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S4 – Activities are designed and delivered in a manner that is accessible to all and tailored to each individual, taking account of their starting points and aspirations. Group dynamics and pace of learning have been considered.

Music Leader with Young Participant, playing clarinet
Orchestras for All

As part of the nomination process for the National Orchestra for All, we gather information from nominating teachers on young people's musical ability and a wide range of information on the challenges they face in accessing music-making opportunities. Each year we create a brand-new instrumentation template to reflect this, tailoring the parts to suit the ability levels and additional support needs of each member of the orchestra. Considering social skills and experiences, ensemble experience, and balancing accessibility and skill level with stretch and challenge, we allocate parts and seats individually to try to ensure the best possible musical experience. This process is carried out through face-to-face team discussion and the involvement of our orchestral tutor teams. We identify difficult passages in advance and provide the young musicians with highlighted parts and a supporting music learning pack to assist them in their preparation for the start of the Summer Course.

Aside from traditional full and sectional rehearsals, we offer a range of musical activities which develop core musical skills. For example, our November 2017 Winter Sessions facilitated NOFA members to collaboratively and aurally compose music inspired by dance and movement, without written music. This helps make music accessible for those who find notated repertoire most challenging and takes account of the young people’s different starting points in music. Similarly, one of our Summer Course 2018 pieces, a Ghanaian song, was taught to all players aurally, without the use of notated music. 

Taken from Orchestras for All


Drake Music: Music sessions involving young musicians with additional needs commonly have an increased time allowance, both to ensure personal comfort and to enable individuals to work towards personal and musical outcomes in an unhurried atmosphere.

Example: A school is running an accessible music course for its Key Stage 4 class. The majority of the young musicians have physical impairments and many of them use a VOCA to communicate. The music leader plans the weekly lessons around a 'whole morning' delivery time. This enables enough time for a 30 minute comfort break as well as sufficient time for the class to fully access the practical activities, carry out assessment tasks and express their opinions independently.