Additional Needs

Many music leaders want to work with people with a learning disability but aren’’t sure how to start. Mencap and MusicLeader Yorkshire have produced this national publication to provide more information and signposting about this exciting area of work.



Yorkshire Assocation for Music and Special Educational Needs is a group of people interested in creating inclusive opportunities around music.

Members comprise teachers, volunteers, artists, musicians, and other participants with and without special needs.

They provide and support a range of activities for people with special needs and those who work with them.



Music and the Deaf is a unique charity which helps the 9 million people in the UK with a hearing loss to enjoy the world of music.  Since 1988 they have worked with thousands of people of all ages on a wide range of products and activities.

The Music Education Hub has been working with Music and the Deaf to create a signing choir which performed at the Schools’ Prom 2014.

Nikki Potter (Yorkshire) nikkiwilson@talktalk.net



Band Club for youngsters with additional needs at Factory Street Studios, Bradford. Band Club is an after-school music group activity which helps young people build confidence, work as a team, make music, have fun and develop friendships.  Register your interest by email at pieceproject@factorystreet.co.uk or call 01274 682125.



Sing from the Heart Choir is a Glee Style singing group for people with Learning/Physical Disabilities, working towards performances singing musicals/rock/pop.   “If you can speak – you can sing.” Anyone aged 16+ is welcome.

This much needed group was started with some money donated  by the Lord Mayor of Bradford from his Sprinkle a Little Sunshine Appeal in February 2012 and it is going from strength to strength.

Visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sing-from-the-Heart/485766128136832.

Please contact Maralyn Adey 07770 882404 or maralynmonroe50@hotmail.com.



The British Association of Music Therapy has helpful information about music as a healing tool.


Live Music Now, a Hub partner, has a range of performances throughout the region aimed at young people with special needs.  For security reasons, venues are not listed on the website, please email lucy.galliard@livemusicnow.org for full details of events.

We all have challenges to face. For some children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), those challenges can include everyday activities which others take for granted: communicating with those around us, expressing feelings, joining in a group activity. In each of these respects music can transform people’s ability to respond.

LMN musicians tune into the particular needs of individual children, helping them to find their voice through music-making. During LMN sessions, they see children responding to music through spontaneous movement and dancing, joyful vocalizing and singing – expressing themselves freely and socializing with their peers. The transformative power of music is more obvious after several music sessions; with the development of musical skills comes increased confidence, self-esteem and new ways to communicate and express emotions.


Jessie's Fund
Jessie’s Fund offers Soundtracks – Making Music in Special Schools.

This is a programme of projects giving children in special schools all over the country the rare opportunity to create their own music.  Their expert musicians enable children who have limited means of communication to use music to express themselves.

Soundtracks projects include a strong emphasis on staff training; at the end of a project staff have new skills and the confidence to continue creative musical activity in school.

For further details please contact tom@jessiesfund.org.uk or call 01904 658189.



Drake Music breaks down disabling barriers to music through innovative approaches to learning, teaching and making music.  The focus is on nurturing creativity through exploring music and technology in imaginative ways. They put quality music-making at the heart of everything they do, connecting disabled and non-disabled people locally, nationally and internationally.



Musical Arc is an inclusive organisation which supports and inspires people with physical / sensory impairments to play music in a range of styles and to compose original works.

The group leads music workshops within schools, the work place and the wider community and frequently perform in and around Leeds.

The group often collaborates with musicians and artists from a range of art forms including dancers, storytellers, poets, writers, puppeteers and composers.



Verve & Verve Club – Opera North Education

Verve is a duo of weekly creative arts projects for 10 – 15 year olds with Asperger’s syndrome. The Verve projects aims to developyoung people’s skills by involviong them inan artform and environment that they would not conventionally have access to.

The Verve Club is a monthly arts club for young people aged 16+ with Asperger’s syndrome or high functioning autism. The project is run by Opera North in partnership with Turtle Key Arts and has been going from strength to strength since its initial launch in September 2011.



Nordoff Robbins is the UK’s leading provider of music therapy services. Our trained network of music therapists work with people of all ages and with a range of conditions. We deliver over 50,000 music therapy sessions per year in care homes, day centres, hospitals, schools and our own centres. We are also developing a range of other music and health projects aimed at bringing music to more and more people in local communities.

Everyone responds to music – it affects our minds, bodies and feelings. Through music we can help to:

  • Improve physical health and ability
  • Address emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • Develop communication and social skills
  • Increase creativity, self-esteem and confidence

Nordoff Robbins North West / Yorkshire / North East

07713 367861 / david.robinson@nordoff-robbins.org.uk