NW Update


Sheffield University

Ray de Grussa has recently finished his ‘Introduction to Creative Media’ module.  We have really enjoyed working with Ray, and are very proud of the work we have done and the legacy we have left him.  He now has a multitude of new skills and independence, and can access the internet, email, media player, word processing and music notation software independently.   More importantly, Ray is being recognised as a good musician and has been invited to perform at the Totley Music Festival in September.   He will perform as part of the Cabaret Variety evening at Mickley Hall on Tuesday 20th.


Jigsaw is a social and sports group for young disabled people living in Bury.   The group caters for around 30 disabled people aged between 13 and 30 years of age with a range of physical, learning and behavioral impairments. In September 2010 we delivered a four week pilot project which was extremely successful and Jigsaw members asked for the project to be ongoing.     The sessions were particularly successful because they enabled participants with more significant impairments to participate in music making for the first time.

Jigsaw have bought our services in again to deliver 13 more sessions as part of ‘Jukebox Jigsaw’.     The project will be over one year  and includes visits to musical concerts as well as a performance at end of project   Activities will focus on creativity, individual expression and participation, and as part of the project the participants will visit music concerts so they experience, learn to appreciate and enjoy the many different musical styles.

Stockport CP

These sessions are continuing to be of immense value to Stockport CP participants.  The Prospectors have performed at Stockport Football club in June. We are currently adding new material to the repetoire and will be writing some new music with the participants over the coming weeks.

Pure Innovations

Pure Innovations is an organization offering support and training for adults with both learning and physical disabilities.  They run various activities designed at increasing independence, including weekly music sessions.

Drake Music NW have been commissioned to deliver 33 weekly one hour music sessions which encourage and support participants to sing and learn basic rhythm using both assistive music technology and traditional percussion.  The sessions are open to everyone using the centre but we’re slowly establishing a small core of regulars.   All participants seem to have a good time and quite often people shout for an Encore after the session!!!

These sessions have helped improve participant’s concentration, motor skills and behavioural problems.  One participant, who usually continually hits and bites himself, stops such behaviour the minute the session starts.

Ramp it Up Projects

10 sessions have been delivered in Lisburn, Mill Green and Lancasterian schools.

For all of the schools the vast majority of pupils were introduced to music for the first time. By the end of the sessions three quarters of the pupils were able to understand the basic musical concepts of on/off, quiet/loud, fast/slow and pitch.   Around 10% were now able to recognise melody and different styles of music, with a small handful being able to play a simple tune for the first time.

Pupils at Lisburn School went from not having any interest in engaging with either the instruments or musicians to being completely attentive and excited by the music.  By the end of the project 4 students could play some simple tunes, and 1 student could recognise all 5 notes and play the correct note back when you sung it to him.

At Mill Green pupils learnt to sing from memory in rounds and play from charts; work together as part of a team and take turns.   One pupil with ADHD managed to learn to play several number parts with reasonable reliability. There were several occasions when he managed to play parts flawlessly, something which many thought would be beyond his grasp.


We have attended Manchester’s non-formal Music Hub and will be going to Decibel performing showcase this month.   I have also been asked to speak at Neurosupport Annual Review which will be launched by Liverpool’s Lord Mayor, other speakers include: Dr Julia Clark, Interact Reading and Purple Patch Arts.

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