Course for teaching students with Autism – Swinburne University

I’m a fan of Tim Topham. He’s based in Melbourne and I’ve never met him, but I find his blog really relevant for teaching piano in a modern context.

He highlighted an online Autism Training Course by Swinburne University. This course will be run in the form of a “MOOC” – a Massive Open Online Course.


I have been asked before, via the blog, whether I would teach a child with special needs. I wanted to try, although I made it clear I have no experience in this. Nothing came of it, but I remain keen. Surely everyone can benefit from the simple beauty of creating music?

So I have enrolled for this course. It needs two hours a week for six weeks. Here is Tim Topham’s post about it.

Elsewhere, I have a Year 12 student who is about to take a Grade 5 exam. Since he’s up to his neck in school exams, I thought he was going to stop lessons to concentrate on his finals. But no! He said he wants to continue – he wants to do improvisation with me. Oh yes! I’m so up for that! Of course I have my own approach to doing things, but it’s constantly evolving as I go. Lo and behold, Tim makes a timely post in his blog about learning improvisation with Christopher Norton. He’s even got a section on how to teach boys. Just great. More reading for me, for sure.

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