Impacts of the Sensory-Friendly Orchestral Concert Education Program on Community-Based Learning of Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities lack a connection to the community due to the display of unusual social behaviours and unavailable accommodations. Reactions and judgment toward these students from others limit their participation in community activities. Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) made a venue for the Sensory-Friendly Education Concerts (SFECs), promoting community-based learning and participation of students with disabilities in a welcoming, non-judgmental, and inclusive environment. The purpose of this program evaluation study is to examine participants’ perceptions of attending the SFECs, the quality of the program, and the support provided by the SLSO, community, and school districts, as well the impacts on the musicians, staff, and volunteers in performing music and/or providing support to students with disabilities. A sequential explanatory mixed method design was used to collect and analyse the quantitative survey data first, and then qualitative data collected from the focus-group and individual interviews were used to explain the quantitative data. It was conducted with the participation of two groups: teachers and practitioners, as well as musicians, staff, and volunteers. Evaluation outcomes informed future program improvement and development. This study conducted in the United States of America can serve as a springboard for future pilot projects in Thailand that involve education concerts conducted by symphony orchestras for students with disabilities.

Author Information
Tanyathorn Hauwadhanasuk, Saint Louis University, United States
Roger Ideishi, George Washington University, United States
Hisako Matsuo, Saint Louis University, United States
Anuchart Kaunnil, Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Wannapha Yannavut, Mahidol University, Thailand
Kanyarak Yanawuth, Washington University in St. Louis, United States

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2024
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon