WCIT MONITOR Issue 63 Nov 2014 - Page 14

CHARITY MONITOR John Chilton School: Music Through Technology Project J ohn Chilton School is a mixed Community Special School for pupils with physical and medical difficulties who may have additional learning or sensory needs, between the ages of 3 - 16+ years. Pupils have physical and cognitive disabilities including cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and communication difficulties. There is a capacity of 90 pupils at the school and many of our pupils come from homes where English is a second language and a large proportion of our pupils are eligible to receive free school meals. Many pupils have profound communication difficulties and a very large proportion of pupils have learning difficulties in the Moderate Learning Difficulties range. In all our work with the pupils, staff see them as individuals where their disabilities do not become a handicap. Our pupils have ambitions, likes and loves. They can do much for themselves and are encouraged to ask for help only when they need it. There was a need to find opportunities for music-making through technology to help students express themselves and a long term plan was put together and then funding sought. The first part of the project was to purchase iPads for use within the music sessions, and with the help from The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists Charity, some iPads were purchased for this project. As a result more students are able to use the GarageBand app which is now being used for composition work, the pupils have found the touch screen easy to use and have really enjoyed creating their own music. The ThumbJam app has also been used very successfully for improvisation work. Pupils select an instrument and then improvise to backing tracks. The backing tracks reflect different styles of music and also different moods. The next stage will be for pupils to improvise together in a small group, developing an awareness of other parts. © John Chilton School A sound system within the music room, which allows pupils to hear what they need to through headphones, has been installed and pupils can either be set up to work individually or as a group. The iPads can then be used with this sound system to make music alongside other instruments like our new drumset, handsonic drums, keyboards and electric guitars. The next phase of the project will be to integrate more assistive music technology like the Soundbeam, Apollo Ensemble and switches for those pupils with more complex needs, to enable all our pupils to make music together. This project has already had a huge impact on our pupils by enabling them to make music using technology, and we are grateful for the support we have received from so many in order to make all this possible. The project is a work-in-progress and will continue to be developed. Co ntributed by Sue Hardy, John Chilton School Thank you to the WCIT Charity and all its donors. Monitor Issue 62 Adjustments  With thanks to Lord Peter Levene for the following: In the days when there was a password to the Tower of London, years ago, the Lord Mayor received this. But this is no longer required in today’s world. Page 14  It is no longer a custom or practice in today’s world for the Court of Aldermen to purchase the Lord Mayor’s Ceremonial robe in a coronation year, but they did do many years ago.