Complimentary Sheet Music & Rings

Hear from Occupational Octaves™ Users, Past and Present

The rich history of Occupational Octaves Piano™ began with a mission: since so many people with Autism and other special needs can match colors and letters, more people with significant challenges could experience the wonders of musicianship!

Using the colorful #RingsOnTheFingers, program author and creator Lee D. Stockner reached thousands of students, worldwide, through the Occupational Octaves Piano™ curriculum. Below is a mix of experiences of Lee’s students and other professionals who have used this method, beginning with the award nominated documentary, Occupational Octaves™.

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The Documentary, Occupational Octaves™

Occupational Octaves, the documentary, nominated for the best documentary award at the 2020 Pasadena International Film Festival
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My daughter is 11 years old and has autism. She has significant language delays and great difficulty focusing, but she loves music and seems to have a great ear for music. It seemed natural that learning to play an instrument would be a source of pleasure and benefit to her. Unfortunately, her neurological disorder made learning to play very difficult for her. We made several attempts with different teachers, including teachers who had training and experience working with children with autism, but our daughter made almost no progress and showed little interest; the teachers had difficulty just getting her to sit at the piano for more than 2 minutes at a time. Then, we decided to try out Lee Stockner who promised a very different approach. I had very minimal expectations, given what I had already seen. But, somehow, in the very first lesson, my daughter was able to play a song. Within four lessons, she had accomplished significantly more than she had done in dozens of lessons with other teachers. Now, several months later, she is able to sit easily for 15 minutes at a time and play songs with chords, and she shows clear enjoyment and pleasure in the activity. Her focus is actually improving with each lesson. The progress is extraordinary, and learning to play using the Music Box Method seems to be helping her to develop neurological connections that will help her in all areas of her life. I have watched the lessons and observed Lee Stockner’s approach to try to understand why it works where other methods fail. One thing most people don’t consider about learning to play the piano is the complexity of the mental processes involved. There has to be a continuous communication and feedback loop between the eyes (seeing the notes on the page) and hands (playing the notes on the instrument) and the ear (hearing the music). For someone with autism, those different brain functions don’t always work so well together. Lee Stockner has provided the right kind of scaffolding, in the form of color-coded rings matched up to the notes on the page and letters on the keys, to help bridge gaps between the different neurological channels for a student with autism. The student doesn’t have to struggle so much to make the connection between the eyes and hands, and is immediately reinforced by the coherent, recognizable music that she is able to make. In his lessons, Lee adds in an ABA-style token system leading to sensory breaks to doubly reinforce the process and to allow students to get the physical movement and input they need after their brains have worked hard at the keyboard. This combination of elements is nothing short of brilliant and ground-breaking. With the Music Box Method, I am convinced that any student with neurological processing difficulties can experience the pleasure and benefits of playing piano.

Sue, Parent, Long Island

My son John is very interested in music. We are fortunate enough to take piano lessons with the author of this book series, Lee Stockner. John truly enjoys his lessons and has really excelled at playing the piano. We also have a keyboard at home and he really can't get enough of it. None of this could have been accomplished without the simplicity of the language that Lee uses in his books. I feel like these classes and books have given my son confidence in other aspects of his life.

Hariklia Bletsas Occupational Octaves Piano

Fantastic!!! Innovative and effective!

MorrisFamilyFaith Fantastic!!! Innovative and effective!

Our daughter Olivia loves music and playing the piano. We never thought that we would be able to have her learn to play but because of Occupational Octaves and Lee Stockner she is now playing on her keyboard at home. His teaching method is pure genius and has changed her life. Her fine motor skills are advancing along with her attention while playing. We HIGHLY recommend this program for any child who love music.

Linda DeLeo Her fine motor skills are advancing along with her attention while ...

Occupational Octaves Piano by Lee D. Stockner is an amazing program for children with special needs! My 9 year old twin sons with autism are currently taking lessons with Mr. Lee on Sunday mornings in Queens, NY (Christopher since October 2012 and Nicholas since October 2014). Nicholas and Christopher have so much fun learning to play a variety of music. Mr. Lee individualizes his lessons to meet the needs of each student. He is very skilled at addressing any behaviors that arise. Some of the strategies that he uses to work through challenging sessions include token boards and positive reinforcement. Rewards offered include use of the sensory gym in the facility where lessons take place. I am very pleased with this program and highly recommend it. My sons look forward to their weekly piano lessons and also enjoy playing on the keyboard we have at home. I am so proud of the accomplishments they have made so far with this program. A big "thank you" to Lee D. Stockner for creating this wonderful program and being great at teaching it to children with special needs!Lisa Kruger

Lisa Kruger Highly recommended piano lessons for children with special needs!

I had the most amazing success with Occupational Octaves with a 9 year old autistic boy! In a little over six weeks, we went from barely being able to play middle C continuously, to playing Twinkle Twinkle and Shepherds Awake. It was truly remarkable! I had no real expectations as I had not used a system like this before to teach, but I was not prepared for how quickly and how enthusiastically the student took to this system. Using colored dry erase markers to write the right letters on the right keys became one of his favorite warm-up activities, to the point where he decided ON HIS OWN that he no longer needed to write them and could play the songs correctly on unmarked keys (a huge confidence boost for him!). This method was so effective that I even experimented with writing out the letters in black pen (no colors) and my student was, by the end, able to read the correct notes without any color or color-band cues. It was amazing, and for an intelligent boy struggling with the self-esteem issues autism brings, I saw a real transformation. It was so effective I am considering using it with all my very young students. Traditional notation can be learned at any time, but the kind of excitement that this method engenders, in addition to actually knowing note names and PLAYING and ENJOYING IT may just save a few kids from quitting! My student lights up every time he comes to lessons now, and I understand that he plays at home without even being told to. I have just ordered Book 2! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Amazon Customer Amazing Method for Autistic and, Really, ALL Children

My 13-year old son who has autism has taken piano lessons with Lee Stockner for almost a year. Lee Stockner's Occupational Octaves piano method has helped my son to learn in ways I would not have imagined possible. My son is now able to be focused and disciplined for a 45 minute lesson, has learned to read music via Lee's adapted notation, and has gone from playing simple one-handed pieces to playing with both hands. My son is delighted when it is time for his lesson and clearly enjoys learning and playing. It often has a calming effect on him and it seems to tap and exercise his intellectual abilities in a unique and deep way that almost nothing else can. I am so happy for my son that he is learning to enjoy the challenge, stimulation and pleasure that learning to play the piano, and music, gives him. Occupational Octave piano lessons are a brilliant method of teaching.

Susannah Greenberg

Our son Ari is profoundly autisitic - minimally verbal and hyperactive. I did not think he would be able to sit for a lesson and let Lee know right away that the lessons might last less than 15 minutes in the beginning. Ari began taking lessons in the fall of 2009 and, to be perfectly honest- seeing is believing! From day one, he sat at the piano for 30 minutes with short granola bar breaks in between. He immediately clicked with Lee. A few weeks after he began, we watched Ari sit at the piano, follow Lee's directions happily and tinkle those ivories! He loves his lessons and they have become one of the highlights of his week. Our son is 21 yo and lives in a group home - I never thought he would be able to do any of this, especially since I have a piano in my home which he has never touched! This program is great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lynn, Long Island

Learning to play the piano has been an incredible and very rewarding experience for each of our twin sons, Alex and Jamie. Lee creatively designed a visual system of learning the notes without reading music and using various symbols for the sharps, flats and pedal, etc. which the boys learned instantly. Their attention and sense of accomplishment is so exciting to witness, and the best of all..... the beautiful sound of classical music that radiates on our home on Friday nights! This is a wonderful opportunity for any child with autism who loves music like our sons. Lee 's training in ABA and experience working with kids with autism along with his musical talent are a wonderful combination. He is patient and dedicated to developing their skills and is a joy to have as their piano teacher!

R Schneider Highly recommend this amazing music method!

This method of piano teaching has been amazing with my six year old autistic son Mikey. I was so thrilled when he learned to play the basic notes and very simple songs. Now only after a few months, Mikey is playing advanced music with multiple keys. Lee Stockner's method has empowered Mikey with the language of music in a very unique way. I am confidant that in time that he will be able to play even the most challenging music. It is amazing to see my special needs son be able to play a song with such pride. I recommend this book to any parent who wants to see their child succeed in piano. The Music Box Method really works!!

Julie Ferrigno This method of piano teaching has been amazing with my six year old autistic son Mikey

My daughter, Aja, is a pupil and has been taking lessons for over a year. She has PDD-NOS with delayed language, gross and fine motor skills. She also LOVES music! Aja has made amazing progress in using her hands, reading the letters, and playing songs on the piano. Lee's method of teaching relaxes her and keeps her focused. Lee utilizes the ABA approach in his program so successfully that Aja has little to no need for any rewards to keep her on track. I am proud to write this testimonial for Lee and his program. Lee is simply one of the best teachers that I have dealt with over the past six years and I would highly recommend ABA Piano Lessons.

Jessica, Long Island

Lee Stockner is a dedicated teacher and musician who has a passion for teaching others to make music. Lee has developed a unique method to teach piano to both children and adults with Autism and developmental disabilities. I have had the pleasure to be present while Lee teaches. His patience, responsiveness and empathy are evident in all his interactions with his student. His students are eager to learn and the result is "music to my ears".

Sarah – Occupational Therapist, Long Island

I had used a traditional teaching book/method with my Granddaughter who is in Special Ed. She had great difficulty with this, but really wanted to learn piano. Found this book, written by an Occupational Therapist and my Granddaughter loves the method, and is progressing well. She loves the colored finger rings. Very clever. I do recommend this book for those children who have difficulty with usual piano methods.

Kindle Customer Great piano program

My son who is diagnosed PDD has been using the books by Lee Stockner. It has made learning the piano fun for him. This book has helped him to develop confidence and increased his concentration. I highly recommend the books by Lee Stockner.

VP It has made learning the piano fun for him

Love this piano series for my students with special needs and autism. You have to know how to work with children with special needs before using the books. It might take a few lessons just for the child to tolerate the soft band on one of their thumbs. Every child needs to go at their own pace. I am a music therapist.

musicwi Wonderful!

As a parent of three children with Autism on Long Island I have three words for Lee - Outstanding, Brilliant, and Inspirational. Truly he is a dynamic educator that is passionate about giving a musical voice to disabled children. Can't wait to see where he is next year with his new business model - BRAVO Lee

Melanie, Long Island

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