Autism sings
Local music program to hold fundraiser at VB3 for Autism Speaks Foundation
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Jun 23, 2013 | 2885 views | 0 0 comments | 158 158 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rock for Autism
When introducing children to music, Rockasorri cofounder Michael Browne (pictured) selects songs based on the kids’ energy and interest levels.
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It’s been said that music can soothe the savage heart – and apparently it can have a similar affect on rambunctious toddlers, according to the co-founders of Rockasorri Music. Founded on the now-proven belief that an understanding of music can enhance learning overall, Rockasorri founders Kasandra Krause and Michael Browne are partnering with public and private schools in Jersey City and New York to expose toddlers to the wonders of music.

(Through pre-school “mommy and me” classes offered to parents privately in the home, their work even extends to newborns and infants.)

“This is a Montessori theory-based program. We really believe that the child needs to lead the way,” said Krause. “It’s all about being intuitive when it comes to how to relate to children and responding to their needs while they are in the class. So, for example, if the kids are hyper, we’ll cater the music to their energy, maybe do some upbeat songs, do things that incorporate rhythm and motion. If we want to quiet it down, bring them to another level, then we’ll bring in a quieter song.”

Krause and Browne draw their musical repertoire from their album, “Kick, Clap, Bop,” a collection of 12 child-oriented tunes that includes such songs as “I Want My Mommy” and “Peekaboo.”
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‘The reason we’re doing the fundraiser is to promote community awareness of autism.’ – Kasandra Krause
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Their music has also led them to form a partnership with Sensory Kids, a Jersey City-based development center for children with autism and other sensory issues.

“The reason we’re doing the fundraiser is to promote community awareness of autism,” said Krause. “Our work with Sensory Kids enlightened us as far as how important it is for people to be more aware of what autism is and why we should all be aware of what to look for in children, and why we may want to donate to a research organization like the Autism Speaks Foundation.”

One in 560,000 affected

Autism is a little-understood behavioral condition that affects one in 560,000 children nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disorder – which is now generally referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder, according to AutismSpeaks.org – is related to a variety of brain disorders that affect how nerve cells in the brain process information.

Because of the nature of the disorder, it is difficult to make generalizations about children with autism. Some children with autism can have difficulties with social interaction, even with their peers and family members, and may find both verbal and nonverbal communication challenging.

Autism Spectrum Disorder is now the umbrella term used to cover several disorders related to autism, including Autistic Disorder, Rett Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, and Asperger Syndrome.

How and why children become autistic is not understood, which is why many parents and advocates for children with autism believe much more research is needed.

Rock(asorri) for autism

Motivated by their work with Sensory Kids, Krause and Browne have teamed up with VB3 to hold a fundraiser for the Autism Speaks Foundation on Saturday, June 29 from 5 to 7 p.m.

For the event, VB3 will donate hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and specialty cocktails, and there will be a silent auction to help raise additional funds.

Rockasorri cofounder Michael Browne will provide musical entertainment for the event.

Individual advance tickets are $45 and $80 for a couple if purchased online. To purchase advance tickets, visit Rockasorri.charityhappenings.org.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Autism Speaks Foundation and Rockasorri Music.

Located in the Monaco building in the Newport community, VB3 can be found at 475 Washington Blvd.

E-mail E. Assata Wright at awright@hudsonreporter.com.

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