058 – Abigail Proffitt: Motivating Students with ASD and ADHD

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Episode Summary

Four ways to motivate students with ASD and ADHD in music lessons.


Guest Host

With a BM in Piano Pedagogy and seven years of teaching experience, Abigail runs a private studio near Dallas, Texas. She specializes in preschool and neurodivergent students, using a play-based approach for classical piano lessons.

In 2021, Abigail launched Whole Foundation Method: an online shop with fun and comprehensive tools for beginner-intermediate piano students. She loves learning, teaching, and equipping teachers with helpful resources!


Items Mentioned

(Free) Power-Hour with Amy

Throat Coat Tea


ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) are both Neurodevelopmental conditions.


Thrives in routines; struggle with interpersonal relationship due to a lack of social skills

Ways to keep students with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) motivated in their lessons.

  1. Providing students with autism with structure and choices (visual task cards mat)
  2. Use screens and technology
  3. Hands-on, tactile learning (motions, movement, call & response singing, etc.)
  4. Use easy repertoire that can be taught by rote in the early days of lessons (first 6-12 months of lessons) to help them feel capable



Tend to be disinterested in routines; the struggle is with attentiveness

Ways to keep students with ADHD motivated in their lessons.

  1. Provide (short-term) choices (such as: do you want to begin with scales repertoire?)
  2. Change up activities frequently.
  3. May do better with harder repertoire (tend to get bored really easily; may thrive on challenges)

Transcript unavailable for this episode.