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music 4 everyone

JD Art Tutorials

For Individuals With Special Needs

Artist Joseph Dixon of JD Art presents this 5 part art and music integration series designed individuals with special needs. Suitable for families, educators, care providers, teaching artists and others that want strategies using art and music when working with individuals with autism and other relative diverse abilities.

During this uncertain time of COVID 19, where social distancing is becoming more of the rule than the exception, art organizations and artists are scrambling to find ways to stay connected with their communities. This has led to organizations, like The River, offering online classes via Zoom and other social media platforms. I was apprehensive with trying this different approach to teaching art, but after a few sessions, I quickly realized several benefits for both the participants, their families and myself, the teaching artist.

I noticed three main takeaways from my online teaching experience with The River and our participants.

1). Children participants are provided art engagement that helps with normalization and some familiarity with their extra-curricular activities which helps to reduce anxiety and provide a sense of structure.

2). Provides ongoing art training that encourages skill development while building self confidence and promotes communication and social skills.

3). Also promotes family engagement by providing parents with tools they can use with their child(ren) when not engaged with online programming.

The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic have forced summer camps, libraries and museums and other organizations providing extra-curricular activities across the nation to take necessary steps to not only protect the safety of individuals, but address social-emotional needs of its most vulnerable students. I believe The River has adapted to this new platform for providing art programming in a creative and socially engaging way and has been a valuable experience for me as a teaching artist during these uncertain times.

Making Maracas

Follow The Leader

Painting with Watercolor Pencils

Colors and Shapes

Big and Small


For more information visit;

Facebook at

Website at

Work samples and performance clips at


To schedule an art exhibit, workshops, performances or residencies please contact Joseph Dixon by email at or call 281.896.2914. 

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