Glad Summer Music
A story by Hear My Music
We provided music sessions to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Glasgow, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. Each child attended for five consecutive days for 45 minutes to one hour while parents/guardians had time to themselves.
At the end of each week the children took part in a sharing session to which families and friends were invited.
What Glad Summer Music did
We recruited one new member of staff to work on one of the weeks of this project. Participants were chosen in a number of ways, including giving spaces to participants who attend Hear My Music after school sessions during the school year, leaflets to schools, advertising on Autism Network Scotland and social media.
Participants heard about the project in multiple ways and were chosen after filling in an enrolment form designed to identify the children who would benefit most from the project.
The three weeks took place in different locations, all spaces where the children could participate in their music activity and parents/guardians could spend the time of the session away from the children, either in a separate room in the building or a nearby cafe. Each of the children attended for five days.
Carers met other carers and developed support networks in the time the music sessions took place. They also opted to read a book, spend time with siblings of the children attending the class, go for a walk or go for a coffee.
Participants attending the music sessions developed their musical skills, explored several different instruments, wrote songs, developed communication techniques, learnt specific instruments, grew comfortable with attending classes on their own and all took part in a final showcase at the end of the week.
All children attended for all the sessions and all stated that they would be keen to continue with music sessions as a positive aspect to their child's life.
What Hear My Music has learnedThis fund has allowed us to deliver a summer school, providing continuity for sessions that take place throughout the school year and work with children from three different local authorities. Working across the three authorities was challenging in managing the session timetables and venues.
There was one problem with a venue that had been booked which was solved by finding a new venue, this was a challenge as the venue is important in allowing the sessions to run smoothly.
As an organisation we have reached out to new children who we haven't worked with before through advertising through lots of different means. Using social media means that carers who aren't part of official groups have found out about the sessions and subsequently met other carers who may play a supporting role in their lives.