Berkshire Hills Music Academy (Residential School)

48 Woodbridge Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 540-9720
Fax: (413) 534-3875

Populations served:

Berkshire Hills Music Academy (BHMA) is licensed by the Department of Developmental Disabilities in Massachusetts and serves young adults nationally and internationally with cognitive and/or developmental disabilities.   BHMA students possess an intrinsic love of music. The Life Centered Educational (LCE) Curriculum prepares students for independence and personal fulfillment through Daily Living Skills, Self Determination/Interpersonal Skills, Employment, and Music.

BHMA is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts on a forty-acre property. Students have access to local shopping, public transportation and the five colleges.

BHMA offers both day and residential programs with extended year options. Our staff is highly trained in music and special education. Music is used to help our students achieve non-music goals. BHMA provides a supportive environment for students with non-aggressive behavioral needs, with mild to moderate mental health and/or medical diagnoses.

Successful students at BHMA have the following profile:

  • Ages 18 and over
  • Typical Full Scale IQ or Adaptive Behavior Composite 50 to 80.
  • Love and/or aptitude for music.
  • Needing a transition or long term placement.
  • Expressive Language skills sufficient enough to communicate want and needs to staff.
  • Demonstrates basic self-care skills

Typical Diagnosis of the students we serve:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Down Syndrome
  • Velocardiofacial Syndrome
  • Williams Syndrome
  • Non-specific cognitive/developmental disability

Location(s) of internship sites: South Hadley

Accessible by Public Transportation?   yes – through 5 college bus (walking distance from Mt. Holyoke College.

General job description of what an intern might do: Specific job descriptions are negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

  •     Shadow and assist in life skills classrooms (banking & budgeting, cooking, etc.)
  •     Shadow and assist in social skills groups and Circles Program.
  •     Support the Vocation department (filling out applications, updating resumes)
  •     Do special projects with the music programs, scheduling performances, etc.
  •     Assist in social/recreational activities during evenings and weekends.
  •     If you are a musician, you are encouraged to jam with the students during evenings and weekends and to assist with open microphone events.

Your availability: BHMA is a residential program and all shifts are available.   If you are interested in gaining some experience with teaching academic or practical skills or want to learn more about counseling, you will need to be there during the day. If you are interested in providing support for social/recreational/musical activities, you can arrange to participate during the evenings and on weekends.



Katie Fiander, Director of Academics, Vocation, and Life Skills

48 Woodbridge Street
South Hadley, MA 01075
Phone: (413) 540-9720, ext. 222
Fax: (413) 534-3875