 Mar


This post is intended primarily for our Music Therapy friends who will be attending the MAR AMTA conference in Scranton in April. All of the Rebecca School folks, Gil, Stacey, Kenji and Zach, along with our long-time colleague Anne who will present with us this time, will be doing both a CMTE and a Breakout this year at the conference. We think our CMTE, Improvise, Individualize and Self-Actualize: Autism and Developmentally Informed Music Therapy will be very helpful to therapists of all experience levels. It will support all of the great work done by other therapists on developmental work within music therapy, for instance, I would like to particularly note here John Carpente, and the great folks at Molloy College and the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy. This CMTE will be full of great videos, lot’s of information, roll plays and fun. Also, we will be giving away some great Freebies!

If you sign up for the CMTE, we will give you a FREE copy of

Free Paperback Edition to all CMTE Participants

Free Paperback Edition to all CMTE Participants

in paperback! As an extra, added bonus, we will give you a voucher for a FREE Kindle version of Respecting Autism, in the new revised edition, when it comes out in the next couple of months. You are going to want this, as it will have all the clickable hyperlinks you will need to really go in depth with your understanding of developmental approaches, and will have a special added section about interactive, improvisational music therapy and the DIR model. These two books retail for about 30 Dollars, but we are so enthusiastic about your participation in our CMTE that we want to give them to you for free.

We look forward to seeing you all in Scranton, and we hope you sign up for our pre-conference CMTE.

Part 2 of Autism and Music Therapy at ICDL

4 Feb

Here is the second part of the presentation I did with the great music therapists from Rebecca School, Stacey Hensel, Kenji Takeda and Zach Kandler at the ICDL national conference this year.  In this section I make the case for the fact that music therapists, particularly interactive, improvisational music therapists, particularly Nordoff-Robbins music therapists have beaten a lot of other relationship based therapists to the punch in terms of their long history, and their dedication to research.  I also talk about the giants on whose shoulders we all stand, T. Barry Brazelton, Stanley Greenspan, Margaret Mahler, Ani Bergman, Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins.  The presentation was Continue reading

Improvisational Interactive Music Therapy and DIR Part 1

22 Nov

This is part one of the presentation we did at ICDL’s  annual conference at Montclair State University about how important interactive, improvisational music therapy is the treatment of Autism, and other challenges of relating and communicating.  Stacey Hensel, Kenji Takeda and Zach Kandler presented with me, and their work really shone.  We have gotten so many supportive and excited messages from the people who saw the presentation, and those who wish they had, and so I am posting it in excerpts here on my blog.  The previous blog post has a form you can fill out to get the powerpoint from the presentation, if you would like it, and ICDL intends to make the entire presentation available in late January or early February of 2013.  Until then, enjoy the post, and if you want to get a message when I post more, click on the “follow” button, and you will be notified as more gets posted.

Interactive, Improvisational Music Therapy at ICDL

16 Nov

If you were in the audience at Montclair State University today, you know how incredible Stacey Hensel, Kenji Takeda and Zach Kandler of the Rebecca School were, because you gave them a standing ovation for their presentation. We were all so proud, and I was honored to be a part, and to see all of you standing, and crying, made all the work worthwhile. We really wanted to represent our version of interactive, improvisational music therapy in the Interdisciplinary Council for Developmental Learning community. If you were not there, you really missed a special day. However, you are in luck!

Gil Tippy, Zach Kandler, Kenji Takeda and Stacey Hensel at ICDL annual conference 11/16/22

Over the next couple of weeks I will post pieces of the presentation we did today, and if you fill out the form below, I will send you the powerpoint from the presentation. ICDL also recorded the event, and I am sure you will be able to view the presentation through their online version of the conference. Check back here often, because as I get the clips edited, I will put them up. A great day for respectful, developmentally appropriate treatment for kids.

Rebecca School Speaks at MAR AMTA

25 Mar

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hi all you folks interested in music therapy and DIR! We at Rebecca School had a blast at MAR AMTA! Below is a form to fill out to get the slides from our presentation. We are editing video, and will make that available to you all pretty soon. Watch this space and you will see when we post the videos. While you are here, check out the rest of the blog!

3/31/12 Just a quick addition. Check out the link to CJ Shilo’s blog and her appreciation of the presentation we did at the conference:

The Musical Autist blog talking about our presenation.

Dr. Tippy Speaking at two conferences on the East Coast on November 9th and November 12th

25 Oct

I will be speaking at two conferences in November. On November 9th I will be taking part in a really cool conference at The Center for Discovery up near the site of the Woodstock Music Festival, on the subject of “Clinical Implications of Music Therapy for Children with Autism.” This talk will be a part of a conference called “Communication, Socialization and Harmony: Music Therapy and Autism Spectrum Disorders.” There are some great presenters, including my friend and colleague, Stacey Hensel, the great music therapist with whom I am privileged to work at the Rebecca School. If you click on this link: MTWorkshop_Invite_2011_5 it will open up the invite to the conference in pdf form, and give you all the information.

The second conference is the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders (ICDL’s) annual conference in Washington, D.C. I will be speaking about what I have written about in Respecting Autism, how you take the DIR/Floortime model and turn it into a school intervention. Along the way I will be giving my opinion about some other ways of intervening with kids and adults on the Autism Spectrum, so it promises to be fun. If you click on the link:ICDL Conference Concurrent Sessions, it will take you to the ICDL website, and to the page describing my session. This is the organization started by Dr. Greenspan, so they are true to the model as he conceived of it. This is a truly worthwhile conference, so if you are near, and you want to hear about DIR as it was intended to be, then try to get there. Also, I will be doing a book signing at the conference, so that alone is worth the trip!

Music Therapy and DIR, “Not Autistic Anymore.” MAR-AMTA

5 Apr

We are just back from Saratoga, and I am hard at work trying to send all of you who have requested them the slides from the conference. For all of you who were not able to be there, this is Part 1 of a presentation Stacey Hensel and I did at Mid-Atlantic Region of the American Music Therapy Association’s annual conference in Saratoga on 4/1/2011. We presented on how important interactive, improvisational music therapy is when trying to get kids on the autism spectrum in a continuous flow. I presented the DIR/Greenspan Floortime Model briefly, and then we showed a therapy session we did jointly. Then I presented some very preliminary results from a research study we have been working on for 5 years Continue reading

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