The Heart of the Matter: Why do we make music with children and young people with PMLD?
YY&M is making music with children and young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD) across Yorkshire. YY&M has worked with children with SEND and PMLD for many years and we currently work in a number of Yorkshire schools to introduce music and music making to young people with a range of complex needs.
We all have capabilities we don’t know about until we try, and this is no less the case for young people with PMLD than it is for the rest of us. Music, particularly music-making, sometimes has the power to unlock parts of the brain and open doors to abilities that have previously not been seen in these children.
It can have the effect of calming a student in a situation where they have become agitated (where other methods don’t work), it can empower young people to have some control in a world where they have very little and can even reveal new levels of physical and cognitive engagement.
Our facilitators and musicians run SEND and PMLD-orientated sessions with an open mind and patiently work with the children to improve their concentration, engagement, control and confidence, alongside the chance to play an instrument or with music-based technology, often for the first time in their lives.
YY&M creates music education projects for children and young people in a range of severely challenging circumstances. In order to provide meaningful musical experiences for these young people, we make decisions that get to the heart of both their needs and what makes a good musical project. We want to share the hows and whys with YOU, our readers, in a new feature on our website (and our bulletin) called ‘Heart of the Matter‘. Each month over the course of 2019, we will reveal how each of our projects get to the real heart of what music education means to us.