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 working in children’s hospices: Vicky Kammin  and Cathy Ibberson.

Where and when?

Our next courses will be delivered in a blend of online and in-person sessions. They will take place in early 2022 – dates yet to be confirmed. If you would like to be alerted to news about the courses, please sign up to our ‘Resources and information for staff and carers’ newsletter here.

Booking information

Booking will be online, on this page, when we have announced the dates.


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 between £45 and £65, which is fantastic value!