Blog Written by Linda Lalonde

What an amazing discovery Occupational Octaves Piano & Lee Stockner’s Music Box Piano Method is. It enhances all my skills developed during many, many years of piano teaching (I’ve taught private music lessons for over 40 years). My experience includes being a certified music teacher and private teacher, school counselor and Occupational Octaves Piano™ Certified Instructor currently teaching 12 students with Autism and other special needs (as of September, 2014). Since becoming certified I’ve taught in numerous centers including the Florida Institute of Neurology Rehabilitation. Ona, Florida. I’ve been astounded by the unique effectiveness of this method. My special needs students (and their parents) all “love” learning and playing with this method! They even take home copies of the books for themselves!

The search to teach an autistic young boy piano lessons began in November of 2013. Due to him being non-verbal, hyperactive and highly behavioral, I wasn’t able to use any of my traditional music training to accomplish anything. I had reached out to some special needs piano teachers I found for some guidance but I wouldn’t even get responses. Even if they had called me back, none actually had any method books! This five year old boy’s grandfather called to ask if I could teach him piano. I tried regular rhythmic ideas, several method books, clapping, tapping, trying to look at traditional notes! It did not work! The young man sat on the seat for about a minute! Now the same young guy can sit for about 20 minutes and play 25 songs from Book 1 of the method series, including Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle, Row Your Boat and more. His accomplishments are already above and beyond what I ever expected to accomplish when we first got together. The training that Mr. Stockner provided gave me a clear path, a new and outstanding curriculum and the inspiration to work through the MANY bumps in the road.


Now, Occupational Octaves Piano Method provides great success for many people here in Florida. We are hoping to help many future students. Soon our students will do more concerts. We will go to schools to perform. Furthermore, Mr. Stockner has encouraged me to use my own ideas within the confines of the program, so I will be trying to work with a new teacher’s assistant who is my young student with High Functioning Autism. We are all very excited and proud to have such a brilliant method. Many special needs will find benefits, fulfillment, and lifelong gains by playing the piano.