Posts Write a post

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.

Wired4Music is the network for 16-25 years olds all interested in music and living in London, hosted by Sound Connections. Members can sign up quickly and easily via the Wired4Music website, and the Sound Connections team work closely with these individuals and groups to empower their music projects and ideas.

Here at Sound Connections, we’re on a mission to become an Attitude Champion. We’ve partnered with the inspiring team at Attitude is Everything because we believe in their mission to improve deaf and disabled access to live music and music making activities.

This piece is written by Sound Connections Programme Manager Julia Roderick

In February, Schools Minister Nick Gibb gave a welcome call to action about SEN/D music provision. He states that ‘It is important that all pupils have the opportunity to participate in the arts. That funding should support all pupils, whatever their background, whatever their family’s income, and whatever particular special needs or disabilities they may have. No child should be excluded from music because they have physical disabilities or other special needs.’ In this speech he also talks about the excellent work the One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust is doing to remove the barriers to music faced by physically disabled people.

We have been using our six categories of Youth Participation to review the ways in which we are working collaboratively with young people whilst supporting other organisations to do the same.

Demonstrating impact is a hot topic. Terms such as outcomes framework, Theory of Change, Cost Benefit Analysis, causality and soft versus hard outcomes are increasingly commonplace and it can be overwhelming figuring out what this all means and how it applies to you. In music education evidencing impact is often a complicated business, and funders require different types of evaluation.

As part of our mission to continually challenge, share and advocate for best practice in music education, Sound Connections commissioned expert early years leader John Webb to undertake research into the role of men in early years music making.

A project that looks to bring together Downs Syndrome support groups through musical collaboration; training and mentoring for young female musicians; music technology with children and young people in challenging circumstances; and music and play in palliative care, all make up Sound Connections Innovate programme 2017.

We’re delighted to be welcoming community musician, lecturer and composer Graham Dowdall to lead our ‘Exploring music in challenging circumstances’ workshop on Thursday 30 March 2017. We have spoken to Graham in the run up to the workshop about his musical interests, inspirations and memorable moments. He also sheds some light on what attendees can expect at his upcoming workshop, tickets for which can be purchased here.

Over the past year Sound Connections has delivered three events celebrating musical inclusion; one focused on early years, one on working with young people in challenging circumstances, and one co-produced by Wired4Music with Sound Connections championing youth voice and participation. All three areas of practice still fight for their place in music education practice and policy and it remains important to shine a light on the best work happening in these fields.

The are the highlights of the year...

An opinion written piece by Tyler Edwards, an artist, producer and member of Wired4Music.