01 Mar 2019

iMUSE in the Spotlight

iMUSE is a very exciting project delivered by Accessible Arts & Media, and part of the NYMAZ Play It Loud programme, funded by Youth Music. This 1-to-1 therapeutic multi-sensory experience provides a relaxing and creative space where young people with additional needs can make their own choices, create music and soundscapes and develop non-verbal ways of communicating.

This year iMUSE has taken up residence at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate, where individual sessions have been run on a weekly basis. Each session lasts for 30 minutes, where participants have access to a facilitator who finds out which sounds, music and visuals help the young person to relax and focus.  Henshaws Specialist College work with young people aged 16-25 with sensory impairments, autistic spectrum conditions, physical disabilities, moderate to severe learning difficulties and healthcare needs. iMUSE uses a personalised programme for each individual during the iMUSE experience so that it’s tailor-made for them.

Music leader Hannah Thompson is Project Leader and Accessible Communication Coordinator at AAM and the facilitator of iMUSE at Henshaws Specialist College. She has been working with the group since September.

“It is brilliant to be able to see the changes first hand for these young people, to see them begin to make choices, feel calm, and express themselves creatively in this environment is great”



iMUSE uses a combination of visuals, vibrating mats, motion sensors, switches and microphones to create a fully accessible music-making experience.

NYMAZ coordinator Grace McNeill attended iMUSE sessions at Henshaws Specialist College in November, and again in January.

“iMUSE is completely immersive, watching the change in participants in such a small space of time is incredible. Having visited twice I have been able to see how using this technology participants are able to make choices, create music through movement and interact with others. Some participants who originally would only spend 5 minutes in the room and were quite agitated are now engaging in a full 30minute session, selecting colour, images and sounds, they are engaged, focused and calm.”

iMUSE provides a relaxing and creative space where participants can connect with the world around them, make their own choices and develop non-verbal ways of communicating.

“It (iMUSE) definitely works, it is a motivator for some of our students, he* really gets a lot out of it and does more each time”

Henshaws staff, One-to-one for participant

iMUSE will be setting up residency in different schools as part of the NYMAZ Play it Loud programme, funded by Youth Music. For anyone who is interested in working with iMUSE and for more information please click here.

Tags | Campaigns | Challenging circumstances | Music projects | Partners network

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