Deaf Young People and Instrumental Learning

We’re making music accessible for deaf and hearing impaired young people around the region.

Deaf and hearing impaired young people can have as much fun and as much benefit from making music as anyone else – we just need to learn how to help them learn.

Back in April 2015, we worked with Bradford Music and Arts Service, to offer a taster day of music activities for hearing impaired young people. This has now (very quickly!) grown into four year-long projects involving delivering music education workshops specifically for deaf and hearing impaired young people. We're working in four regions: BradfordKirklees, Barnsley, and most recently, Doncaster.

Each young person taking part has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through their local Music Hub, as their hearing peers do, and also by getting together at various points in the year for further workshops and sharing sessions, working alongside fantastic professional musicians (who also happen to be hearing impaired). They are offered a variety of instruments, including brass (see picture). We also offer opportunities for all hub staff involved in teaching these young people to learn new communication and delivery skills AND share good practice as we all learn together how to encourage and support their learning.

Because of what we've gleaned over the course of these projects, we have shared tips on how to communicate with deaf children and young people on our website and have even produced our own 'tips and good practice' guide (please see the attached doc) for working with hearing impaired young people.

Finally, we’ve had some great feedback:

“It was an absolute joy to see my three pupils getting involved in so many ways according to their different personalities. The venue and format were perfect – the children just loved all of the games and fun of participating and being with others. It was fantastic for them to be able to mix with many other deaf children of all abilities and ages and to be offered the opportunity to learn an instrument too.”

“Just to say a very big thank you to you all for organising a truly wonderful day. All the children got such a lot out of it due to the hard work and commitment of you all. You did amazing seeing how everyone was looked after, and for showing us how music comes alive for everyone. You are all just brilliant.”

“[My students] are both still learning the flute and enjoying it. One of the pupils is loving her music so much that she is immersing herself in it – playing the flute, singing in the winning choir called “Raise your voice” in City Park in Bradford and playing in the samba band too! What an inspiration and success story! Much of that is thanks to the support and encouragement offered by your Deaf Music Workshop. Additionally, I have organised social lunches for these two pupils to meet up each term to share lunch, have a chat and to play the flute with their music teachers. It has been fantastic so thank you!”

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