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What is Zylofone?

Zylofone provides interactive, performing and creative arts programs that allow participants of all ages and abilities to achieve social engagement, emotional balance and intellectual growth through the transformative experience of music, theater, dance and art.
Through these experiences each participant is encouraged to appreciate the presence of beauty in themselves and the community around them in a nurturing and supportive atmosphere thereby enhancing their quality of life.

Zylofone is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


The Zylofone mission is to encourage creativity through the arts while enhancing social skills, confidence and independence.

Zylofone is comprised of a tight knit group of friends and colleagues based in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, who are dedicated to rallying around the vision of our founder, Debbie Major, to create the ultimate interactive creative and performing arts experience and inspiring educational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

As a single mother, having raised highly functioning twin boys with special needs , Gage was born with Cerebral Palsy and Asperger’s Syndrome; Jacob has classical autism – Debbie is intimately familiar with the challenges, frustrations and systemic bias that people with disabilities are confronted with on a daily basis.

Having also enjoyed a long distinguished career as a renowned vocalist, musician, performer and music educator, she is also uniquely qualified to understand what most effectively works to teach, engage and inspire many special needs individuals to achieve their fullest potential. Over many years of observing, evaluating, and fine-tuning her teaching methods and techniques, she has developed a veritable plethora of ideas that would better serve people with disabilities in the performing arts community, including physical space design concepts, visual stimulation, and sensory perception.

We’d love to hear from you. Click here to send us a note!

What’s New

New Workshops for 2018!


caroling 2Z-Bop– Learn to sing and dance in a group to the Top Ten Hits.  Have fun and make your very own music video.

cupcake_starter_kit_5Z-Cakes- a yummy way to get creative! Learn simple and fun ways to decorate your favorite confections and make treats to share with family and friends.

rainbow-dyed-dry-chickpeas-sensory-play-for-kids-toddlers-preschool-how-to-4Zensory- enter an interactive world of sensory exploration. Various stations will offer creative play with various forms of stimulation.  Sit quietly in our light tent, listen to your favorite soft sounds, explore scents, manipulate sand and much more.

538646283Game Night Social- Teens and young adults mingle and play.  Play one of our games or bring your favorite board game to share.  Meet new friends in a relaxed and safe environment.


Special NeedsMom Time– Mom’s of children (of all ages) with special needs meet once a month to unwind, share, listen and support one another while getting creative at a Zylofone workshop. Bring a snack or beverage to share!




“The Music & Movement class brings a lot of joy to our senior residents. It’s great for their well-being; mind, body, & spirit. They get physical exercise, singing out their hearts and souls, and music to uplift their spirits. Your selection of music really resonates with the residents. They have a great time!”

Jacqueline Losee/New Windsor Country Inn


“Our family is so appreciative and grateful to Zylofone.
Our son Eric has participated in the Zylofone musical workshops for the past two years.
This past Fall -2014 Eric became “Benny The Beagle”. In the Zylofone performance of ARF! The practices and performance gave Eric an opportunity to learn lines, rehearse, practice lines, understand a script, work with a wonderful crew, become confidant and experience performance on stage and more……. In addition, Jason-his older Brother was Eric’s dedicated Mentor which was a unique and gratifying experience for both of them. During the actual performance Jason was able to help coach and redirect Eric steering him from a possible meltdown and together they shined on stage!
We thank the wonderful folks/volunteers/mentors and friends we embrace as our Zylofone family. Thanks to these experiences Eric was able to perform in the second grade concert today with pride, a big smile, and he successfully did the show movements too! It was magical.
Today, Eric Orzell was just one of the second graders! No sensory concerns, no barriers! Just a wonderful boy proud to perform!
We are a very proud family and look forward to future Zylofone opportunities!”

The Orzells


“My 11 year old daughter loves Zylofone! The classes have a strong sensory based approach along with lots of one to one interaction which works really well for her. They understand her needs and are able to really connect bringing out her joy through the beauty of music. I highly recommend Zylofone for all children on the spectrum, it is a very special program as unique as they are!”

Karen Schwartz


“Our son Elijah attended his first 6-week session at Zylofone this Winter. When we bring Elijah to his small group class he RUNS excitedly from the car all the way to the door. Upon entering, Zylofone’s wonderful staff immediately attend to his toileting training and then bring him into a warm positive space filled with intriguing musical instruments, whereupon they then explore improvisation-ally within the structure of the session. We were particularly impressed by the individualized attention Elijah receives at Zylofone. Since beginning Zylofone our son no longer plugs his ears regularly (over stimulated by sound/hyper-sensitive) and eagerly greets and says goodbye to his new friends at Zylofone. We are looking forward to attending Zylofone for years to come and feel our sons natural musical inclinations and thus his communication skills will be enhanced and nourished by this very special place.”

Dena Wolf