A huge thank you to all the performers who have offered to take part in our Music Marathon on Sunday 30th September from 12 noon until 6pm at Margaret’s Church Hall, St Margaret’s TW1 1RL to raise funds for our OK Music School for children and young people with additional needs. Among those taking part are Kew Community Choir, a family playing descant and treble recorder and flute, a string quartet, the GoLocal Community Choir, children playing piano and singing, professional singers and musicians, Chase Bridge Community Choir and the incredibly talented OK Music School Band and individual performers.
We’ll update this page with stories, pictures and films of our OK Music School which is teaching children and young people with a disability to learn to play an instrument or sing and perform in public, bringing confidence and joy. You can help more children to do the same by donating here https://mydonate.bt.okmtmusicmarathon
“This is a totally unique service. It is unlike any traditional sessions we go to.
“I love music because it gives me confidence and it takes me away from the pressures of real life. I make more friends here than anywhere else.”
1 week to go
Lots of preparations in hand now for our Music Marathon to make sure all goes well on the day with plenty of refreshments! Our OK Music School students will be practising this week with the band performing Mission Impossible and Billie-Jean amongst others, solo performances on piano, flute and saxophone and some lovely singing too. Then with our wonderful participants, we’ll be hearing everything from Mozart to Westlife with Les Miserables and a touch of opera thrown in! So do come along to enjoy the music and please support all the performers who are giving their time and efforts on our behalf to help more children and young people at Music School.
David has high functioning ASD, in fact he has what is known as DME, which means he is very bright but also has a learning difficulty. This makes it difficult to find suitable activities appropriate to his specific needs. Having access to specialist teachers at OK Music School makes all the difference, and has enabled him to thrive. With gentle therapy to enable him to concentrate, David has now learnt how to read music and the basic constructs of music including counting and rhythm. Despite being anxious about performing, he took part in our relaxed summer concert and his growth in confidence meant he also took part in a school talent show and will be performing at the Music Marathon. His focus and attention have also improved very much, helping him at school and in numerous different situations.
2 weeks to go
We are all getting very excited for the Music Marathon now and planning the day. We are collecting items for the tombola – please let us know is you can donate something – and finalising the programme. Thank you again to everyone taking part and for their efforts to raise funds for OK Muisic School. Do please support them if you can and help more children and young people like Rosie.
Rosie is 13 and has physical and learning difficulties. She found the world a scary place and did not tolerate most noises apart from music. At Music School she gained the confidence to learn to sing beautifully and has performed in our public concerts many times. She can express herself through music and singing and now has high self-esteem and says she is proud of herself. In 2016, she sang on the radio at Heart FM and won the hearts of everyone who met her.
Her mum said. “OK Music School has enabled her to sing beautifully in public performances. She has gained social skills and confidence”
3 weeks to go
We are putting our schedule together and so pleased to have performers aged from 5 to over 80 taking part, with music from nursery rhymes to opera with everything in between! Thank you to all the participants who are fundraising for us now. This is the difference they and all our donors can make:
Gyan has autism and learning difficulties. He began music therapy at OKMT, when he was isolated and ‘living in his own world’. Gradually, he allowed the therapist to join him in making music and to make eye contact – which gave him self-confidence. Gyan joined OK Music School in 2012, and now performs confidently on the keyboard at our public concerts. Music enabled him to find his own voice of expression, and to form a strong bond with his brother – now they often like to ‘jam’ together. Music also awoke his interest in art and he has sold several of his paintings. As Gyan’s mother says, “There is more to him than the autism. He has a soul and that soul is very beautiful.”
4 weeks to go
Some of our performers have set up their fundraising pages or started collecting sponsorship money so we are getting excited for our Music Marathon on 30th September! This will be a really diverse event with music of all genres from all ages – and all being done to raise funds for our fabulous OK Music School! Do come along between 12 and 6pm to enjoy the music and fun and support this cause. OK Music School is making a difference to so many children and young people:
Katie is globally developmentally delayed having been born with ventriculomegaly and hydrocephalus, with limited vision and moderate hearing loss. She started music therapy when she was 1, and after one year finally struck a note on the keyboard. After 3 years, Katie joined Music School, and now aged 8 is learning to find notes on the keyboard, playing with 2 hands and has performed at several of our concerts. Her mother said: “She is a much more confident child! Music School has helped her interact with others, express herself and listen– it has greatly enhanced her quality of life. It is so rewarding to see her do so well!”
5 weeks to go
Just 5 more weeks for our performers to practice their pieces and raise their sponsorship money! If you’re coming along there’ll be plenty of food – homemade empanadas, hot dogs, cheese platter, cakes and wine and soft drinks to wash it all down. We’ll have stalls and games for children too.
By performing and supporting this event, you can help change the lives of children and young people like Henry. Here is his story told by his mother:
“Henry is 7 and has been diagnosed with ASD. Before joining OKMT he was very quiet and found it really hard to communicate. Henry always loved music and learnt to sing before he could talk, but couldn’t join in a mainstream music group because of the number of children and level of noise. When he started coming to OK Music School, his therapist, Edison, gave him a way to express himself, which he had never had before, through singing, playing the piano or just talking. In our house, we call Edison the ‘Child Whisperer’! Since joining OKMT Henry has changed beyond recognition – he is now a confident little boy. On Henry’s first day at Music school, he wouldn’t make eye contact and didn’t want to join in….now all he wants to do is sing, hum and play the piano and he has performed at two OK Music School ‘quiet’ summer concerts. He is really blooming!”
You can see Henry playing the piano here: The Fabulous Henry!