is a double CD set of original music, songs, stories and games
for children and young adults across the autistic spectrum. It
was created over a two year period, in consultation with experts
working in the field of autism: parents, carers, therapists,
teachers, researchers and the young people themselves. It has
been thoroughly tested in two specialist schools for children
and young adults with autism, and was developed with guidance
from the NAS.
was originally enabled by a grant from the Onians Fellowship,
a fund created to explore the opportunities for developing new,
ethical and socially beneficial products, which is managed by
the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturing
and Commerce. Jessica Curry, the composer behind the CD set,
has spent the last two years researching autism and new research
within the field of music therapy, applying her skills and knowledge
to the creation of a musical resource aimed specifically at helping
those living on the autistic spectrum.
contains over two hours of music in a wide variety of styles:
pop, rap, dance, folk, country and simpler nursery rhyme songs.
The second CD comprises of specially written relaxation tracks
that can be used in conjunction with a sensory environment. The
collection also includes two stories and a series of action rhymes
to help develop motor, attention, memory and empathic skills.
has been designed to be used in specialist or mainstream classrooms,
or at home, and includes a comprehensive user guide to aid its
use. Each track has been written to aid in the development of
key skills, and has been subject to close scrutiny and practical
testing at Hampshire Autistic Society school, Hope Lodge in Southampton.
The final product has also been subject to independent review
by Radlett Lodge School, Hertfordshire.
One contains 39 tracks. The first 18 are songs designed to be
used in active sessions with the young people. The musical styles
range from simple, nursery rhymes for younger children to more
contemporary and complex arrangements for teenagers or more highly
functioning young people. Each track has been designed to focus
upon the development of a number of key skills, such as 'to develop
co-ordination' or 'to encourage facial recognition'. In addition,
a number of tracks are aimed at assisting the development of
more social and emotionally orientated objectives such as 'encouraging
participation'. Song range from specific, subject-orientated
topics like Talk About the Weather and The
Colours Game to more generic uses: Hello,
Goodbye and Well Done You! Several
of the songs are followed by instrumental versions, which allow
teachers, parents and carers to adapt familiar songs to new lyrics
included on CD One are two stories, one with music and one spoken
word. Both are designed to promote concentration and explore
emotional and cognitive skills further. The first, Max
and Mo deals with change and the frustration often felt
when trying to encompass new and different situations. The second,
Jimbo the Giant has been devised to provide opportunities for
learning practical things such as the weather and names of days,
but also promotes the ideas of friendship, emotional connectivity
and sociability. Finally, the CD contains a series of Action
Rhymes - simple, rhythmic tools designed to help build
routines and assist in daily activities, such as mealtimes and
moving from space to space.
contains five tracks aimed at promoting calm and relaxation.
Any of the tracks can be used as a relaxing daily routine, or
they can be used at any time when a young person is feeling particularly
stressed, aggressive or threatened. In other words, when they
need some down-time alone or on a one-to-one basis. The tracks
can also be used to accompany massage, physical or occupational
therapy. The tracks are all between 10 and 20 minutes long. This
means that the same mood can be sustained for a useful period
of time, uninterrupted by the parent, carer or teacher having
to leap up to change tracks. The tracks range from calming piano
compositions to more contemporary chill-out synthesizer music.
includes a 52 page accompanying booklet, which provides ideas
and suggestions for how to use the tracks. It includes lyrics
to all the songs, plus suggested alternatives, where appropriate.
Each track is discussed in terms of aims, equipment and guidelines
for suggested use. There is also a special 'At
home' section which makes additional suggestions for parents
and carers, or for use in less formal settings. The words for
the Action Rhymes and notes about
the two stories are also included. A
description of the tracks on CD Two and guidelines for creating
a home sensory environment can be found at the back of the booklet.
Curry (composer) has ten years experience developing educational
projects for children and young adults. Key to her work is the
belief that music is a potent tool for enhancing learning and
that it plays a vital role in supporting educators and therapists.
She is married and has a son, Oscar.
Curry (writer) has years of experience writing fact and fiction
for page, stage and screen. A novelist, playwright, poet and
script writer, she has worked extensively with people with learning
difficulties and across the education sector.
Fernandez (photography) has extensive experience as a digital
photographer, community artist and educational practitioner.
Currently the Director of Saffron Arts (Leicester), Fernandez
has exhibited her work internationally and has worked with Curry
on several schools projects in the past.
by Mark Watkins at LUCK,