Music School was developed from our many years of experience in the community working with children and young people with disabilities in order to give them the same opportunities to take part in positive activities as mainstream children.
Our feedback from parents showed that most mainstream activities lack the extra support needed to deal with their children’s communication, concentration, or mobility difficulties, or are able to give instructions in a way that can be understood. As a consequence, the children and young people are excluded from activities and may be isolated and lack confidence and the opportunity for self-expression.
We have run Music Club and similar projects at Marjorie Kinnon Special School and Jack Tizard School for many years. Our Music Director, Edison Carolino, was constantly asked by parents how they could find music teaching for their child, and to meet this need, he ran a pilot project at both schools, where more than 60 pupils received intensive, specialised classes and performed in public with greatly increased confidence.
We found there was a large demand for focused music teaching to allow the children to benefit more fully. Edison and our Director, Dr Margaret Lobo, then consulted with various schools and researched available music teaching methods and tools, but found nothing that met the needs of disabled children. Edison then devised the IRP technique using simple pictures and instructions, and Music School was launched in 2012 to meet this demand and give opportunities for disabled children to learn music.