I'm a special needs music consultant, composer, resource designer and publisher. Having taught in special schools for 40 years and worked in educational publishing for 9 years, I enjoy finding new ways to develop musical creativity and communication for children and adults with profound and complex learning needs. I believe that playing, exploring, discovering and giving everyone time and opportunities to try out ideas for themselves, is key to them discovering their own individual skills and talents.
April - June 2019
Making music together at The Royal Academy of Music, London (6 week project with students from St Ann's School, LB Ealing
My main focus is to enable children and adults with severe and profound learning difficulties to do their own thing in music. It's about using whatever useful/ purposeful movement someone has and finding the accessible instrument(s) for them so they gain independence and confidence in their own music creativity. It also depends greatly on their own particular choices and interests. I’ve been working in this way for years and in 2015 I put the "Improvise Approach" together, based on the iPad ThumbJam app. It works with lots of other instruments too but this is a brilliant starting point. It’s based on the use of the pentatonic scale and specially composed backing tracks, which means the player can play any melody note and it’s in tune 100%!
The effects on someone with SLD and PMLD are extraordinary. The sense of “I can do this”, “this is my sound” is clear to see in the confident way in which so many students have independently and joyfully, participated!!
Carrie Lennard Jan 2019