About This Web Site

Welcome to my special world of creative and interpretive music.

My name is Kaila Rochelle and I am a special education music coverage teacher in the New York City Public School System. I teach music to special needs students mostly in the age range of 14 through 21. I am also a concert pianist and I love to sing.

My music coverage program encompasses many aspects of music education for which I have received Trailblazer and Significant Achievement Awards. To do this I had to overcome my own challenges and frustrations that stem from a rare spinal birth defect that surfaced at age seventeen. I am very proud of my students' achievements and I hope my web site will help you achieve some of your dreams in music. Never be afraid to work on your abilities and musical instincts.

This site is a resource for both the special education community and the music education community. I offer lesson plans, work sheets, workshop lessons and suggested goals for classroom activities and home study. There are audio recordings (mp3 files) available for download and information about vocal and piano techniques; web pages and links for music appreciation and theory lessons, multi media lessons, data sheets, and web connections to academic learning. Beautiful music achievement certificates encompassing keyboard, vocal, percussion and conducting accomplishments are available as well. I also offer suggestions for assembly programs and activities that include gesturing, miming, and movement to music.


My career as a music teacher in District 75 will soon reach the milestone of 30 years, with almost the entire time in the same school organization. Although I am state certified in music education, I have always worked under my special education license. The development of this web site simultaneously with the growth of my music curriculum has enabled me to become the person in music I have wanted to become. Exploring paths in curriculum to help my students achieve the realization of their talents has benefited my own development as an artist. I too have a developmental disability, cervical spinal stenosis with related complications. These complications included a brain injury from extreme chronic pain and medications prescribed to treat neurological symptoms when I was very young. I was able to recover.

While there have been a few small bumps along the road, the vast majority of people have been kind, supportive, encouraging, caring, and open minded. By working in District 75, I have achieved my complete rehabilitation even though some scars will never heal. District 75 is a wonderful world and I am so fortunate to have worked here for 30 years.

My future interests as a special education teacher, musician and survivor of over 38 years of chronic pain, include closely following the emergence of brain plasticity therapies that converge with recognition of the role of music achievement in helping people who like myself, have undergone changes in their brain functioning due to trauma, stress and/or birth defects. Working in music day in and day out for nearly 30 years has assisted me in overcoming my own handicaps. My hope is that this web site will help others achieve the same.

The mission of District 75 is to help people with disabilities achieve lifelong learning. specialneedsinmusic.com is a collaborative effort with my project manager 'Kb.' We both believe in the power of music education to inspire, transform and enable people with and without challenges to transcend their current status.

Addtional Note 11.25.2012

Things have changed a lot since I became a teacher over 30 years ago. I feel that the best route to take for anyone who is considering a career in teaching in the current environment would be to go out and speak to both veteran and new teachers. Speak to those most effected by the many changes in education policy and then make a reflective and informed decision about whether or not this career is the best path forward at this time. Good luck and thank you for visiting specialneedsinmusic.com

Post Retirement Practicing 05.21.2015

Kinesthetic learning, i.e. practicing piano with eyes closed for memory and technical accuracy, has become part of my post retirement path to continuing musical studies. This helps me deal
with the issues related to spinal abnormalities and cuts down on sitting and practicing time.
Each musician must find their own strategy to compensate for any deficiencies and challenges.

Retirement Note 01.03.2014

I would like to extend my best wishes and hopes to all new teachers for a rewarding
and well appreciated career full of amazing moments and achievements. Teaching is
a difficult career and one must have a positive attitude, courage and self respect to succeed.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents for their relentless work on the behalf of people with special challenges.

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