This year’s NYMAZ SEND Music Network Gathering took place on 7 October 2014, at The Forum Northallerton. The packed afternoon included presentations, workshops, networking and cake! Feedback from delegates about the event included:
• “It reinvigorated my desire to utilise music as much as possible for profoundly disabled children”
• “I liked that everyone got to do everything”
• “More workshops next time! An all-day event would be brill”
The afternoon began with our keynote speaker, Professor Adam Ockelford, who spoke about his research and experience teaching music to children on the autistic spectrum. His presentation gave a brief introduction to autism, including what it might be like to experience the world – and music – from the perspective of an autistic child. Adam showed us a number of fascinating video clips of some of his pupils, showcasing their exceptional musical abilities while giving us an idea of the music journey of each individual.
One of the workshops offered was ‘Including the Outsiders’ led by Diane Paterson and Victoria Jaquiss. The pair took us on a whirlwind tour of a range of techniques for working with those with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Activities included ‘washing line’ songs using colourful fabrics, simple steel pan exercises and a table of instruments and resources to play with. The second workshop, led by Andrew Cleaton, was a popular look at the use of iPad apps in SEND settings, covering the practicalities of using an iPad itself, from the cover to the way the iPad behaves.
Later in the day, Ginny Scholey from CapeUK introduced us to the Arts Award framework, and its potential for children and young people with SEND. Members of the network are invited to take part in a specialised advisor training day on 24 November in Harrogate. If you are interested in becoming trained as a ‘Discover and Explore’ Arts Award Advisor, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After tea and cakes, apprentices Martin and Hayley from the wonderful Accessible Arts & Media team led a Singing & Signing exercise for all delegates, taking us through the new song ‘Good Day’ from scratch!