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SEND Partnership Work

We work closely with local, regional and national partnership organisations who meet regularly with the SEND Lead to devise and plan projects that link to our business plan and SEND strategy. The projects are monitored and evaluated regularly with the feedback informing future planning of project based work.

Please click on a title below to find out more about each project, or click on a partner logo to visit their website.

As these are all past projects, you may see references to our previous titles of Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service (LSMS) and Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub LMEH).

enSENble (SEND Performance Group) - with Soft Touch Arts

Hospital Schools - with Soft Touch Arts

Soft Touch Arts, in partnership with Leicestershire Music Hub, 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 read the evaluation report.

Live Music Tour - with Sinfonia Viva, funded by Children in Need

Sinfonia Viva Music Tour, funded by Children in Need (Phase 2 of a 3 year project)

In March 2018 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, entitled 'The Sky', to all pupils in each school. Leicestershire Music funded resources to be used pre and post performance to enable pupils to gain the most from the performances and to allow for creativity to be built into 'The Sky'.

The 6 schools involved this year were:

Birkett House
Ash Field
The Beacon Academy
Dorothy Goodman
Maplewell Hall

Case studies

J female, age 7. Amnbulant. MLD

J quickly learnt 'Ah Poor bird'. When we had finished singing the other 2 songs, she was able to recall the melody, the words and the signs without prompt, singing it back to me when I said we were going to try it again.

On the day of the visit, she sat still, spellbound, with the other pupils from primary, listening and watching the cellist and violinist play for 15minutes before school,

J enjoyed the performance, sitting near the front and being asked at one point to come and draw the cat that she had said might miaow in the storm.

After the concert, she designed a thank you card for the musicians, deciding to send hers to one person in particular whose instrument she remembered the name of (several of the other pupils in this class could remember the names of certain musicians).

Later that afternoon, J took part in turning the graphic score devised in the concert into vocal sounds and then selected instruments, following the conductor.

A child in my class, since I have been teaching him has become more and more engaged with music and he was calling out all of the instruments he could see, he was copying Jack pretending to be the conductor and beating time. He sang his heart out with the orchestra. Sometime the hall can be an issue with his anxieties but not today, he was totally engrossed in the performance.

We have a child in a wheelchair in our EYFS class and he loves music. In the walk about warm up session he was trying to really stretch his arms out like in his physio sessions trying to perform all of the actions. He has grinning and babbling throughout. When everyone was singing he was swaying from side to side trying to join in with the words. He had a great time watching and listening to the music.


Thank you so much for what I felt was an excellent morning. Some of our young people will never have experienced a live orchestra and some may not have that opportunity again in the near future so to bring the experience to [us] was inspired. I thought the selection of music was inspiring and at times I was very moved by the beauty of the sounds. I had conversations with other staff afterwards who said the same thing. To see students who were at first reluctant to join in then enjoying every minute and to listen to one young man sitting next to me saying "I recognise this it's really good I can sing it" was lovely.

Thank you so much you and the orchestra have made my term

I really enjoyed the workshop. I think this is one of the most memorable activities we have had in our school and that I have seen in my teacher career. The shiny big balloon song with the orchestra was amazing.

I just wanted to say a big thank you for Sinfonia Viva & Jack's visit last week. I thought it was a huge success and reached out, inspired and captivated our young people… Thanks again for a great morning of music.

Schools that hosted the performance in 2017 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 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"

SEND Music Technology Teaching Resources - with Transformance Music

SHINE - in Partnership with Music, Sinfonia Viva & Orchestras Live

SHINE Recording - Track 1
SHINE Recording - Track 2

SHINE! - It was life changing...

In partnership with Transformance Music, Sinfonia Viva and Orchestras Live, Leicestershire Music (LM) have delivered a creative project with nearly 50 students from Birkett House, Maplewell Hall, Birchwood and Ashmount Schools. The project culminated in 3 performance days including De Montfort Hall on June 27th.

Please see below for a short film about the SHINE! Project.

The project started back in January with Ben Sellers, Lead Musician a tTransformance Music, delivering weekly iPad band sessions to students in Birkett House and Maplewell Hall. The students learned how to produce music using several apps on iPads, including Garage Band and Thumbjam. Once they were familiar with the apps, the young people began, with support, to create their own chord sequences and to improvise melodies. Students had to make decisions as a group about which chord progressions to choose, the instrumentation and which motifs to use.

The 'groove' composed by students at Maplewell Hall was recorded and sent to Jack Ross, Workshop Facilitator at Sinfonia Viva, to creatively develop with students from Birchwood through creating a melody and song lyrics. The result; "Toot-Toot" was spectacular and very well received at the performances.

Meanwhile, Birkett House students worked on several pieces with a very different feel, with their favourite piece being about pirates called "Treasure and Gold". The students rose to the occasion, performing using a combination of iPads and acoustic instruments. The students who have Physical and Multiple learning difficulties played solos improvised over a chord sequence which didn't leave a dry eye in the house when we first heard it performed alongside Sinfonia Viva on 21st June in Ashmount School.

"This never happens,"

said one member of staff.

"For these children to have such an opportunity to take part in an event such as this is massive.

Kate Hallam-Jones, Music Teacher at Birkett House has worked with Ben, from Transformance Music, on a weekly basis and is now fully trained to continue to deliver the iPad band with her students next year. She will also be able to offer support and training to other schools in Leicester and Leicestershire to set up iPad bands in school. In addition to gleaning knowledge from Ben about iPad bands, Kate also developed a Unit of Work for the LM SEND Music Curriculum based on Ben's delivery. She is keen to support schools in the use of iPads in their lessons.

At Ashmount school, the students worked with Jack, creating song lyrics and a melody line and amalgamated it with the electronic sounds created by students at Birkett House school. This finally became a song called "Diamonds Shine".

After the performance at De Montfort Hall, Adam from LM said, "I just wanted to hear more." The performance at De Montfort Hall was very well received by all. It was the first time that all four schools had met together with Sinfonia Viva and Transformance Music, but after a brief rehearsal, they appeared as a single ensemble on the stage.

"We want to do more of this" said one teacher. "They have loved every minute and have changed beyond recognition. It is just so important that it carries on." Another teacher added "When does the next project start?"

Keep a look out for 'Toot-Toot', 'Diamond Shine', 'Treasure and Gold', '4 Times Hotter' and 'Shine' on the SEND Schools page of our website. The young people and audience enjoyed these songs so much we are creating the soundtrack and performance resources for students in other SEND settings to be able to access these songs.

The SHINE project will not just have an impact in SEND schools. During the project Brad Smith, the Lead for Music Technology at LM, worked alongside Transformance Music to create 'How To' guides and video resources on how to use the apps demonstrated by Ben and how the use of them can be developed to use them creatively within iPad bands in the mainstream Primary School.

The most wonderful response about the project came from some of the students themselves. It was an emotional time for all concerned saying goodbye to each of their leaders and some tears were shed. It has changed some of the students' lives for the better, for ever. This can be summed up with the words from a student from Maplewell Hall who said,

"I just want to say thank you really. This project has changed my life. Before this, I never thought that I would be able to perform in public. It has helped me with my confidence and meant that I can do things that I never thought possible."

If you would like to have training to create an iPad band, contact For further information about SEND work through LM, please visit the SEND page on our website.

Written by Alison Mitchell

Sinfonia Viva 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"

Where the River Flows - with Sinfonia Viva


  • Arts
    Leicestershire Music
    Music And Culture
    LCC 2
  • Viva
    Soft Touch Arts
  • Bullfrog
    Awards for Young Musicians
    Orchestras Live
    Transformance Music
  • Spark Childrens Festival
    Leicester City Football Club Community Trust
    The Mighty Creatives
    Leicester Symphony Orchestra
  • The City Classroom
    Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
    Bardi Symphony Orchestra
    Drum & Brass


  • Arts
  • Leicestershire Music
  • Music And Culture
  • LCC
  • LCC 2
  • Viva
  • Philharmonia
  • Darbar
  • Soft Touch Arts
  • Bullfrog
  • Awards for Young Musicians
  • Orchestras Live
  • Pedestrian
  • Transformance Music
  • Spark Childrens Festival
  • Leicester City Football Club Community Trust
  • The Mighty Creatives
  • Leicester Symphony Orchestra