Training courses

Our popular course – Making Music with Special Children  –  will help you to find out how music can help you to communicate with children who have special needs or disabilities.

Who is the course for?

The course is open to anyone working with children who have additional needs, complex needs, or life-shortening illness: whether you’re a musical novice or have some experience you will go away with plenty of ideas and techniques to put into practice in your work. We aim to give you the skills and confidence to make music with children. For those working in settings without a music specialist this support will be especially needed, but even where there is a trained musician to hand your new-found skills will prove invaluable.

What will the course cover?

  • Exploring musical instruments
  • Working with pulse and rhythm
  • Singing
  • Using iPads for music
  • Approaches to working one-to-one
  • Working with groups

Our tutors

Mark Withers is a clarinettist and creative project leader for orchestras and other organisations around Europe, delivering music projects for children with a wide range of needs, and training those who work with them. He is joined by music therapists working in children’s hospices: Vicky Kammin  and Cathy Ibberson.

Where and when?

Our upcoming courses, in February/March 2021, will be delivered online. There will be two courses, each having a limited number of participants so that interaction can be as good as in our pre-Covid face-to-face courses. Each course will be in two parts, separated by about 10 days. Between the two parts, all participants will be offered one 30-40 minute tutorial session with each of the three tutors. These tutorials, which will be very informal, will be tailored to meet the needs of the two participants attending each session.

Course 1  (Please note this course is now fully booked)
Tuesday 2 February, 3pm – 6pm
Thursday 11 February, 3pm – 6pm

Course 2 (Limited places still available)
Tuesday 23 February, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Friday 5 March, 9.30am – 12.30pm

Booking information

Please fill in the booking form at the bottom of this page in good time before the booking deadline, which is 23rd January for Course 1 and 19th February for Course 2. We advise early booking: places are limited, and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. We will let you know if you have a place shortly after receiving your application


Jessie’s Fund is able to subsidise our courses thanks to a grant from a charitable foundation. In this time of the pandemic, we are offering them to you free of charge, though any donation would be welcome.


If you need to cancel your booking one of your colleagues may like to take your place, in which case please inform us of the change. It is important that you let us know if you cannot take up your place, as we expect there to be a waiting list.

Booking form

    Which course are you booking on?

    Tell us a bit about your musical experience

    Tell us about any particular aims you have in attending the course?