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SEND Schools

Welcome to the Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service SEND page

Sarah Share is the Lead for SEN music education at LSMS and works closely with Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub partners to enable us to offer high quality music-making experiences to SEND pupils and ensure our pupils reach their full potential.

LSMS have highly experienced Lead Practitioners who, alongside their current school teaching role deliver bespoke LSMS in SEN schools and offer support to other SEN schools in Leicester City and Leicestershire.

We share updates and useful training at the termly network meetings . Please note the dates for this academic year and book your FREE place at lsmstraining@leics.gov.uk. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Please click here to see meeting dates (Link to network meeting dates)

LSMS strive to ensure there is equality and inclusivity at the heart of their work in music education. We are always keen to hear new ideas on ways to expand our work with SEND pupils. If you have an initiative that you would like to involve LSMS in please email sarah.share@leics.gov.uk.

Exciting New Initiatives for 2017-2018

Turntablism project
Ashmount School and Netherhall Special School are the first SEND schools to deliver the 6 week LSMS turntablism Unit of work to their pupils.

Shine Project
LSMS are working with partners; Transformance Music, Sinfonia Viva and Orchestra Live to create a model for in-school music ensembles. Four schools have the opportunity to work with professional musicians to form either an acoustic band or an ipad band. The project will culminate in pupils from all 4 schools performing at a large scale event in the Summer Term.

Birkett House School and Maplewell Hall School are working with Transformance Music to create ipad bands within their schools. They will use the LSMS SEND album "Where the River Flows" as a stimuli to create their own music, giving teachers the opportunity to learn how to lead an iPad band.

Two schools are working with the facilitator Jack Ross from Sinfonia Viva and Orchestras Live to create acoustic bands in their schools, again using inspiration from the album "Where the River Flows" which was originally facilitated by Jack Ross.

We look forward to the diverse sounds of the iPad bands and acoustic bands merging their compositions together on stage at the end of the project.

If you are interested in having support in setting up a music ensemble please contact us.

Leicester-Shire SEND Music Curriculum
A SEND Music Curriculum working party has formed and is currently working on the first stage of the Music Curriculum.

Launch date for the first 2 Units of Work is on 25th March 2018.

The launch will involve a whole day of CPD, led by LSMS and in partnership with Transformance Music in using ipads to deliver the Music Curriculum.

The full day of training and all curriculum resources are FREE to all SEND Leicester City and Leicestershire schools, including schools with a SEND Unit.

Cost to schools outside of Leicestershire is £120.

Music Technology Project
After the success of this project last year we are giving KS 3 & 4 pupils from a further 2 SEND schools the opportunity to visit Soft Touch Arts. Pupils will visit Soft Touch Arts and work with their facilitators to compose song tracks using music technology.

Get your SEND School Learning an Instrument

Please click on a heading below to access further information.

Lead Practitioners for SEND Schools

New SEND Partner organisation - Transformance Music

Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub (LMEH) is excited to announce they have begun work with a new partner organisation, Transformance Music; a national leader of digital music-making.

Last term Transformance Music and LMEH worked in partnership on a project in two SEND schools titled "Playing with ipads to make music. What next?" The impact of the project has been excellent with practical staff CPD, music making for children and young people, sustainable teaching resources and video tutorials. Becoming Partners together gives both LMEH and Transformance Music the opportunity to further support disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils and develop and create more exciting music-making opportunities.

For more information, please click here

Transformance Music iPad Project

We have come to the end of Phase 1 of the SEND ipad project, led by Ben Sellers - Associate Musician and Trainer at Drake Music and Peter, a Transformance Music facilitator with pupils at Nether Hall Special School. The project has been designed to engage with the highly diverse needs, strengths and musical tastes found in SEND schools offering pupils powerful new methods of playing, visualising, organising and manipulating music.

The project provided teachers with a 'toolbox' of ideas and techniques, enabling them to utilise se technologies with confidence and creativity whilst working towards curriculum and individual attainment targets. Each teacher that has worked with Ben has a bank of written teaching ideas to continue the work that Ben has been doing with the pupils.

We have evaluated the project against the expected outcomes and the project has fully met all the following outcomes. However phase 2 has been planned to exceed our initial outcomes and we look forward to delivered the project in West Gate School.

  • To give SEND pupils the opportunity to make music through the use of music tech
  • To allow for a CPD opportunity for LSMS members of staff on teaching iPads with SEND pupils
  • To have a project that could sustainably run out into further SEND settings over the following terms.

The Phase 1 project involved

  • an observation day and meeting with teaching staff involved in the project.
  • 5 x 1 hour sessions of composition and improvisation session with 8 SLD students.
  • 5 x 6 half hour 'Explore' sessions with two PMLD students at a time.

This will be repeated for Phase 2.

Phase 3 of the project begins with a training day for all teaching staff who work in SEND schools in Leicester-Shire to developing their ability to use a 'toolbox' of technologies. The CPD will see the launch of a short series of videos that demonstrate the use of technology in response to a variety of needs and strengths which will be published online.

This phase continues as we work in other schools in Leicester-Shire in bespoke ways according to the schools needs. There are 3 options that schools have available.

  • Teachers can request the 'toolbox' of ideas and techniques and lead the ipad work themselves
  • LSMS can send in a SEND Music specialist to deliver a 1 day project in school and support teachers with using the technology in the 'toolkit' (There is a cost to the school)
  • Schools can buy in the ipad project, delivered by a SEND Music Specialist (There is a cost to the school)

Please see the video and documents below for further information.


Embedding iPads in the SEND classroom - Progress Report

MLD & ASD iPad Teaching Resources

PMLD & SLD iPad Teaching Resources

For more information about this project or information about the training please email sarah.share@leics.gov.uk

Sinfonia Viva Music Tour, funded by Children in Need – Phase 1 of a 3 year project

In May 2017 a group of professional musicians from Sinfonia Viva went on a 3 day tour, visiting 6 SEN schools in Leicester and Leicestershire. They presented an interactive performance to each school, sometimes twice, so that all pupils in the school could be involved. LSMS funded workbooks and follow-on activities to be used in the schools, following the performance, to allow creativity to be built into the enable the pupils tobe creative based on

The 6 schools involved this year were:

Ashmount School
Nether Hall Special School
Forest Way School
Oaklands School
West Gate school
Birch Wood School

We are extremely pleased to announce that we have secured the funding to roll the interactive performance out to 12 more schools in the next 2 years so watch this space.

The feedback from pupils and staff has been very positive.

The excellent performance was well suited to the needs of all students. It engaged all pupils and allowed pupils to respond and the interactive sensory elements enhanced the performance.

Comments from teachers included:

"even those with short attention spans or challenging needs were able to focus."

"Demonstrates what a good communication aid music is and how it is accessible to all – will continue to develop alternative musical delivery within the SEN environment where 'playing' an instrument is open to many different interpretations."

"The event was great – it allowed a space and opportunity for pupils to interact with the music. The musicians were approachable and eager to interact with pupils. At the same time they took adult advice about how best to interact and at what times some pupils had had enough."

"The interaction with the members of the orchestra was fantastic. Our children benefitted from the resources used and a chance to see/touch the instruments."

"We really enjoyed seeing music being played loud- the children's responses were lovely. Definitely would like to experience something similar again if the opportunity arises."

"The children loved it, it was so nice to take time to watch their reactions and their interaction with the musicians"

Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub work with Hospital schools

Soft Touch Arts, in partnership with LMEH, have run a series of 7 sessions for the Children's Hospital School at Ward 3 focusing on composing original music, playing instruments in a band, using technology to record and produce music. The project concludes with pupils creating the art work for a CD cover and all pupils involved in the project receiving a CD of the recorded songs.

To find out more about the impact this project had on these vulnerable students please click on the evaluation report to read more.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Leicester-Shire Music and Cultural Trust to continue this work of supporting the well-being of young people through music please click here

To find out more, please click here to read the Ward 3 Hospital School project evaluation

Music Technology Project in partnership with Soft Touch Arts

Soft Touch Arts, in collaboration with the Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub have just completed a fabulous 6-week project working with 13 students from Birkett House Seniors and Ellesmere college to create and record an album of their own compositions using both technology and conventional instruments and vocals. Students were able to get a hands-on studio experience, and results have been very positive.

Students were also involved in the creation of a short video explaining about the project, and their video testimonials clearly show their engagement, enjoyment and sense of pride in their work. Please see the film below.

Staff from the 2 schools have also given very positive feedback; '[The students] had an absolutely incredible time and got so much out of it'. Other strengths were 'fantastic staff, adapting learning to meet the students' needs', and 'watching students grow in confidence and self-esteem'.

As a continuation of this project Ellesmere College now have a regular session at Soft Touch. Three young people are continuing their placement as a direct result of this project.

If you are interested in this excellent project taking place in your school, please contact Sarah Share on sarah.share@leics.gov.uk

Local Students join Creative Project with Sinfonia Viva Orchestra

Sinfonia Viva Returns To Leicestershire For Anniversary Project

East Midlands' professional orchestra Sinfonia Viva have launched a creative project at Dorothy Goodman Special School in Hinckley in the coming weeks as part of its 35th anniversary year celebrations.

Project leader Tim Steiner and musicians from Viva and Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service have been holding workshops at the school for around 15 pupils to help them create their own music using acoustic instruments and new technologies.

They will then perform this work for fellow pupils, family and friends at the school on June 15 and then as part of the Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service Summer Festival (Matinee Performance) at De Montfort Hall on June 21.

The project has been supported by Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service, Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub and Orchestras Live and is part of Sinfonia Viva's aim to enable more people than ever to experience creative music making.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: "We have an excellent working relationship with partners in Leicestershire and are looking forward to returning to the county in our 35th anniversary year - building new links with staff and pupils at Dorothy Goodman School to help them further embed music and creativity into their school life."

Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service Specialist Leader in Education (Music) Sarah Share added: "Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub has a strong partnership with Sinfonia Viva which has led to collaborative projects that really open up new opportunities for the young people.

"We are looking forward to the performance at our summer showcase and sharing this amazing work with the audience"

FREE places on the Post Graduate Certificate of Sounds of Intent programme

Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service are offering the exciting chance for 2 teachers to benefit from a FREE place on the Post Graduate Certificate of Sounds of Intent programme, accredited by University of Roehampton. This course cost is usually around £2000, so this is a fantastic opportunity!

The one year part-time, postgraduate certificate is an internationally unique opportunity to be part of the most exciting new area of work currently happening in the field of music and special educational needs. You will be introduced to the 'Sounds of Intent' music-developmental framework and learn how to use the resources and assessment tool available through the website. The course has both theoretical and practical elements, and is assessed through essays, a portfolio of work and a placement. It is beneficial to music specialists and other professionals working with children, young people and adults, and is the first programme of its kind to begin to unpick and understand music development for those with disabilities.

The training takes place in Birmingham on Thursdays, predominantly in the Autumn term, with the remaining couple of sessions in the Spring and Summer terms. The majority of the work will be completed in your own setting.

Next steps:
To obtain the free place, you must be an active member of the LSMS SEN network, and apply in writing to sarah.share@leics.gov.uk stating your interest and how you, your school and your pupils would benefit from the opportunity.

Please include a letter of written support from your Head teacher.

Please note: The course requires case studies in your workplace and days off-site.

Successful candidates will be required to

  • Share their learning and findings with the LSMS SEN teacher network
  • Mentor a Leicester-Shire SEN practitioner on completion of the SOI PGCert.

FREE Network meetings for teachers at SEND schools or schools with a Unit

These network meetings are Free of Charge and give teachers the opportunity to

  • keep updated about national, regional and local developments in SEND music education
  • discuss key issues facing colleagues in SEND settings
  • identify and share good practice, ideas and resources in teaching SEND pupils
  • network with colleagues who work in SEND settings

Wednesday 20th September 2017 3:45pm – 5:15pm

Wednesday 8th February 2018 3:45pm – 5:15pm

Wednesday 25th April 2018 3:45pm – 5:15pm

These meetings are free to attend but places are limited so please ensure that you book a place - please email lsmsTraining@leics.gov.uk

SEND Schools Song Album - Where the River Flows

Alternatively, if your school is already singing with us and you have pupils who would like individual singing lessons, either at home or in school, then why not download our list of Associate Instrumental Teachers.

If you have students who would like to join a choir, please look at our Singing Opportunities Page.

Leicestershire Music Teacher Forum


  • Arts
    Music Service
    Music And Culture
    LCC 2
  • Music Mark
  • Soft Touch Arts
    Awards for Young Musicians
    Orchestras Live
  • SoundLincs
    Transformance Music
    Spark Childrens Festival
    Leicester City Football Club Community Trust
    National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
  • The Mighty Creatives
    Leicester Cathedral
    Leicester International Music Festival


  • Arts
  • Music Service
  • Music And Culture
  • LCC
  • LCC 2
  • Music Mark
  • Viva
  • Philharmonia
  • Darbar
  • Soft Touch Arts
  • Bullfrog
  • Awards for Young Musicians
  • Orchestras Live
  • Pedestrian
  • SoundLincs
  • Transformance Music
  • Spark Childrens Festival
  • Leicester City Football Club Community Trust
  • National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain