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SEND Schools

Welcome to the Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service SEND page

LSMS 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 SEND schools and offer support to other SEND schools in Leicester City and Leicestershire.

We share updates and useful training at the termly network meetings. Please visit out Music Network Meetings page and book your FREE place using our online booking system. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

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.

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.

If you have an initiative that you would like to involve LSMS in please email

Please click on a heading below to access further information.

Get your SEND School Learning an Instrument / Singing

SEND Schools Music Technology

Teaching Music with Garageband for iPad

Lead Practitioners for SEND Schools

Leicester-Shire SEND Music Scheme of Work

In partnership with Transformance Music in using ipads to deliver the Music Curriculum.

Suitable for SEN schools & Mainstream Schools with a SEN Unit

Musical learning outcomes suitable to all ability levels
Activities adaptable to any theme or curriculum to support the children's learning
Examples of cross curricular teaching.
Teaching Resources
Linked to Sounds of Intent (although not a necessity)

For further information please email

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.

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.

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

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

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. LSMS 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"

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

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"

50% discounted place on the Post Graduate Certificate of Sounds of Intent programme

Leicester-Shire Schools Music Service are offering the exciting chance for a teacher to benefit from a discounted place on the Post Graduate Certificate of Sounds of Intent programme, accredited by University of Roehampton. The course cost is usually around £2000, and LSMS are offering to fund 50% of the fee 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 discounted place, you must be an active member of the LSMS SEN network, and apply in writing to 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

SEN network (to include SEN schools and Mainstream schools with SEN units attached)
Thursday 4th October 2018 - Ashmount School, 1:15 – 3:15
Wednesday 27th February 2019 - Ash Field Academy, 1:15 – 3:15

These meetings are free to attend but places are limited so please ensure that you book a place - please email


Artsmark is the creative quality standard for schools, accredited by Arts Council England. It provides a clear framework for teachers to plan, develop and evaluate arts, culture and creativity across the curriculum.

Leicester-Shire Music Education Hub is an Artsmark partner organisation, and can support schools in applications for silver, gold or platinum status. Most schools in the city are already engaging with music hub activities, so chances are you already have some excellent evidence for meeting Artsmark criteria.

Whole Class Ensemble Tuition, VocalEase, Music Tuition Centres, signposting young people to the central ensembles, attending CPD and taking part in our large scale performances are ways in which schools can offer children musical opportunities that support schools in their Artsmark application.

The LSMS Music Quality Mark gives Headteachers and Music coordinators opportunity to reflect on the current music provision, gain support matched to schools needs and celebrate with a bronze, silver or gold Quality Mark, all free of charge with trained Music Consultant.

Get in touch with us for help and advice about using music hub initiatives as part of your Artsmark application. For more information about Artsmark, click here or contact The Mighty Creatives for support with the application process.

The Improvise Approach - finalist in Best SEND Music Resource

The Improvise Approach - finalist in Best SEND Music Resource - Teacher of the Year Award for Excellence 2018

The Improvise Approach ebook (with 10 music tracks), written by Carrie Leonard, is available for FREE for all Apple devices.

It has been created by Carrie Leonard who works with children who have severe, profound and complex needs and found the iPad to be transformational when it came to enabling all of her students to access creative music-making, using whatever movement skill they have.

The ThumbJam app offers great accessibility and quality of sound, with a range of instruments too, to people with minimal movement. Using the basis of the C major pentatonic scale as the student's playing part, Carrie has created backing tracks that are totally harmonious with the sounds the child is playing. There are no wrong notes. It has helped her students with the most profound cognitive and physical difficulties, to not only make music for themselves, but to be able to join in small group playing with their peers at school and with their siblings at home. There is also the additional inclusive element in that more able children can participate with them using the same notes on regular tuned percussion.

The ebook provides a comprehensive introduction to the subject of SEND musical improvisation by way of showing, step-by-step, how to set up ThumbJam, use guided access (to lock off specific areas of the iPad screen) how to get started, how to introduce it to a group and some additional general information. There are 10 music tracks with ID pictures that help the students to select their piece of music from the music menu page (by connecting iPad to classroom screen). Each page is interactive and can be accessed quickly by the teacher during the lesson. The styles are representative of a cross section of music. Have a play through and decide which ones you like best to get started. The tracks are also available at the iTunes Store as "Improvise One". "Improvise 2" is now also available with a selection of 10 new tracks to add to the repertoire.

Download the ebook here:

SEND Schools Song Album - Where the River Flows


  • Arts
    70th Logo
    Music And Culture
    LCC 2
  • Viva
  • 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
  • 70th Logo
  • Music And Culture
  • LCC
  • LCC 2
  • 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