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. If you are a very accomplished musician this may not be the course for you, though previous participants wishing to expand their practice to work with children with special needs have found it enlightening. 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 Vicky Kammin and Cathy Ibberson, both of whom have an enormous amount of experience, especially of working in children’s hospices.

Where and when?

Our courses will be a blend of a full day in person and, a few weeks later, a two-hour follow-up session online. Between these two parts you will be given the opportunity for a 40 minute mentoring session, which could take place as a practical session in your place of work, or could be more in the form of a tutorial – you choose.

There will be two courses.
Course 1 will take place at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage on Tuesday 4th October 2022, from 10:30 to 16:30, and on Thursday 17th November online, from 16:30 to 18:30.
Course 2 will take place at the Priory Street Centre in York on Friday 14th October 2022, from 10:30 to 16:30, and on Thursday 24th November online, from 16:30 to 18.30.

Both venues are fully accessible and very close to railway stations.


Jessie’s Fund is able to subsidise the course thanks to a grant from a charitable foundation. Your contribution for the whole course will be just £35, including refreshments and a light lunch on the ‘in person’ day.

Booking information

Booking is via the form below. When we receive your form we will confirm your place. There is no need to pay anything at this stage.

Cancellations: you may cancel up to two weeks before the date of the first part of your course and receive a full refund. After that we would offer a 50% refund.

    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?

    Special dietary requirements (write 'none' if applicable)

    Purchase order (write 'none' if applicable)