We’re making musical instruments accessible for deaf and hearing impaired young people around the region

Deaf and hearing impaired (DHI) young people can have as much fun and as much benefit from making music as anyone else – we just need to learn how to help them learn.

Back in April 2015, we worked with Bradford Music and Arts Service, to offer a taster day of music activities for DHI young people. This grew into four regions working on year-long projects in BradfordKirklees, Barnsley, and Doncaster.

Each young person taking part has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through their local Music Hub, getting together at various points in the year for further workshops and sharing sessions working with fantastic deaf professional musicians. We also offer opportunities for staff involved in teaching to share good practice as we all learn how to encourage and support their learning.

We’ve written a handy guide

Our ‘Tips and Good Practice’ document, specifically for teachers, teaching assistants and other members of staff working with deaf and hearing impaired young people, gives you a solid foundation and guide for teaching music to DHI children.

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Deaf Instrumental
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We’ve had some great feedback

I would just like to thank you and your colleagues for the excellent music workshop that we attended… Our students really enjoyed the sessions throughout the day and several of them have expressed an interest in learning how to play an instrument… [Here are] some quotes from our students:

“Thank you for organising the music day on Wednesday. I enjoyed learning how to write music and playing the drums.”

“I really enjoyed the euphonium, because I haven’t played for 14 years. I am 14!”

Jayne Brody, Newsome High School

“It was an absolute joy to see my three pupils getting involved in so many ways according to their different personalities. The venue and format were perfect – the children just loved all of the games and fun of participating and being with others. It was fantastic for them to be able to mix with many other deaf children of all abilities and ages and to be offered the opportunity to learn an instrument too.”

“Just to say a very big thank you to you all for organising a truly wonderful day. All the children got such a lot out of it due to the hard work and commitment of you all. You did amazing seeing how everyone was looked after, and for showing us how music comes alive for everyone. You are all just brilliant.”

“I thought how the way the young people subtly learnt the basics to reading music to composing their own piece was very clever. To have the opportunity to play an instrument, use percussion and obtain hands on experience of instruments. The children also enjoyed the sensory experience of exploring pitch, tone and the many elements of sound and music.”

Victoria Walker, St Patrick’s Primary

“[My students] are both still learning the flute and enjoying it. One of the pupils is loving her music so much that she is immersing herself in it – playing the flute, singing in the winning choir called “Raise your voice” in City Park in Bradford and playing in the samba band too! What an inspiration and success story! Much of that is thanks to the support and encouragement offered by your Deaf Music Workshop. Additionally, I have organised social lunches for these two pupils to meet up each term to share lunch, have a chat and to play the flute with their music teachers. It has been fantastic so thank you!”

Some more quotes from the children:

“Thank you for the great day we had on Wednesday on Music Day. I loved the best playing instruments because I love playing music. I also liked the game at the end. A big thank you to Ruth and Danny for helping to show us music for the day.”

“Thank you very much the best part was playing the trumpet. I would like to play one. I had a wonderful day. Thank you.”

Deaf young person being assisted to play the tuba by a brass teacher