Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project”
I would like to take this opportunity to publicise Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project” if you think it is suitable to circulated within this arena.
This is a letter that asks for support from anyone who would like to be associated by helping with our Project, or would just like to be generally aware of one of the services Southend has to offer disabled people.
I have pleasure in attaching a comprehensive description of the aims and present requirements of the Music Man Project, and have also taken the opportunity of attaching some web-links below which will provide an insight into what is being achieved.
This Project was started in Southend a few years ago by David Stanley MMus BMus PGCE NPQH, a very well qualified and dynamic musician, and it is the UK’s first full-time music education service specifically for adults and children with learning disabilities.
David would like his Syllabus Portfolio and teaching methods to spread nationally, to be used by learning centres and care homes for all disabled people. In support of this aim, OFSTED has commended the project’s excellence as ‘Outstanding’, and it has been endorsed by the previous Prime Minister David Cameron and our local MPs. It caters for local Special Schools in the Southend area, and has grown with other MMP centres now set up in Benfleet, Chelmsford, Maldon, East Sussex, London, Northern Ireland and beyond.
The Music Man Project is completely self funding, therefore it is naturally hoped that we may be able to enlist help from other organisations, along with sponsors in order to continue this valuable service.
David earlier produced a documentary explaining his quest in promoting music over many years amongst disabled people. This is the original launch documentary which I ask you please to look at firstly. http://themusicmanproject.com/mmptv/tvguide/mmptv-the-music-man/
The link www.themusicmanproject.com will lead you to MMPTV, containing events, current information and supporting testimonials.
You may like to spend time at a later date to enjoy their London Palladium performance of 2015 below.
Palladium show Act 1:
Palladium show Act 2:
The MMP is now associated with The Royal College of Music:
I will be pleased if you would pass this on to others who you think may be interested in order increase public awareness of this unique Service .
I wonder if members would be interested in attending our next musical performance on Sunday 15th October at the Palladium, which will include a performance commemorating the 70th anniversary of Mencap and the life of Lord Brian Rix. Tickets are free, and obtained from the MMPTV link.
I do hope you have pleasure in viewing these links, and thank you again for spending time here learning about Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project”.
Trevor Jewell JP. IEng MIET
Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project”
Run by the local charity, Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project” is the UK’s first full-time music education service specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities. It was founded in South Essex by former Deputy Head Teacher David Stanley to meet a growing demand from parents for regular and accessible musical opportunities for their children. His aim was to access the innate musicality in everyone, regardless of their learning difficulty or special educational need. David initially established a weekly music school in 2001 and then in 2012, shortly after qualifying as a Head Teacher, he left his mainstream secondary school post to launch a full-time specialist charitable provision. His approach centers on education, enjoyment and performance through the teaching of his original music at special schools, colleges, care homes, weekly music schools and daily adult classes in the community.
The Music Man Project now operates in Essex, Suffolk, Sussex, London (in partnership with the Royal College of Music), Northern Ireland and South Africa. Although delivery style and time frames may differ, The Music Man Project provides the same opportunities afforded to aspiring mainstream musicians by offering the best tuition, instruments, musical repertoire and performance platforms available. It delivers inspirational performances which raise awareness and challenge public misconceptions. Some large events have been entertaining runners at the London Marathon, closing Royal Mencap’s first national conference in Liverpool, performing in concert at the Royal College of Music and presenting its own West End show at the world-famous London Palladium. The Music Man Project’s charity single topped the Amazon Broadway chart and the e-book, “Music is Magic: The Story of the Music Man Project” led the Amazon Kindle Special Education chart. It has been short-listed to the final of the Music Teachers Awards for Excellence twice in the last three years (Best SEN Resource category) and has just won the 2016 Kids Count Inspiration Best Creative Contribution Award. The Music Man Project has been described as tremendous by the Prime Minister and outstanding by OFSTED.
The Southend Mencap’s “Music Man Project” supports doctoral research at the Royal College of Music into the effect of musical participation on health and well-being for people with learning disabilities. The partnership, initiated through Maldon regional director and Royal College PhD student, Natalie Bradford, includes performances, workshops and undergraduate training to prepare the next generation of specialist music educators in this sector. David Stanley is a sought-after authority in this field and he helps other organisation’s set up their own version of his original model in communities around the UK and beyond. In 2016 he led a 10-day teaching and research trip to South Africa, working in children homes, day centers and an orphanage. David’s original songs, instrumental arrangements and teaching strategies are collated in ‘The Music Man Project Songbook”, with lyrics by Southend regional director, Jenny Hitchcock. This yet to be published resource has been developed over the past 16 years specifically for students with a learning disability and is shared free of charge, along with training, mentoring and support to other musicians, schools, charities and arts organisation’s.
The Music Man Project develops the musical instinct that lies within us all to instill confidence, self-esteem and as a vehicle for joy and emotional expression. Rather than focusing on their disability, all students are treated as musicians and Southend Mencap, the charity which runs the project, has only the highest aspirations for what can be achieved by everyone involved in this unique innovation. The musical outcomes are presented to the public in large-scale performances as a way of educating the wider society about what people with disabilities can do rather than what they need. David Stanley campaigns for equal opportunities for musicians with learning disabilities to perform at the most prestigious concert venues and high-profile events. The Music Man Project returns to the London Palladium on Sunday October 15th this year.
Southend Mencap is seeking financial support to maintain and develop such a life-changing service for hundreds of families. Specific requirements have been identified over-page.
Southend Mencap has recently acquired a second-hand mini bus but the vehicle requires over £1000 worth of repairs now, plus tax and insurance in the coming years. A mini-bus would greatly assist the day-to day operation of The Music Man Project, transporting instruments and students to teaching venues and concerts. This will enable more people to access existing services and facilitate many more opportunities in the future, such as performances further afield and a Music Man Project touring group. Sponsors of The Music Man Project mini-bus would be publicly recognised by their logo transferred onto the vehicle.
2. The Music Man Project Songbook and Accompanying CD
Developed over the past 16 years, The Music Man Project Songbook is a collection of 25 original songs and arrangements written specifically for children and adults with learning disabilities. Southend Mencap would like to publish this unique resource for the benefit of more teachers, families, musicians and students so that our music and teaching strategies can impact thousands more people. The accompanying CD will be professionally recorded and sold with sheet music and lyrics, with all proceeds going back into the charity. The cost of the CD recording and songbook printing is approx. £5000.
3. Music is Magic at the London Palladium, Sunday 15th October 2017
This concert will be the biggest ever celebration of learning disability music in the UK. It will feature over 100 students from South Essex, supported by new students from London, Suffolk and Sussex and accompanied by professional choirs and orchestras. The event will feature a world record attempt for the largest ever triangle ensemble (our target is 1000 triangles) and the premiere of a new musical adaptation of “The Label”, a moving story by disability campaigner Caroline White (published by Ivy Press). For this event to go ahead, Southend Mencap needs to find funding for the following aspects of the production:
• Between 500-1000 triangles at £3 each
• Project and screen hire (£500)
• Staging and seating hire (£500)
• Payment for the on-stage band (£500)
• Musical arrangements (£1500)
• Production of souvenir programmes (£1000)
Sponsorship of the London Palladium show will be publicly acknowledged by presence on the poster and souvenir program, and an invitation to the VIP reception held by Royal Mencap.
4. Student Subsidy
Some adults in South Essex can no longer afford to attend Music Man Project teaching sessions and their care providers have asked if there is a subsidy or sponsorship scheme to allow them to continue an activity which they greatly enjoy and benefit hugely from. Southend Mencap would like to establish a fund to address this problem, with careful safeguarding measures in place to ensure those clients in most need are the ones that are helped.
5. Instrument Fund
For the purchase, renewal and maintenance of musical instruments and equipment (drums, tambourines, PA systems)
6. New Centres Fund
– for the training, mentoring and observation of new tutors and provision of start-up equipment for new centres (instruments, sound equipment, teaching resources) so that other organisation can deliver our teaching model
International Development Fund
– for specific international projects such as South Africa and Northern Ireland in 2016. Please see http://themusicmanproject.com/international/