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There is an international movement of community music and everywhere I travel I see a different side and aspect of the practice. Currently I am teaching for 2 days at the Conservatorium in Brisbane, Australia after working on two conferences in Hong Kong and Auckland.

I write this as we are about to embark on our new horizons conference for 2017. An event that we started last year – structured around a series of speakers and conversations on a theme. This year’s title - Breaking Down the Barriers: The Arts, Disability and Change. But we’re not experts or leading the field, like Drake Music or Graeae or a number of other organisations or consortiums who are leading by example, so it begs the question.....How dare we host a conference around disability and the sector, hypocritical or what?!!?
The answer for me is a very simple one – we want to get better.

In the growing absence of safe spaces for creative young people to practice their arts. We've been reflecting on tapping into current culture to support young artists looking to evolve their practice and performance opportunties. 

A powerful testimony that national education policy makers should hear.

The launch of the National Open Youth Orchestra (NOYO), the first ever national disabled-led youth orchestra, is a significant moment in music education history. It is with great excitement that we release the Executive Summary of the NOYO Feasibility Study, which Sound Connections was commissioned in January 2017 to research and compile.

Last Friday the Fast Forward 2017: Breaking the Glass Ceiling conference (hosted by Bristol Plays Music) was a landmark moment and a potential game-changer for music and disability. In this article we share news from a day that was packed full of important messages and notable progress.

In July 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW) published a report outlining the case for the role of arts in health and well-being entitled, Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing. Commissioned to improve awareness of the benefits that the arts can bring, this two year inquiry captures evidence, conversation and practice with patients, arts and cultural organisations, academics, health care professionals and policy makers, making, possibly the strongest case yet, that arts have a significant and positive impact on health and well-being.

Want to attend our training but live too far away?

Join us tomorrow (Thursday 28th September) through Facebook live!! Streaming from 2pm

Check us out on https://www.facebook.com/musicalcommunities/, ask your questions and get ready to learn

A perfect storm is rapidly approaching in music education in England. Read on to see how you can help and gain support.

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We are very excited to announce that Wingbeats will be returning on Friday 17th November! This is the second conference in a series, celebrating the work we do and also exploring the music for health sector through a variety of presentations, panel discussions and performances. It will be held at Whitworth Art Gallery, which is one of our valued partner organisations. We are especially thrilled that Matt Griffiths, CEO of National Foundation for... Youth Music and our main funder will be kicking off the day with a keynote speech! This FREE conference promises to be an amazing, inspiring and informative event so please don't miss out. We will be posting a link to an eventbrite page over the next couple of weeks so that you can secure your place. In the meantime if you have any questions or would like to be on our mailing list, please email Kate Catling, Project Manager at katecatlingfreelance@gmail.com

*******SAVE THE DATE**********
We are very excited to announce that Wingbeats will be returning on Friday 17th November! This is the second conference in a series, celebrating the work we do and also exploring the music for health sector through a variety of presentations, panel discussions and performances. It will be held at Whitworth Art Gallery, which is one of our valued partner organisations. We are especially thrilled that Matt Griffiths, CEO of National Foundation for... Youth Music and our main funder will be kicking off the day with a keynote speech! This FREE conference promises to be an amazing, inspiring and informative event so please don't miss out. We will be posting a link to an eventbrite page over the next couple of weeks so that you can secure your place. In the meantime if you have any questions or would like to be on our mailing list, please email Kate Catling, Project Manager at katecatlingfreelance@gmail.com

Carrie Lennard is an SEN music teacher at St Ann’s School in Ealing and creator of The Improvise Approach, an innovative educational tool to support music making with SEN children.  Below she shares her thoughts on technology, the challenges facing music practitioners in SEN and creating change in the curriculum.