Music plays an incredibly important part in the enrichment activities of learners here at Inclusion School.

The approach we’re able to offer our learners differs from that they may have experience in mainstream, with a greater focus placed on the therapeutic benefits of musical expression and engagement. 

Sessions deliver a unique combination of studio technology to discuss, experience, appreciate and create music without needing them to learn an instrument immediately. This means it can be used by anyone, regardless of their ability or special educational needs. Using recordings from artists they like, and adding beats and effects means it doesn’t take long for them to create something themselves, bringing a sense of achievement and pride, as well as building their confidence.

This then spurs learners on and leads to personal growth and development.

As our umbrella organisation, Inclusion Hampshire have been delivering this programme for over seven years and in that time we have seen how it reduces anxieties in young people, works to raise mood and lift symptoms of depression. 

Learners will also have the opportunity to learn guitar, drums and other instruments – which is known to have a positive impact – with their burgeoning self-belief in this area resulting in greater motivation and engagement with other subjects.

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Case Study 1

L first came into the music room with another learner when he started, a reflection of his low self-confidence. He seemed interested in music and wanted to try all the instruments and asked questions them. L showed particular interest in the electronic drum kit, so his tutor taught him how to play a basic rock drum pattern on it.

Initially L found this difficult, but by adding one limb at a time he gained confidence and was able to play the beat both on its own and with a music backing track. He was focused and determined to be play the song correctly. When L had done so, it really lifted his mood and gave him a sense of fulfilment.

Following this, L continued to develop his drumming and focused on learning a beginner’s version of ‘We Will Rock You’. L showed determination to learn the song and after couple of sessions had achieved this.

Inclusion was contacted by BBC South Today who wanted to do a short piece on our learners and music. There was a drumming theme to this year’s project so L volunteered to play the drums and be interviewed. L was a fantastic during the record and interview and it captures how much his confidence had grown. The interview was later shown on BBC South Today.

Case Study 2

T had began learning guitar with our tutor and demonstrated an increase in his self-confidence as he progressed. T become so interested in playing guitar Inclusion helped him to purchase an acoustic guitar. T learned to read guitar TAB, could play simple melodies and was also able to tune the guitar using an app on his phone independently. T was very keen to learn more and clearly loved picking up and playing the instrument, as he took it with him everywhere and showed his growing confidence by playing in front of others and his improved resilience as he was unafraid to make mistakes and learn from them.

Based on his own music taste, he begun to learn new songs from the Trinity Rock and Pop grade book for guitar and was soon playing new chords and melodies. T improved rapidly and could play the songs well after a week’s practice on each. He had fun in his music sessions at Inclusion and would stay in the music room for as long as possible and was reluctant to stop at the end of each session. T has been learning at home independently and practicing, which shows how much fun and how important the guitar is to him.

T had the confidence to share a simple melody he had composed. With his music tutor, he recorded this into our music multi track software, added electronic drums and bass using the keyboard. T played all the parts on the keyboard, which broadened his instruments. He continued to add parts to the composition on subsequent sessions and became more confident in his playing each time.