NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Megan Lavell is 26. She has autism, has been taking piano lessons for 10 years and it shows. Her teacher, Tatia Rose, is the owner of The Nashville Music Academy.
"I came [to Nashville] as a classical pianist and was finding my way in the Nashville music scene, deciding if i wanted to write or to play," she said.
Rose says, before she began teaching, she didn't know much about teaching students with special needs. Now. she says about 30 percent of her students are autistic.
A lot of children with autism are non-verbal. She says music is a way for them to express themselves both in the classroom and on stage.
"They can have prodigious talent, sometimes perfect pitch, the ability to pick something up really quickly," she said.
Rose has a team of instructors who help. Some have their own disabilities. She just hired her 1st blind instructor and says - music is good for everyone.
"It’s a way we can communicate. We can find her own voice in it," she said.
She says teaching special needs students has made her a better teacher, a better parent even.
"I’m a better person," she said, "I’m a lot more patient. I’ve always been intuitive and I think that’s why relate well to my autistic students."
If you would like to support autism awareness "Rock The Walk" is an annual benefit coming up April 10th at the Hutton Hotel. Proceeds benefit Autism Speaks. Click here for more information.