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Orchestras Inc. – the positive impact of belonging to something bigger

During Spring 2022, we have been engaging with young SEND musicians through the Orchestras Inc. our accessible ensemble programme.  Travelling through singing and instrumental playing to different locations in the world, we have come together weekly to share our geographical and musical journey with an average of 70 young people on screen.

Working in tandem with our face-to-face sessions, this online platform has allowed us to reach out to more young people across the county and to include them in our musical community.  We’ve invented the ‘glock cam’ to demonstrate how to play instruments to our young musicians.  Because the content was a little more advanced than previously, our creative team delivered training to staff assisting the young musicians to familiarise them with the singing and instruments, how we would be using them and how they could support the Orchestras Inc. musicians to get the very best singing, playing and enjoyment out of themselves and the instruments.

There was so much visual evidence of the positive impact our online sessions were having on the young people’s musical progress, but more importantly the joy everyone was experiencing as a result of being part of a larger musical community.  Exploring different genres of music from different cultures and developing a wide range of musical and social skills, our young people developed valuable relationships with peers from other schools, giving them a real sense of belonging. The young people were respectful towards each other, taking turns and listening attentively whilst others contributed. When we celebrated what others did, self-efficacy and self-esteem increased, which then led to greater motivation!

The online sessions led to face-to-face roadshows for young musicians; they were delighted to see the familiar faces of our leaders and their peers in person.  The young people displayed empathy and warmth towards other musicians they hadn’t met before and were keen to forge relationships and work together during the sessions.

Feedback informed us that the young musicians enjoy working with their immediate and familiar peers in their own settings, but that what they enjoyed even more is being part of a bigger musical community that brings people from different places together to make music side by side.

If you know a young person who would benefit from joining the Orchestras Inc. community, please contact

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