The Music Service is committed to honouring our promise of giving every child the opportunity to access high quality music provision - this includes children and young people of all ages and abilities in special education across the borough.
With awareness of the individual and diverse needs of each school, provision/support will include tuition for gifted and talented individuals, staff training, sign-posting to appropriate/accessible extra-curricular music and performance opportunities, and partnerships with other schools/organisations. Our role will also include identifying those who would benefit most from music therapy, which continues to be an important part of the interventions offered by S4E and is delivered through our long standing partnership with ‘Music Therapy Works’. 

“The great thing about music, all the research shows that, no matter what your level of global disability, the music part of the brain can be completely intact. So you can get a child with very severe learning difficulties who can literally be an international concert is a magical part of being a human being, that is universal - it’s part of every child in every school...” 

Professor Adam Ockelford, creator of Sounds of Intent, composer, performer, teacher and academic.

There are still places left for our PGCert open course 'Introduction to the developmental psychology of music' with Professor David Hargreaves! Warwick House, Birmingham, Thursday 23rd February.

If you'd like more information, or to book a place, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Free Music CPD offer for SEND class teachers

Free half a day training/consultancy covering areas of your choice, including: resource and activity ideas, provision for sld, pmld and/or gifted and talented, introduction to Sounds of Intent, curriculum ideas, assessment, music basics, how to make music accessible for all – boosting your, and your students’ musical confidence. 

Delivered by Sophie Gray, SEND adviser for the music service. 



Sign up here






We are offering a FREE CBSO relaxed concert to every Birmingham SEND school - Monday 21st November 2016 and Friday 25th November 2016!

Assessing, recording and promoting musical development in children and young people with complex needs
The Post Graduate Certificate in Music and Special Needs: Sounds of Intent is an established course accredited by the University of Roehampton. It was developed by Professor Adam Ockelford, University of Roehampton and Soundabout, and consists of 3 modules worth 20 credits each. The qualification can be a standalone postgraduate certificate or can count towards a Masters degree. The course is based around reflective practice. It is delivered by Roehampton University with professional input and support from Soundabout and hosted by S4E Music service.
The Sounds of Intent programme aims to enable practitioners to gain the skills and understanding necessary to use the Sounds of Intent framework in assessing children and young people’s level of musical development and devising music policies and curricula. The programme has been developed for educators, musicians, therapists and others working with children, young people and adults with learning difficulties.
Quotes from alumni: "We are all so busy doing this work that we don't often have time to pause and reflect on it and to consider new ways of working. The course has given me this and my work has definitely benefitted." Jenny Cooper, Deputy Head, The Village School.
The PGCert was extremely beneficial to me as a practitioner, and continues to inform my work on many levels. The course has also brought many valuable CPD opportunities”. Sophie Gray, S4E SEN/D adviser and Music Teacher, Reynalds Cross school.
The Post Graduate certificate in Music and Special Needs: Sounds of Intent aims to
  • Provide an engaging applied framework for the development and training of the participants in terms of their academic and practical skills
  • Provide professional development for participants by giving opportunities for application of new knowledge within their own professional context
  • Meet the needs of employers through its curriculum, which provides training in fundamental theoretical and research issues with an applied focus, as well as through its intensive delivery
The Postgraduate Certificate in Music and Special Needs: Sounds of Intent consists of 3 modules
Module one: Introduction to Sounds of Intent (Knowledge)
Module two: Using Sounds of Intent in the field (Application)
Module three Using Sounds of Intent for curriculum and policy development (Policy and Practice)
Module Tutors: Professor Adam Ockelford / Dr Arielle Bonneville-Roussy/ Professor David Hargreaves with input from Soundabout Practitioner Consultants and Sophie Gray, Services for Education.
Level of module: M Level
Credit Rating: 20 credits for each module
The taught element of the course takes place largely at Warwick House, S4E HQ, Birmingham, with some sessions at the Soundabout premises in Worminghall, Bucks. Fieldwork will take place at a setting identified by the student. 
Entry to the Post Graduate Certificate in Music and Special Needs: Sounds of Intent
Requirements: Normally a first degree. Students without a first degree will need to have a substantial experience of working with people with special needs or learning disabilities. If you would like to apply via the experience route, CVs should be sent to Dr Arielle Bonneville-Roussy to the following email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For further information please contact Professor Adam Ockelford This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr Arielle Bonneville-Roussy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Music Therapy services for mainstream schools
MTW already provides expertise to many mainstream schools, supporting both school and pupils around issues such as behaviour, attendance, emotional and social difficulties, mental health and safeguarding issues.  
   Please click on the logo for more information
We often work with pupils unable to access CAMHS and can provide onsite intervention, input into CIN and other multi agency meetings; as well as sign-posting; clinical assessment of pupils and staff support.  MTW music therapists are state registered health professionals and the team has a focus on a strong psychotherapeutic underpinning to clinical work.
Music Therapy opportunities for children and young people with complex needs.

"A number of students have been supported through a therapeutic approach enabling them to work through emotional and social issues in a safe environment.  The sessions promote the skills of self-reflection and the development of coping strategies and personal management empowering students to be better prepared in handling conflict and stressful situations.  Teaming up with Music Therapy Works means our students have access to this specialist arts psychotherapy.  It also adds to the diverse range of specialist services we offer to the wider community through our outreach work.  All of the students are receiving other interventions and their engagement, in part, is due to the work carried out in the Music Therapy sessions.”  

Frank Steel, Headteacher, Regency High School
"There has been improvement in communication, social interaction, focus and concentration skills which has generalised back into the classroom"  

The Pines Special School, Birmingham

Exciting and inclusive extra-curricular ensemble and performance opportunities for SEND young people across the West Midlands.

One Handed Musical Instruments

The Music service and OHMI have launched a brand new project providing instruments and music lessons for children with upper limb disabilities.


Music Medal

A fantastic achievement for this young musician and the Ohmi Trust! 
The first music medal exam success using adapted musical instruments for children with an upper limb disability.
A significant step forward in partnership with a very caring organisation supported by the most diligent and hardworking Music Service Staff.

OHMI Parent Baseline Database

Click here to add your child's details to the database. 

OHMI Parent Midpoint Database

Click here to add your child's details to the database. 
First recorder lesson (c)Karen Jensen-Clark
First trumpet lesson (c) Chris Caswell
Instrument teachers (l-r) Liz Wrighton, Emily-May Roebuck, Martha Thompson, Amy Swallow, Chloe-Jade Butlin, Naomi Stevenson (c)Karen Jensen-Clark
The OHMI Team (l-r) Georgina Farrow, Stephen Hetherington, Martin Dyke and Rachel Wolffsohn(c)Karen Jensen-Clark
The one-handed recorder(c)Karen Jensen-Clark
Trumpet Support (c)Karen Jensen-Clark

© Karen Jensen-Clark

'Sounds of Intent sets out, for the first, how ALL children and young people with learning difficulties can develop musically'

Professor Adam Ockelford 

Sounds of Intent is a framework that sets out how musical development happens in the mind. Use SoI as an assessment tool, for curriculum material/resources, and a greater understanding of musical development in children and young people with complex needs.

For a free training in Sounds of Intent please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 Derek – one of Adam’s extraodinarily talented students.

See video here
For music support, collaborative projects, one-off workshops.
Jessie’s Fund is a UK charity helping children with additional and complex needs to communicate and express themselves through the use of music. They work with children in hospices, special schools and in other settings nationwide, giving them access to music-making and to music therapy.’
OpenUp Music

OpenUp Music has a simple mission – to open youth orchestras, musical instruments and musical repertoire to young disabled musicians. Whether that involves creating a musical instrument you can play with your eyes or working with a school to help them establish their first orchestra, OpenUp Music is here to help.’
Make Some Noise

A music charity supporting ‘those who for those who don’t get heard’.

Leaders in the field of Arts and Disability, we offer multisensory, immersive, creative arts, theatre workshops to around 100 people with disabilities every week
Research Project at Innersense Video 


Bamboozle is a charity that uses the power of theatre to transform the lives of children with learning disabilities.

Open Theatre Company

The programme direct engages young people with learning disabilities in its theatre practice ‘shystering’ as a transformatory tool that develops and enhances their creative and life skills.

Drake Music

Drake Music are leaders in music, disability and technology. We are innovators, educators, curators and advocates. We believe everyone has the right to express themselves creatively through music. We use innovative technologies and ideas to open up access to music for all.

Adventures in Sound – Orchestra of St. Johns

OSJ’s mission is “to serve our communities by promoting concerts of unrivalled artistic excellence“. Working with the most extraordinary musicians we aim to make the emotion, drama and culture of live classical music available to everyone.

Live Music Now! 

With your help, we can bring the joy of live music to thousands more people across the UK

M & EM Music

M & Em Music are workshop leaders and facilitators based in Birmingham, bringing inclusive music to the community.

M & Em Music is made up of Martha Thompson and Emily-May Roebuck who, since meeting during volunteering at Melody Music Birmingham in 2011, have become a partnership and have been delivering workshops ever since. They are passionate about inclusive music and have delivered various workshops throughout the community both individually and as partners. 

M & Em Music have a vast instrument collection and strongly believe that music is a powerful tool for all to experience and enjoy.

Drum workshops: Martin Fullard

Award winning professional drum education by Marty Fullard

All styles, all levels, all ages, all abilities

"Marty Fullard is one of the premier drum teachers in the UK. His knowledge and skill in preparing a student to be a professional musician is second to none. But beyond that, Marty's charismatic and warm personality will endear him for life to anyone lucky enough to be under his expert tutelage. I can truly say I wish had the opportunity myself to learn from such a master drummer and teacher. I am honored to know him as both a friend and colleague."

Joel Rothman Drum Educator, Author.

Marty working with two gifted, autistic children

More Music - Gobsmacked

Gobsmacked is a wordless choral project which aims to integrate students and pupils from SEN and mainstream education to work together with music professionals, school staff, and the members of the local community.

Melody Music

Melody is an inclusive, collaborative organisation dedicated to the promotion of instrumental teaching for people with learning disabilities.


Big Top

Big Top Musical Adventures CIC was founded by two friends who met whilst studying at the Birmingham Conservatoire. With a shared passion for creative music making, their enthusiasm for music and its accessibility they set out to devise workshops which were inclusive, educational and fun! 

Music and the Deaf

Music and the Deaf is a unique charity working locally, nationally and internationally providing musical opportunities for children and adults who live with any degree of hearing loss. The charity was founded in 1988 by Dr Paul Whittaker, OBE himself a profoundly deaf musician. Over the years Music and the Deaf has built a national and international reputation for pushing the boundaries of what deaf musicians can achieve.

A working group set up by the Paul Hamlyn foundation to develop a web portal showcasing good music practise. 
To enhance accessibility: 
MiMu Gloves
Kris Halpin Gloves Demo - Kris Halpin is a singer, a songwriter, a producer and technologist. He works hard to innovate within the intersection between music and disability, working with Imogen Heap's ground-breaking  MiMu Gloves, furthering their use as accessible music technology. 
Kris came to visit Reynalds Cross Special School and jammed with our gifted and talented music group. He also let me try the gloves.
They are incredible; an amazing, innovative way of interacting using music and technology. They are sensor-enabled and wireless, and allow you to control pretty much any parameter you want. Any sound can be triggered (and recorded/looped) using movements/gestures unique to the user. 
Most importantly the potential for those with physical disabilities are huge, this assistive technology can be used to not only to enable sound making – but musical, expressive playing – with access to any sound world – the possibilities are endless. 

‘ like a big band bundled into one squeezable box.’

‘The invisible, expanding keyboard in space.’

‘Make any surface a sound’
Margaret Corke – Musical interaction, activities and resource ideas.
Adam Ockelford  - Music and autism and music for children and young people with complex needs:
Music Makaton Signs

Symbols and sign language for use in SEND


Embracing Disability, Empowering Lives.

SoLO’s services are delivered by highly skilled and professional people leading to a reputation of being the best provider. Offering Adult and Children’s services of the highest standards our organisation provides the widest range of support. Each one of our Projects is specially designed to add value to the lives of individuals with learning disabilities.

Autism West Midlands 

There are more than half a million people in the UK living with autism, an invisible and misunderstood disability. 60,000 live in the West Midlands.

We are the leading charity in the West Midlands for people with autism. We use our passion and expertise to enrich the lives of people with autism and those who love and care for them. Our passionate, expert staff and volunteers work across all age groups and abilities, providing direct support to people with autism.

Autism support:




The Birmingham Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) has been established to provide information, advice and support to children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, and to their parents and carers. SENDIASS staff work for the Local Authority, but are expected to offer impartial and confidential advice at ‘arms-length’ from other LA services.
Temple Grandin

PMLD support

Creating a Responsive Environment



Aumi  - An I-Pad Soundbeam
Garageband – for recording, editing and exploring/controlling sounds of different instruments for all – including those with limited mobility/cognition
Bloom - Beautiful sounds and colours, looped and controlled by taps on the screen  

Birmingham Music Hub – Secondary and Primary Music School Teachers Surveys 2018  results published:

pdf Primary Music School Teachers Survey 2018

pdf Secondary Music School Teachers Survey 2018

pdf SFE Inclusion Booklet

Sophie Gray
SEND Adviser S4E Music Service


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