On the cusp of an exciting new project!
My name is Rebecca Price, and I have been teaching piano lessons privately for about nine years now, and working with children with additional needs for the last five. More recently, I started working at Rowangate Special School in Wellingborough alongside their Music Coordinator, Jan Hall. Since starting at Rowangate I have taken on a number of different roles there, starting with being a lunchtime assistant, then classroom assistant, and more recently leading singing assemblies.
I am also part of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust’s (NMPAT) Musical Inclusion Team working on two of their “Music Forge” projects, “Sound Control” – our partnership project with Dr Rebecca Fiebrink from the Computer Music Department of Goldsmiths College – and the monthly “Relaxed Singalongs” that operate out of the Kettering Music and Performing Arts Centre.
(“Music Forge” is a Fund B Youth Music project. You can find out more about the project here: http://www.nmpat.co.uk/music-education-hub/Pages/musical-inclusion-projects.aspx)
Following discussions between Jan Hall and NMPAT’s Musical Inclusion
Programme and Partnership Manager, Simon Steptoe, I was asked whether I could spend some time developing my approach to teaching piano to the children at Rowangate, specifically to:
- Document my approach with the current cohort of SEND children I’ve been working with over the past year;
- Expand the sessions to include a wider range of abilities and needs;
- Find out about other practitioners across the UK working in similar areas to myself;
- Explore ways of packaging the project so I can approach other special schools in Northamptonshire with this provision.
The project started a few weeks back, and now we are at the beginning of a new term I am starting to spend some time looking at the broader challenges of the work ahead, especially in regards to connecting with any colleagues who are out there already working successfully with piano and special needs children, and learning something about how they approach their sessions. Obviously this is where I am hoping the Youth Music Network will come into its own!
So, this is first of what I hope will be several blogs about the project, but in the meantime, I would be really keen to connect with others on the Youth Music network with similar interests and experiences.
Do please contact me on the network if you’d like to share aspects of your practice with me… and, on my part, I hope to be sending out another blog or two over the Summer describing some of the work I’ve been doing.