LEARN MORE ABOUT BHMA

WHO WE ARE

Life Skills, Vocation, Music & Arts

Berkshire Hills Music Academy is a unique college-like program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are looking to expand their social, vocational, and life skills in a music-infused environment.

THE VALUE OF MUSIC

Music uniquely stimulates all areas of the brain, promoting significant opportunity for enhanced learning and retention. Our highly trained staff employs the therapeutic value of music to help students, regardless of experience or aptitude, improve and increase:

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PHYSICAL ABILITIES

Gross and fine motor skills, spatial awareness, and organized muscle responses

COMMUNICATION

SKILLS

Speech, articulation, and language organization & retrieval

COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING

Focus, attention, and engagement

SOCIAL SKILLS
Teamwork, problem solving, and self-advocacy

STUDENT STORIES

Carly Ziemba

Since graduating from BHMA’s two-year program in 2017, she has focused on expressing herself through dance, art, and music as part of the LIVE Program.

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Carly Ziemba in her Trader Joe's uniform holding up a jar of pasta sauce in the middle of a grocery store aisle.
Jack Ryan

“I’m good at dates,” declares second-year student Jack Ryan with conviction.

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Jack Ryan, wearing a red zip-up sweatshirt, looks down at his hands as he plays with a bright purple ball; a Circles rainbow is visible in the background.
Jen Barrett

As a member of the Ascending Artist Program, Jen makes a range of creations and earns a paycheck from sales at art shows, local businesses, and our online marketplace.

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Mark Palardy

Mark, who has Noonan syndrome and experiences hearing loss as well, is passionate about music, and his schedule is centered around using it as a means of employment.

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Mark Palardy, wearing a blue plaid button-down shirt, smiles at the camera as he sits at the keyboard.

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 5: Independence Day (observed) - no day program
August 27: Summer ensemble concert
September 6: Labor Day - no day program
September 7: Fall semester begins
September 18: In-person & virtual fundraising event

Hire Our Performers

BHMA’s music vocation program supports the goals and talents of its aspiring and professional musicians. Sharing their passion on stage raises visibility, promotes acceptance, and changes perceptions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Music Instructor Joel Turcotte plays the piano.

CONNECT WITH BHMA

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