Training courses

Our popular two-day 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. You’ll find booking information at the bottom of this page.

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
  • Learning easy guitar and keyboard tricks
  • Working with pulse and rhythm
  • 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 in London and Cathy Ibberson in York.

Where and when?

The next courses will take place on 12th and 13th November 2020 at the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET, and 16th and 17th November at the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, Stevenage SG1 1LZ. The York venue is five minutes’ walk from York railway station, and the Stevenage venue is right next to Stevenage railway station.

Booking information

Please fill in the booking form at the bottom of this page in good time before the booking deadline, which is 23rd October. We advise early booking: we are sometimes over-subscribed and have had to turn people away. Places 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, and we will send your invoice a few weeks before the course takes place.


Jessie’s Fund is able to subsidise this two-day course thanks to a grant from a charitable foundation: we can offer it for only £80 per person for both days, including lunch, coffees and teas. For two days of first-class training this represents exceptional value.


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. If no-one takes your place, a 100% refund will be available prior to 9th October, or a 50% refund will be given for cancellations between 9th October and 23rd October. We regret that we cannot refund any fees after 23rd October.

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?

Special dietary requirements (write 'none' if applicable)

Purchase order (write 'none' if applicable)