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music 4 everyone


Services for special needs children

Music 4 Everyone, is an interventional music curriculum designed to support attention, motor and verbal development for special education students through music activities that emphasize active engagement while also providing professional development training for the classroom teachers and their assistants.















Students of Gardens Elementary participating in the interventional music curriculum in 2010.


Why Active Engagement? The concept of student engagement has emerged as a way to understand and improve academic outcomes for students who were struggling with marginal or poor performance. High levels of engagement are associated with academic success: higher grades, lower school dropout, higher test scores, and even later success in the working world and is associated with improved outcomes for students struggling with ADHD and autism.


3 Types of Musical Activities

1. Participation Essential: These are musical activities that recognize individual students and require all students to participate throughout the activity.

2. Take Turns: These are musical activities that require the student to take turns or wait during a transition.

3. Play Along: Activities where students have no identified role, but can sing, play along or just listen as they chose.


Music 4 Everyone was developed and implemented by artist Joseph Dixon, while serving as community services program manager for Young Audiences of Houston from 2008- 2013, and roster artist and music therapist, Catherine Taylor. In over 5 years, Music 4 Everyone was implemented at 6 local schools in Houston and Pasadena, provided over 920 service sessions and worked directly with an estimated 200 students and over 150 teachers, teaching aids, school administrators, teaching artists and parents. In the 2012-13 school year Young Audiences of Houston collaborated with the Methodist Hospital Center for Performing Arts Medicine and the National Center for Human Performance to complete a six-month evaluation to collect data that can be compared to existing data on other school interventions that have measured increased “Active Engagement” as a measure of the program’s success.  The final publication is pending.


















For the 2014-15 school year, Gardens Elementary worked with Pomeroy Elementary located at 920 Burke Rd Pasadena, Texas to expand the program to the campus in Pasadena ISD. The school along with YAH teaching artist Dixon implemented a three day pilot at the site along with professional development training for teachers, teaching assistants and family members in the Fall 2014. Sessions introduced strategies for integrating music into the classroom for children with various disabilities, provide resources and hands on training that have immediate applications to curriculum and IEP needs. 


Artist Joseph Dixon continues to engage students at Avondale House, The River and others through art and music programming designed for clients with special needs. Avondale House, where he serves as arts instructor, provides the Creative Hands art room that provides interventional music activities and visual art projects designed for students with Autism and disabilities that will support the growth of communication and social skills, encourages fine and gross motor development and life skill improvements.  This fine arts component supports the mission of Avondale House by focusing on providing activities such as silk screen printing, music, collage activities and more that promotes engagement of the students in order to reinforce developmental and academic objectives. 

















Creative Hands works to promote a supportive relationship between students and their family members through art workshops. Family member volunteers will be encouraged to participate to learn and assist in the creative process which may be activities they can use in their homes. Participants engage in product development, T-shirts, and tote bags and also music activities and in-school musical performances.



Lori C. Scovill, Ph.D.,The Impact of an Interventional Music Curriculum on the Engagement of Children with Physical and Learning Disabilities”, 2013

music 4 everyone

"Our COVID 19 Moments" Series

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Our COVID-19 Moments Description

People in isolation are at increased risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression or increased anxiety. Researchers know this from studies that have previously been done among people who were quarantined during previous disease outbreaks. The purpose of this body of work has been to connect people on social media by capturing a moment in time with images the mask we have needed to wear. Originally, I just painted portraits of my son Noah and myself. As time went on, the posts of FB friends in their mask became more and more inspiring not just because of their efforts to stay safe but also the creativity I saw expressed.

Quotes from friends


Wow I really like it. It's like you can see so many emotions through my eyes. You will be able to see so many emotions through people’s eyes. I always believe the eyes tell a story. Although, I was considered an essential worker, it was so many days I feared going to work.


Felicia Dillard

OhEmGarsh!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!! OhEmGarsh!!!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

I am seriously crying you captured me and the emotion in my eyes perfectly

A Facebook friend/Artist is doing a series called “Our Covid 19 Moments” and asked if he could use my image. I told him if he could capture the sadness in my eyes that I would be honored. Well he did the damn thing and captured the pain in my eyes beautifully. Joseph Dixon this is amazing and I thank you so much. People please check out his page and his incredible talent!



Joseph Dixon thank you for the beautiful art you created! I am honored and grateful that you shared your gift with me!

Keep shining!!! 



I have been a muse before but this is by far the dopest portrait of me. I appreciate you Joseph. Have you posted this? I would love to if it's okay with you. I have had one of those bland morning. Thank you so much for the transference of good energy man. Ase brotha!!!!



My friend and The River's art teacher Joseph Dixon did this portrait of me as part of his new series. An honor! 



Wow, this is awesome! Thank you! You were able to capture my true feelings in this portrait!


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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