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Teaching people on the Autistic Spectrum

Autism is a Spectrum.

That means most of us are somewhere along the scale of this spectrum.

Some people are at one extreme (remember the film Rainman?),

and some of us are on the other milder extreme (Aspergers for example),

where we just have an attention to detail, and miss a social cue every now and again.

There are more of us than you realise!


People who are not on the Autistic Spectrum, are called NeuroTypical, or NT for short.

There are less of these than you realise.

You’d be surprised at how difficult it is to teach these people.

NTs question everything,

often refuse to be taught,

insist on doing things their way,

allocate a small amount of time to each task,

are balanced in their approach to learning a new instrument (they don’t obsess).


People on the Autistic Spectrum are usually a pleasure to be with.

And they certainly are a delight to teach.

They don’t try and reinvent the wheel – they are wise enough to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them.

They listen to my reasoning about How to Learn, nod and say “ok”, then put their head down, and just do it.  And they succeed.

They obsess over their learning and their instrument. They spend many hours practicing a scale, routine or pattern, until they master it.
And they enjoy the journey.


Their progress is much faster than NTs, who allocate an equal amount of time each week to each task. People on the Autistic Spectrum tend not to allocate time, they simply get lost in their instrument, and suddenly find that hours have gone by….

Then they come to me the next week, and ask for more.


Even animals sense the vulnerability in my students, and try and protect them or comfort them.

I find, if I am low, confused or overwhelmed, the neighbour’s dog will simply come and be with me.

A mutual giving of love, respect and support.


A NeuroTypical may get bored playing a repetitive beat over and over again, yet this is what is needed to be the backbone of a band.

Bassists, Drummers and Rhythm Guitarists are the Rock of a band.

They have to “Get into the Groove”, and support the singers and soloists for the length of each song or piece of music.

Sure, they may embellish and orchestrate a song, as long as they return to the beat, and there is a sigh of relief.

A variation on a theme, always comes back to the Theme.

My Autistic students and I will often play together for 10-15mins at a time without looking up. With one student, we both put our heads down, and play together for 50mins non-stop!

Blocking out the world for that time, being completely Present in the Moment.

It is so satisfying and therapeutic.


If you would like to know more or book music lessons, please contact Serge at contact us.

Tel: 07910 126663

Thank you