A new method of integrating music therapy into regular activity for Students with SEN/D needs
Music Treehouse started in October 2015 and is supported by Youth Music and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Music Treehouse is a much needed SEN/D extension of our Saturday Programme which offers students a range of conditions the opportunity to participate in the programme. This enables us to broaden our inclusion to students who are often isolated and overlooked outside of the school environment.
Music’s multi-dimensional tools are proven to be hugely motivational enabling SEN/D students to develop skills faster than any other activity by engaging several modes of learning including multi-sensory, tactile, visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
A sense of community and working together to create music is integral to the Saturday Programme, which is hugely sociable for both parents and students and Music Treehouse (MT) students have now joined the community.
Parent of Music Treehouse participant
Music Treehouse has been an amazing experience for my son. The musicians are wonderful and very patient which helps every time. Thank you for everything.
The Music Treehouse has two branches
For students who are still in mainstream education but who need 1:1 or 1:3 support, and who would normally struggle with the group atmosphere of our Saturday Programme. Being a small charity, we have previously been unable to integrate students who would not need 1:1 support. Ongoing CPD sessions for the tutors at the mainstream Saturday Programme, have meant that with the support of specialist Teaching Assistants, students can now be integrated and included in the programme, in a way that is beneficial to them. Liaising with the teachers the teaching assistants tailor each class to the specific needs of the child and ensure that all activities are obtainable, they remain in the class and when needed, they have the support with them, to find their own path.
For students with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, including those with ASD and Physical Disabilities who are unable to access the mainstream ICS! and CYMH programmes. Music Treehouse Branch Two, is about interaction, and basing the learning around the students, rather than the students learning a set curriculum. It is a reactive user-led environment. There are three streams to the Branch Two.
Our Music Box programme which has been specifically tailored for students with SEN/D. This is for students aged 2 years – 5 years.
The primary stream of the programme. This is led by Tim Yealland alongside percussionist Tom Highnam.
Our secondary stream of the programme led by Jason Rowland, with a team of two musicians, Epsie Thompson (flute) and Bridget Carey (violin), and two SEN TAs who both work at local Special Schools and therefore know many of the students.
Working alongside both Shoots and Trees is an HCPC registered Music Therapist Sylvia Saunders from the Music Therapy Tree run by Camilla Farrant, one of our core partners.
I had fun and I enjoyed Music Treehouse because I did very well.
Staff are helpful and polite to all involved in the group (parents and students). A happy environment for children to learn and have fun. Children look forward to attending class.
Being a complete piece, the students did a nice job on their piece of music. Very good.
Students in Branch One will follow their programme’s timetable, which can be found on its respective page on this website. Students in Branch Two will be sorted into groups within their streams.
Shoots (TMB SEND): 11:00-11:30
Saplings (Primary) Group 1: 11:35 – 12:15
Saplings (Primary) Group 2: 12:20 – 13:00
Trees (Secondary) Ash & Beech 13:00 – 14:30
Trees (Secondary) Cedar 15:00 – 15:50
Please arrive 15 minutes before your session begins. Music Therapy sessions can happen at any point between 12.00 – 16.00 and will either be 1 to 1 or in small groups.
Introduction to Music Treehouse
Here is our Ash group in action
For a little more insight into how the project runs, we interviewed some of the workshop leaders and musicians: