Many practical books for music educators who work with special needs students focus on students' disabilities, rather than on the inclusive classroom more generally. In Including Everyone: Creating Music Classrooms Where All Children Learn, veteran teacher and pedagogue Judith Jellison offers a new approach that identifies broader principles of inclusive music instruction writ large. As she demonstrates in this aptly-titled book, the perceived impediments to successfully including the wide diversity of children in schools in meaningful music instruction often stem not from insurmountable obstacles but from a lack of imagination. How do teachers and parents create diverse musical communities in which all children develop skills, deepen understanding, and cultivate independence in a culture of accomplishment and joy? Including Everyone equips music teachers with five principles of effective instruction for mixed special needs / traditional settings that are applicable in both classroom and rehearsal rooms alike. These five guidelines lay out Jellison's argument for a new way to teach music that shifts attention away from thinking of children in terms of symptoms.
The effective teacher, argues Jellison, will strive to offer a curriculum that will not only allow the child with a disability to be more successful, but will also apply to and improve instruction for typically developing students. In this compelling new book, Judith Jellison illustrates what it takes to imagine, create, and realize possibilities for all children in ways that inspire parents, teachers, and the children themselves to take part in collaborative music making. Her book helps readers recognize how this most central component of human culture is one that allows everyone to participate, learn, and grow. Jellison is a leader in her field, and the wealth of knowledge she makes available in this book is extensive and valuable. It should aid her peers and inspire a new generation of student teachers.