Ian plays the Soundbeam (and rocks out to Nirvana…)


This film clip is from a Drake Music BTEC Performing Arts session at Claremont Secondary Special School in Bristol. The school caters for children from 2 to 19 years old who have physical disabilities and a range of additional and/or associated learning needs, sensory impairment and a range of health needs.


Ian plays Soundbeam (the red sensor at the bottom of the screen) with his right hand. He uses a distorted guitar sound and solos over the riff to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana. Callum (right hand side), clearly inspired, picks up an acoustic guitar and starts jamming along. Both students play as part of their BTEC unit ‘Starting to Develop Performance Skills’

Why is this effective practice?

Ian can perform independently despite the physically disabling barriers he faces

Ian’s support worker helps him to control the movement in his right hand by discretely holding on to his left hand

Effective, accessible choice of instrument for Ian’s needs i.e. for a student who makes large, dynamic gestures

Age appropriate source material

Lively backing track with simple, repeating riff to solo over

A DM Spotlighting film: DM Education is shining a spotlight on SEN/Disabled music education! Throughout 2013 we’ll be searching the country for inspiring and interesting examples of SEND music teaching that we can shout about and share online. Please share your films and experiences with us!

This DM Education Spotlighting initiative is funded by Youth Music.