Who are you?
Hello, I’m Jane Williams – Director of The Turning Tides Project.
I’m an Occupational Therapist and a musician. I am passionate about two things:
Music and the belief that “disability” does not belong to individuals but is caused by the way society treats “difference”.
Music plays a part in every society – it is an essential part of what makes us human.
As Roald Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant says “music is like a langwitch... it is the sound that dreams are making”.
Many disabled people have little or no access to music. This lack of access prevents them from participating in their society, it denies them their right to follow their dreams; it disables.
Why did you set up The Turning Tides project?
I worked as a free-lance music facilitator for people labelled as having “learning disabilities”, “autism spectrum diagnoses” and “challenging behaviour” for 7 years. During this time I ran community music projects and weekly music groups, taught instrument, song-writing and performance skills, formed bands that recorded their own original songs, wrote film sound tracks and performed live gigs, and wrote and delivered ‘Why Music?’ Workshops for Social Care providers and wrote a book called Music and The Social Model.
**Want to learn more about the Social Model**
I learnt three things:
•Enabling disabled people to access music makes a big difference to their lives, their aspirations and their place in their community
•The most powerful way of making a difference is through the thing you’re passionate about
•The more people who use their passion to make a difference in the world, the bigger the difference will be
The Turning Tides Project draws together a group of people with:•Different passions (dance, poetry and literature, art, music, cookery, literacy, going out)
•A shared belief that enabling access to these passions removes “disability”
I call these people ‘The Happening-makers’
What is your job at The Turning Tides Project?•Company Director – I find Happening-makers, work with them to develop ideas , identify funding and do all the things that make a company sustainable.
•Music Facilitator – I run sensory music sessions and fun music sessions , teach instrument skills, co-write songs, set up and rehearse bands, arrange gigs and tours, contribute to the development of cross – arts and collaborative performances
•Support Worker – I support facilitators who run other sessions
•Gig Buddies volunteer
•Learning and Training Manager; I co-design and co-deliver workshops and conferences for people who work in social care and the arts
What principles do you live by?•"Be the change that you wish to see in the world" (Gandhi)
•If we all used the things we really care about to make a difference, the difference we would make collectively will be enormous
•Everyone who dreams has music