The Music & Drama Education Expo has an array of workshops on offer for special needs teachers, with sessions on accessible orchestras, inclusive ensembles and healing through music.
The London Olympia show takes place in February and promises to deliver over 80 workshops and seminars, a comprehensive exhibition showcasing products and services from over 150 performing arts organisations, and the chance to network with 2,500 music and drama teachers from over 40 countries.
SEND music sessions from orchestras to songwriting
Several sessions are of particular benefit to those working in SEND schools. The Growing Impact of Open Orchestras in SEND displays how this growing national movement supports schools, hubs and arts organisations to make orchestras accessible to young disabled people. Bristol University’s Dr Marina Gall and Doug Bott will present the latest research on the musical, educational and social impact of the project which is transforming ensemble music-making at 25 SEND schools. On display will be a comprehensive package of resources for supporting inclusion and teachers can discover the clarion – a new easy-to-use musical instrument that can be played independently with any part of the body.
The Improvise Approach session is run by Carrie Lennard – a teacher, composer and resource designer who finds musical, creativity and communication solutions for children with learning disabilities.
At this session, Carrie will demonstrate her approach to inclusive solo and ensemble music making using iPads and the ThumbJam app – designed for people with severe, profound and complex needs.
The Sharing Lab will also be hosting two sessions on working with SEND students, for both music and drama practitioners. Here, educators are invited to share their own good practice and get advice on supporting students.
Meanwhile, a session entitled Understanding The impact of Early Trauma on Learning explores the impact on the 40% of young people who will experience trauma before the age of 18. This may be bereavement, neglect, abuse, family separation, or health issues. This workshop will show how the arts can play a huge part in the healing process.
And the Songwriter session outlines an informal musical inclusion progression route for young people. This is an initiative by Hertfordshire Music Service which aims to give vulnerable young people a way to use autobiographical songwriting to express themselves safely.
The free-to-attend Music & Drama Education Expo takes place on 22 and 23 February. See mdexpo.co.uk/london.