BBC Radio Lincolnshire visit GANF for Children in Need
Last year we decided to expand the Therapies that we offer at GANF and because of pupils’ specific needs we felt that Music Therapy would be something our pupils would very much benefit from.
At GANF we believe that anything that will be beneficial to our pupils is worth the time and effort and to that end, we employed a fulltime Enrichment Lead and this posting has been a priceless introduction to our team of staff. Our more able children now have regular kayaking and horse riding sessions and our less able children now enjoy regular woodland and sensory outings.
Not all children can access a standard curriculum but now they have a more fulfilling time in school.
We wanted to provide the same level of care but with a Music Therapist.
This quickly became a project to source funding for this venture and cutting a long story short, we were lucky enough to secure funding from both The Jessie’s Fund and BBC Children in Need! This fantastic news meant we could provide music therapy sessions to some of our pupils in order to try to increase communication, social interaction, sensory skills and improve behaviour.
A Therapist was employed in January 2015 to work 1-2-1 with our students aged 4-16 years old.
The Therapist is Matt Le Mare and the 5 main areas he has used Music Therapy to impact on the lives of our pupils are:
1) Speech & Communication
Communication - Music Therapy can bolster attention and allow children on the Autistic Spectrum to focus and reduce hyperactivity and strengthen their social skills.
2) Motor and sensory skills
3) Behavioural and Emotional
Emotions - Research shows that music increases Dopamine levels. ADHD children can use music to train their brains for stronger focus and self-control in the classroom and at home.
Structure - Music provides rhythm, rhythm provides structure, and structure is soothing to an ASD brain struggling to regulate itself. That structure can help a child to plan, anticipate and react.
4) Self Confidence Boost
5) Outlet for expression
The music therapy service now offered is so vital and with Matt Le Mare’s music and skills as a therapist this helps to reach those children who otherwise are very hard to reach. Music sessions give pupils the chance to express themselves.
The BBC visited GANF in November as part of the BBC Children in Need broadcast. BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s breakfast show host, Melvyn Prior came into school to meet Matt and find out what a difference the funding has made. To listen to the full interview, please click here…