The Melody Arons Center, MAC, is a living memorial and tribute to the life of Melody Arons. Daughter of Raymond and Marilyn Arons, Melody died in 1997 before she had the opportunity to have children of her own. The organization is based in her home, now converted into an early intervention and research center. Her parents chose to focus on the goal of prevention and early intervention for all of the young children who will be products of Melody’s legacy at MAC - a brighter future with less risk of disability.
During Melody’s life her family was known nationally for its advocacy work on behalf of all children with disabilities, ages 5-21. When MAC was created in 2001, its concept focused on unmet needs of infants and toddlers, 0-5, and their families through an unusual mix of both science and art. These include neuroscience, music, art, dance, and developmental principles of child development. MAC offers a different kind of direct service, research, and parent training and support than is currently available through public early intervention systems. Its emphasis is on play-based instruction, empirical research, active parent involvement, and the federal law controlling publicly funded early intervention, The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, Part C. Based upon their 30 years of working outside of established special education organizations through creating the first parent information center in the United States in 1977, (see www.marilynsuearons.com ), the Arons family understood that innovative practices are rarely welcomed into an established bureaucracy. Therefore, MAC is funded only with private donations. The Aronses sought out colleagues in public health, science, music, art, law and education for input into the creation of the MAC model. The resulting organization is infused with the special exuberance and joy with which Melody lived her life, providing a warm, family-like setting in which rigorous research and problem solving occurs. Music and movement, language and self-regulation are the focus of the MAC programs. It seeks to merge good science with good intervention for a better outcome for disabled infants and toddlers.
MAC seeks to have music and art inform the science of learning through fusion thinking. It collapses the divide between the fields of psychology, language, fine and gross motor skills, sensory integration, education and neuroscience to create a more integrated approach to the intervention and remediation of disability. It coordinates empirical measurement of outcome through individually designed plans for children and play groups, helping parents and professionals gain comfort in the continuous crossing of the bridge between the humanities, the arts and science.