There are over 100,000 people in the UK with profound and multiple learning disabilities who find it a lot more challenging that other to learn, understand and interact with the world around them. Yet every one of these people has the ability to engage with music at some level. Indeed, music may be a vital element in their lives helping with communication and interaction with others and offering a unique source of pleasure and fulfilment.
Yet the need for appropriate musical activities - the right to have access to music - is often absent. This is where Soundabout steps in. Our specially trained team of music practitioners work across to empower those working with or caring for people with learning disabilities to use music to help them interact with the world. Just because someone has a disability doesn't mean that they are disabled musically, and our vision is that everyone with a profound learning disability is able to access music as a means of communication.
Our Community Music-Making Session project will help us to achieve this aim by bringing families together to share music-making with others in the community. All the music making sessions will be playful, intuitive and enable each person to join in at a level that suits them. We will use resonance boards, sound beams, musical instruments, sound, silence, voice, music and storytelling during the sessions, and a range of approaches, reflecting the needs, interests and abilities of the participants.
We also aim to work in partnership with local schools, disability and arts organisations to provide more performance opportunities for profoundly disabled people, and challenge public perceptions of learning disabilities through art and music. E.g. For BBC Music Day 2018 participants of all abilities from Soundabout were joined by the Jericho Singers for a relaxed 'jamming session' at Didcot Parkway Station.
Soundabout techniques are proven to engage people with the most profound disabilities in making music, communicating through patterns of silence and sound with their peers/families, improving their overall health and wellbeing. The families need guidance and support to help their disabled children to engage with music and use it to build communication and an opportunity to share music together as a family.
Please help us enable profoundly disabled children, including those who cannot hold musical instruments or speak, to make a positive contribution to music making, develop their ability to communicate and interact with the world around them. Parents, carers, therapists and teachers will learning simple music-making activities to use at home or in school/college to stimulate communication skills, learning, physical movement and self expression.