The Turning Tides Project is a Community Interest Company that aims to make equal access to music, the arts and life a reality for people with ‘learning disability ‘or’ autism’ labels.
The Turning Tides Project Equal Access to Music Programme is well under-way. We’ll be blogging about the ideas generated, experience gained, and questions raised by each Project within the Programme, as we go. So…
What is a ‘Family Jam’?
The Family Jam Bursary Scheme was developed as a response to our experience that sometimes the barrier that prevented disabled children and Young People learning an instrument was parental lack of confidence. This lack of confidence sometimes led to instruments having to stay in school (and therefore locked in a cupboard for most of the week) or in Young People not having the opportunity to access an instrument at all.
We decided that it would be a good idea to have a scheme that enabled us to offer the opportunity of supported, family music-making with the aim of building confidence and creating inclusive family environments where everyone could and did access music
We were right about that!
We didn’t need to worry about that. The year’s bursaries have all been allocated in the first 3 months. The concern now becomes how we’ll respond to the growing number of disabled Young People who would benefit from similar access.
It’s looking like we were right about that too. Most of the families we are working with will continue to be a part of The Turning Tides Project in other ways, once their Bursaries are spent. In addition, all the families have at least 1 family member who is eligible for Local Authority Support. Many of them would chose to have some or all of their ‘eligible needs’ met through equal access to music and all the opportunities that that access brings: The Bursaries provide a means of demonstrating that value to support requests for Health, Education and Social Care Funding.
All looks pretty much on track then…?
There’s always so much to learn. In this first year’s allocation what has been striking is the diversity of ‘Family’: A parent and son learning separately so that they can play together; A Young Person whose instrument lesson buddies are his Support Workers; whole family groups of children who are home schooled because they don’t ‘fit’ into either ‘ special ‘ or ‘mainstream ‘ educational environments; siblings who are exploring how they accommodate each other’s differences through collaborative music-making; Young people who live as a family in supported accommodation .
What we learn from these families will, as always, inform what we develop next.
The ‘families’ who’d like to share their musical journeys publicly each have a page on The Turning Tides Project Web site. You can follow their stories and hear their music here.
The Turning Tides Project believes that the way to achieve Equal Access is through the application of a Social Model Approach: easy to say, complex, exhausting, sometimes frustrating and often a lot of fun to demonstrate. Have a look at our web site and find out what we do, how we do it, why we use the language we use and why we think language matters. “Inclusion” is much more than a word. http://www.theturningtidesproject.org.uk/
Written by Jane Williams, Published by Dom Palfreman