The first few months of 2011 have been incredibly busy and exciting at Drake Music’s base in Bristol!
We’ve been delivering accessible singing training and music sessions all round England – Runcorn, Warrington, Sussex, Bristol, London, Nottingham, Mansfield, Norfolk, Oxford, Reading, Newcastle to name a few… You can read a news story about one of the sessions here
We’ve also recently completed an inclusive singing project in Somerset between pupils at Avalon special school, Butleigh, Kilmersdon & Coaxley (mainstream primary) schools as well choristers from Wells Cathedral, culminating in a fantastic lunchtime performance in Wells Cathedral on 30th March. Laurie Gethin from Sing Up in Bristol said that she thought it the best example of inclusive singing she has ever seen! You can read more about this on Alex Ivanovich’s blog.
RAMP It Up!
We’ve been running 3 RAMP IT Up! projects through out the spring term with pupils from Baytree School (Weston Super Mare), Claremont Primary School (Bristol) and Bettridge School (Cheltenham). All 3 projects focussed on using music equipment already available in each school to enable disabled pupils to participate in making music, and training staff in the techniques necessary to continue the musical work once the project is finished.
We’ve also been continuing our weekly after school club for disabled pupils at Emerson’s Green School Bristol (funded by the school through Aiming High)
Curriculum Development Initiative (CDI)
The CDI goes from strength to strength. We’re working hard to get our accessible OCN (Open College Network) music course ready for distribution around the country, and are also beginning to build the ‘Courses and Resources’ (working title) section of the new Drake Music website, which will serve as an information directory and forum for anyone needing information on making the music curriculum more accessible to disabled students.
We’re running weekly CDI sessions at St. Rose’s SEN School, Stroud, supporting school staff in their delivery of our accessible OCN music course. We’re also piloting an accessible BTEC music course with pupils at Claremont Secondary SEN School, Bristol.
We’re also continuing to create curriculum resources for and support the delivery of music sessions by teachers at Barrs Court SEN School, Hereford.
Other bits & pieces…
In February we worked in partnership with Colston Hall Education and Bristol City Council to include a young disabled girl in the Colston Hall’s ‘Get Inspired’ saturday morning music sessions. It went really well and discussions are ongoing about how we can further support inclusive music making at the Colston Hall.
In the last few months, presentations on various aspects of our work have been delivered at events / conferences organised by Hounslow Music Service, Warwick Music Service, Bristol Music Educators, Exeter University and Northampton University.
We’ve also been involved in a variety of consultancy work for Youth Music, Musical Futures, Gloucestershire Music Service and MUSE and have recently had articles published in Class Room Music Magazine, Arts Professional Magazine, Teaching Times Magazine and also NASEN’s ‘Special’ magazine.
And finally, we were all delighted by the recent Radio 4 documentary ‘Charlotte White’s Musical Flight’, which focussed on our work with Charlotte over the last few years. The BBC team did a great job in presenting a positive and uplifiting programme about a disabled person, in contrast to the majority of medically obsessed media coverage. If you haven’t yet heard it, the programme is still available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer.