Sinfonia Viva – the professional orchestra of the East Midlands – has completed its largest Sensory Music Tour in the region as part of a three-year creative project supported by £119,265 Child in Need funding.
Musicians from Sinfonia Viva have worked on an individual basis with pupils with special educational needs at special schools in Derby, Retford and Leicester as well as with children with life-limiting conditions at Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough.
Short sessions involved games and music interaction to encourage communication, emotional well-being and playing with different sounds.
Schools involved were Ivy House, St Andrew’s, St Martin’s, St Clare’s and St Giles’ schools in Derby as well as the Royal School For The Deaf Derby; St Giles’ School in Retford and Birkett House and West Gate schools in Leicester.
Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: “This is the largest Sensory Music Tour we have undertaken – working on a 1-2-1 basis with young people who have a broad spectrum of learning difficulties.
“The whole experience was incredibly rewarding for everyone involved and the feedback particularly highlighted how much fun the young people had and how the interaction helped them to gain in confidence and communicate in a way they had not previously been able to.
“It proves that the power of music is truly remarkable – unlocking self-expression and enabling children to achieve far beyond their expectations and the expectations that others so often have for them.”
The next Sensory Music Tour will take place in Autumn 2020 and there are several other activities planned with SEND schools in the region to give even more young people the chance to create and perform music.