Today my friend Kirsty and I launched a new monthly music workshop for children with SEND (special education needs and disabilities). We had noticed that there was nothing else like this in our area, so we decided to take our experiences working in music and with children with SEND to create sessions which were aimed specifically at children with SEND. Today’s launching session was a great success - all the children and parents enjoyed themselves. Reflecting on the session we have come up with some ideas to improve the structure of the session next month.
Here is what I’ve learnt today:
- Parents of children with SEND want these kinds of sessions to be held. It’s somewhere to take their child to have experiences without the fear of their child not joining in. We don’t mind if children don’t join in with every activity!
- Music is beneficial to everyone (I didn’t just learn this today!). Every child should have access to musical groups - piano lessons, choirs, music workshops. It doesn’t matter what the group is, so long as they have some kind of musical education.
- We taught the concepts of rhythm, tempo, pulse and dynamics to children who are non-verbal (or with limited speech) through movement, actions, listening to music and games. If children can’t communicate with you with speech, that does not mean they don’t understand.
- Parents are an amazing tool to help facilitate sessions. I always encourage parental involvement (parents are asked to watch the piano lessons I give and children can sing in my choir if the parent also sings) and the power of that has been proven this morning. The parents were able to help children do actions, move instruments or props, encourage participation, reassure and sing along. This made a huge difference to the children’s experience.
- A smile is worth a thousand words. The look on the children’s faces this morning, when they found the activity they liked best, made my day.
- A hug is worth a million thank yous.
If you’d like to learn more about Let’s Shine music workshops please get in touch at email@example.com