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Berkshire Hills Music Academy college internship program for aspergers, ADHD, LD teens,young adults
Music Infused Vocational and Independent Living Program
48 Woodbridge Street
South Hadley, MA 01075

Tel: 413-540-9720 x 202
Fax: 413-534-3875


Music Infused Vocational and Independent Living Program

Developing the Vocational and Independent Living Skills of Young Adults in a Music Infused Learning Environment

Berkshire Hills Music Academy (BHMA) is licensed by the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Massachusetts and was chosen by Educational Consultants Nationwide in 2013 as one of the Top 110 Programs in the Country. BHMA serves young adults with various disabilities including, but not limited to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspergers syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Williams syndrome
  • Blindness and visual impairments
  • Velo-Cardio-Facial syndrome
  • Non-specific cognitive and/or developmental disability

Music is infused throughout the Life Centered Educational Curriculum. Students prepare for both independence and personal fulfillment through four core competencies that include:

  • Daily Living Skills
  • Self Determination and Interpersonal Skills
  • Employment
  • Music
A successful student at BHMA meets the following criteria:
  • Possesses an intrinsic love of music
  • Has acquired sufficient verbal communication skills to participate in a school community
  • Demonstrates basic self-care skills
  • Is between the ages of 18 and 30
Students at BHMA prepare for independence in the Two Year Certificate Program. While learning Money Management, Cooking, Hygiene, Room Maintenance, Clothing Management, Personal Care and Organization, Health and Fitness, Community independence and Travel Training, students prepare for meaningful vocation through a unique Music and Human Service Program. The Music and Human Service Program prepares students for music and non-music vocation with competencies in the following area:
  • Appropriate Work Habits
  • How to Seek and Maintain Employment
  • Physical Skills
  • Manual Skills
  • Specific Job Competencies
  • Paid and Non-Paid Internships
  • Appropriate Work Habits
  • How to Seek and Maintain Employment
  • Physical Skills
  • Manual Skills
  • Specific Job Competencies
  • Paid and Non-Paid Internships

While working on Vocational and Daily Living Skills, students continue their work in areas of Self-Determination and Interpersonal Skills. These classes include:

  • Social Skills at Work
  • Circles
  • Sexuality and Relationships
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Communication Skills
  • Peer Relationships and Friendships
  • Independence
  • Socially Responsible Behavior

Upon graduation of the Two Year Certificate Program, BHMA Graduates may enroll in the Extended Learning Community (ELC). This community of students’ lives on or off campus in supported housing. The ELC program was developed to help graduates build a stronger bridge to independence and vocation while keeping ties to the Academy. The surrounding area has become a hub for BHMA graduates who are living and working in the community with support from BHMA staff. The Academy remains a place for leisure and music classes as well as employment opportunities.

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