Making Music in Special Schools
Making music not only provides joy but supports the development of physical, cognitive, emotional, personal and social skills. For children with additional needs it can also give them a lifeline by providing an opportunity for self-expression, a key for wellbeing.
We believe that all children should have access to high quality, creative music-making. However, for many children across the UK provision is patchy. Not all special schools employ a specialist music teacher, so many special school students are not offered regular music-making opportunities.
Our stimulating music-making programme in special schools is carefully designed to give all children the opportunity for active participation. Our specialist professional musicians adapt their approach to suit the needs of children/young people and staff in each school, leading a creative musical process where pupils and staff work together.
‘Our Experiential Phase participated in an Interactive Music Making Session with musicians from Jessie’s Fund. Learners had such fun whilst working hard on their communication, anticipation, investigation, curiosity and discovery skills! …Our learners thoroughly enjoyed the day, as did the staff, they spoke passionately about the reactions given by the pupils.’ Teacher, Springside School, Rochdale
The programme includes structured learning and support for teachers, providing the skills and confidence to use music in the classroom.
Our musicians are experts at involving children, whatever their abilities. We use a wide range of composition techniques, instruments and visual stimuli to create work with children and staff.
Our approach is responsive and flexible, but we often use these three project structures:
• one-day taster workshops
• five-day creative projects
• year-long staff development projects
Schools have on-going access to support materials and advice, and we have a wealth of ideas to help with music-making in our resources area. This includes carefully constructed video sessions on our YouTube channel for use in the classroom and at home, and training videos on a wealth topics.
‘Jessie’s Fund is amazing. I had the opportunity to work with them at James Rennie School….We love nothing more than when we are told they are coming in to work with us. It’s not just the kids that enjoy it, we all do to. We love seeing how much the kids get from it, and it’s fun for us to. Can’t wait for them back again.’ Teaching assistant, James Rennie School, Cumbria
All learning starts in the home, and music can provide the perfect conduit. Through our family learning sessions families are supported to incorporate music into their everyday activities. Working in collaboration with public sector partners and schools, our six week courses give tips and tricks for music making as a family. Sessions are fun and informal, with lots of time to ask questions and resources provided to support the continuation of music making at home.
‘My two children (aged 2 and 5) don’t play together much as the younger one’s disabilities mean that most of the ways that siblings interact aren’t available to us. But the older was really intrigued to hear about the Jessie’s Fund music group and decided to run our own music group with a circle of cuddly toys. We all played and sang together as a family and it was really special.’
To find out more, please email our Director of Learning: firstname.lastname@example.org