Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Workshop at Leeds College of Music for teaching Music to children with Additional Needs

If it's January it must the College of Music for Diane and me. We meet at 9 for a ten o'clock start, and start at ten fifteen. We met Christine at a NAME meeting years ago and she invited us to give this workshop to her students who were about to embark on their school and community placements.

Our brief is to demonstrate what techniques and what instruments you might use in order to fully include all students in your music class - from those with obvious additional [eg using a wheelchair] to hidden ones [eg shyness]. A wheelchair user may need nothing more than a wide enough door, and a teacher not leaning over her or him; a shy person might need including in the lesson by stealth, and, for example, careful use of eye-contact and never being asked to do a solo.

Diane last year at Music College
Recently the tamboo bamboo people gave a demonstration at an ArtForms training day; we were all converted to their plastic coloured poles [not wooden now] and Diane bought a set. Like pans, they can be as easy or as difficult as you care to make it. [Can't find any pics from this yr so here's some from last]

Diane last yr with frog

My angle is as ever that children's individual needs must be sought out and recognised, and with genuine full-blooded support, you can take your students to the limitless skies. I always open up with the video of the Sparrows at the Royal Albert Hall and describe the various difficulties that would have stopped any of them in their tracks if myself and my support team of teachers and volunteers hadn't done those extra miles.

That's it: my metaphors are as mixed as they can be!

Victoria last yr Leeds Trinity
Victoria last yr at Leeds Trinity
So, for example, at the Old Albert: one boy had  lost his mother just 3 months previously; one had such challenging behaviour that I only brought him if his mother came was well, two of them had had babies when they were 17, one girl now at Uni thought she wouldn't be able to learn the new songs [so I went to Sheffield Uni with 3 pans and another player and taught them again], one was two weeks out of an appendectomy bed; one Moroccan boy's parents had absolutely no idea what was on offer, so I went out to the other side of Leeds and we conversed in French, with some Italian [they'd had an itinerant life], with boy translating the bits I couldn't do in French. One girl was so shy she only agreed to play if she wasn't on the front row; it was endless. They had all played well enough to deserve winning the M4Youth World Music Award, but without massive pastoral support it would have been twelve players on stage and not twenty-three.
Yet another pic of Sparrows at Albert

Our book Including SEN in the Curriculum:Music is available to buy online from David Fulton's.

No comments:

Post a Comment