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Engagement with Technology in Special Educational & Disabled Music Settings

Since 1999, Youth Music has provided music making opportunities for over 30,000 children and young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) across a range of settings. The musical abilities and needs of these children and young people vary greatly, as do the types of project and methods of delivery supported by Youth Music.

In recent years, however, there has been a noticeable increase in projects using technology to engage with children and young people from these demographics.

This increase in the way that technology is being used has led Youth Music to commission this research into the ways in which such technologies are being used for music making with these young people, the legacy of such approaches and the barriers to engagement with technology in these contexts.

Specifically this document seeks to address the following research questions:

• To establish the rationale for using technology in the delivery of music making for SEN/Disabled children and young people i.e. what is the role of technology in these settings? Is technology used as a creative musical instrument or as a facilitating tool? How does technology facilitate creative expression?

• To establish how technology is being used in SEN/Disabled music settings i.e. what type and range of technologies are being used? Is technology suited to needs of children and young people?

• To identify barriers to engagement with technology i.e. do certain approaches require specialist training? Do non-specialist practitioners fear technology? Are there cost implications for establishing and maintaining delivery through technology?