Music Making, Special Educational Needs & Disability

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At the end of our first year of Open School Orchestras (OSO) in Cornwall, we've been thinking about next steps, and how to create progression routes for young SEN/D musicians. We created a short pilot project to explore the idea of inviting mainstream musicians to join the OSO in creative music workshops - integration following on from inclusion work. The short films below show the final performance, and discussion around how to build on the pilot, creating pathways through creative ensembles for those wanting to take their music further, beyond the classroom.

The Open School Orchestra (OSO) programme has been well-thought-out, having been developed by OpenUp Music over many years. There are aspects to this which mean it has sustainability and ongoing development built in from the start. Having worked on some inclusion projects where lots of good work happens, but it fizzles out in the setting after the end of the project, it's worth noting and learning from how the OSO format increases the chances for sustainability.

The film below gives an idea of the impact that the Open School Orchestra project has had in Cornwall. It has been a turning point in raising aspirations for the participants, the schools, and for what young disabled musicians in Cornwall can achieve, by giving their music a platform on Cornwall's biggest stage in front of an audience of almost 1,000.

As we reach the end of the first year of Open School Orchestras in Cornwall, its time for some reflection on the journey so far. The project has seen the first Open School Orchestras (OSO) start in Cornwall for young people with special educational needs or disabilities. The short film below gives some insight into the effect the project has had on one individual - a remarkable musician with autism who has found a voice through music.

This post is about Northamptonshire Music Education Hub’s "Inclusive Ensemble" initiative - part of our Fund B “Music Forge” programme – developed in partnership with Friar's Academy (SEN/D school, secondary level) in Wellingborough. It describes how our relationship with the school and the young people has developed over time, and draws some conclusions about what’s made the project work so successfully for all involved over the longer term.

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Event type: 
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Three months on, what have Emma Lines, Jonathan Westrup and the Music Education Council learnt through producing the 'Short Guide'?

If you are reading this then you know and understand Youth Music’s vision - that life-changing music-making should be available to all children and young people. AllStars music, our Fund B initiative, explores integration as a step forward for the musical inclusion agenda.

Part two of a reflection on a year of music making with young people in Rutland

This discussion group has been set up as an online space for all things related to music-making, special edcuational needs and disabilities. There is a wealth of great practice from all around the country represented on the Youth Music Network, and it is intended that this group should provide a virtual connection to close some of the geographical gaps. If you are new to the group, please feel free to post and let everyone know a little a bit about yourself and what you do!

This discussion group has been set up as an online space for all things related to music-making, special edcuational needs and disabilities. There is a wealth of great practice from all around the country represented on the Youth Music Network, and it is intended that this group should provide a virtual connection to close some of the geographical gaps. If you are new to the group, please feel free to post and let everyone know a little a bit about yourself and what you do!

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