Beethoven's Buddies (Special Needs)

Engaging students with special needs

BB student piano

Beethoven’s Buddies (BB) is an innovative music program which facilitates cognitive and emotional growth for students with developmental delays. BB uses integrated materials and assistive technology (such as the iPad) in private lessons. Need-specific resources may include Boardmaker, appropriate music apps and video models for weekly home practice.

Program benefits:

  • Strengthens gross and fine motor skills, self-esteem and language development
  • Enables self-expression and creativity
  • Provides social interaction
  • Connects families who are raising children with special needs

BB students have participated in: 

  • National Guild competitions
  • National Keyboard conferences
  • Music programs at schools and churches

About the BB Program 

Dr. Beth Bauer is the founder of CSA’s Beethoven’s Buddies program. She holds degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Northern Illinois University and the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music. She is a sought after clinician and speaker and her work with students has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Clavier Companion Journal and on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Beethoven’s Buddies recently received the distinction of being named one of the “Spectacular Educational Programs” in the Wheaton/Glen Ellyn Glancer Magazine. Dr. Bauer also co-chairs the special needs area for the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy and is the co-author of the blog Inclusive Piano Teaching.

bb chimes class noel

Group Chimes Class

Clementi's Colorful Chimes

An instrumental ensemble experience for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. All music is modified and color-coded to ensure student success. Parents are expected to attend class and aid in helping their children participate. 

45 min |15 weeks | $145 
SAT | 11:45am-12:30pm | Armerding 120
Morgan Sobek, Instructor


Private Piano Lessons

Weekly private lessons are structured on the basis of the individual student's IEP, taught by CSA instructors Dr. Beth Bauer and Morgan Sobek. Students are encouraged to participate in an annual studio recital. Private Piano Lesson Pre-requisite: Successful completion of one year (2 semesters) of Chimes class. 

30 min/15 weeks | $760
45 min/15 weeks | $1,040

Steps to Enroll

  1. Register—Complete the online registration form and submit a $35 registration fee to the CSA office.
  2. Consultation with program coordinator—Placement is contingent upon consultation with Dr. Bauer. You may be asked to submit the student's IEP.
  3. Prepare to purchase/rent a non-electric piano (private lessons only).